I'm not proud of this list, but only because I'm too busy being comfortable
  1. Sit in the back
    Aside from the fact that this is the last place people will go, the poop fumes from the toilet will keep most of your fellow bus riders (Read: enemies) at bay
  2. Take the aisle seat
    Yes, this makes you a dick. But if you're reading this list you probably already are a bit of a dick. It's a known made-up fact that people are 97% less likely to sit somewhere if it involves asking another person to move. So make THEM feel like a dick and they won't even notice you being one! It's like penis camouflage!
  3. Place your bag in the window seat
    There's no turning back
    Is your bag still closed? Open it up! Put your sweatshirt next to in a really messy way. Open up your smelly box of takeout (you did bring takeout, right?) and waft the aroma around. Take out your laptop and do some laptop shit with it. Look busy! You know who would ask you to clean up at this point? A real dick, that's who!
  5. Hear no evil...
    Headphones! No one can ask to sit next to you if you can't hear them!
  6. ...see no evil
    Sunglasses. If you don't have a laptop (or even if you do!) you can use these to pretend you're asleep. In either case, it makes you look like a Stone Cold Badass Don't-Fuck-With-Me Motherfucker, and only the bravest of souls will dare disturb your carefully constructed habitat.
  7. Utter confusion
    Should someone manage to penetrate all of your defenses, this is your last resort. When that JERK asks you to scoot over, play as dumb as you possibly can. "What, there's a seat next to me?", "But my invisible fairy mermaid mother is sitting there!", and "Sprechen Sie Deutsch?" are all appropriate here.
  8. Advanced Maneuver: Cry
    A friend once told me she always starts sobbing the minute she sits down. She also claims that this method got her a row to herself on Thanksgiving, which is the pinnacle of travel achievements. Granted, she's also a Tony-nominated actress, so your mileage may vary. Maybe Flag Day?
  9. Advanced Maneuver: Fake Conversations
    Whether you're talking into your cell phone or into your shoe, pretending to have a conversation with someone that no one else can see will ensure that your row is uncontested. Remember: More Drama, More Legroom. Don't figure out your plans for Friday night, figure out who your baby's father is! If all else fails, just start reciting the screenplay of There Will Be Blood. The louder the better!
  10. Morally and Legally Dubious Maneuver: Porn
    This might land you in a directory but at least it'll keep someone else's butt from landing in your seat!
  11. Bask
    The bus has started moving! You've won! Stretch out, take a nap, do whatever you like. You fought hard today, kid. You've earned it.
  12. Oh shit
    This bus is making another pickup?