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jfos's avatar

Who would you pick up (Read Question)?

Asked by jfos (7380points) February 9th, 2010
48 responses
“Great Question” (5points)

You are driving a bus. As you pull up to the bus stop, you notice the three potential passengers that are waiting. One is an old woman who will die if she does not get this bus ride. Another is a friend who has saved your life once in the past. The third is the love of your life.

The problem is that there is only ONE open seat on the bus, and nobody can stand. (You can’t have them all come on the bus and sit on anyone’s lap either.) Also, you will never again see the two that you choose not to pick up. How do you proceed?

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Arisztid's avatar


I would have to go with my love if the condition if helping the old lady is to never see my love again.

She comes first. I would feel terrible about it but that is how it would be.

janbb's avatar

Yes, the others will not die if they don’t get on the bus. There is only one choice. It seems like something is missing from the question.

Frankie's avatar

The old woman, obviously. If the friend saved my life then I’m sure he/she would understand my saving the old woman’s life by giving her the seat. I think giving him the seat over the old woman would be a pretty silly way of showing my appreciation for him/her saving my life… And if the “love of my life” did love me then he would also understand and would probably be upset with me if I chose to pick him up instead of helping an elderly woman.

Edit: Okay, with the new stipulations I’d have to say that I would pick up the love of my life, no question….provided that he truly is the love of my life (aka we’re getting married and will spend our lives together) and not someone I’m just dating and think might be the love of my life.

lucillelucillelucille's avatar

The old woman.The other two would understand.

Steve_A's avatar

Call 911 for the old lady.

Get the love of my life on the bus.

Most friends come to an end, he/she is better off ;) besides a true friend would not put me in debt they would do it because we are friends and understand.hehe.

jfos's avatar


Blackberry's avatar

The love of my life, the old lady’s time is up anyways and I don’t go by the saying ‘Bros before hoes’. Edit: My answer is still the same.

Cruiser's avatar

Seems pretty cut and dried…give the old lady a lift…the other two can catch the next bus.

autumn43's avatar

Is the old woman going to die after she gets off the bus? She seems like she is in a precarious situation. I would need more details.

jfos's avatar

Sorry about that, it’s fixed now. I forgot to mention that you will not see your friend or the love of your life again, if you do not pick them up.

janbb's avatar

Now that changes things. I still think the only ethical thing is to pick up the old woman; what I would do in actuality might be somewhat different. I find it hard to be definitive on hypothetical questions since I have not faced the issue, but it would be hard not to pick up the love of my life.

Arisztid's avatar

edited my answer to reflect the full question

Frankie's avatar

edited mine as well

jfos's avatar

@autumn43 Everybody dies. Think of it as her getting a ride to the hospital, or something.

Steve_A's avatar

@jfos So whats the exact purpose of this question, is it suppose to have a deeper meaning or something?

OpryLeigh's avatar

I have to agree with @Arisztid as I couldn’t be without my love for the rest of my life. Sorry if that makes me a horrible person.

jfos's avatar

@Steve_A To see what kind of person you are, or how you prioritize people/things. Some people will pick the old lady, some will pick the love of their life, some their life-saving friend.

fireinthepriory's avatar

Love of my life, were such a thing to exist. The old lady’s time has come, and why do I need to see the person who saved my life over the love of my life? There’s always cell phones, I think the guy would understand.

Sooo I guess if I’m ever driving a magical bus and drive up to an old dying lady, someone who’s saved my life and someone who I don’t recognize I should take the stranger just in case it’s the love of my life? ;)

ModernEpicurian's avatar

I would pick up the love of my life, selfish of me but true.

jeffgoldblumsprivatefacilities's avatar

Sorry, but taking the old lady wouldn’t even be a consideration to me. The choice between my friend who has saved my life, and the love of my life would be much more difficult, but I’d have to go with the love of my life.

Blackberry's avatar

@ModernEpicurian It’s not selfish, it’s completely rational.

jfos's avatar

SPECIAL BULLETIN: There are 22 responses. If this question receives 100 responses, I’ll post my favorite answer.

CMaz's avatar

I would run the old lady over with the bus. Apparently she is on her way out. Saving her time.

Pick up the love of my life. Eventually she will be that old lady.

Forget the friend. They come and go.

I change that…

Pick them all up. Friend and old lady can share the one seat.

Love of my life can sit on my lap.

jfos's avatar

@ChazMaz Not a big parentheses guy, huh?

zephyr826's avatar

The love of my life would have to be the choice. The old woman would have to be a casualty. The friend would be fine – I have too many friends as it is~. I could not stand never seeing the love of my life again – it would turn me into the old woman, moments from death.

Val123's avatar

I know! I won’t pick up anybody! I’ll just drive on by like, Ooops! That way I’m not actually refusing anyone. And then I’ll call 911 for the old lady, invite my best friend over for a beer, and send the love of my life flowers!

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

I would pick the love of my life.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

Not sure if anyone has already said this.

I would give the bus to the friend, and he can save the old woman’s life. Then I would wait for the next bus with the love of my life. Too easy.

jfos's avatar

NOT-SO-SPECIAL BULLETIN: @FireMadeFlesh got it.

jfos's avatar


CMaz's avatar

If the friend could drive the bus and hopefully know where the hospital was.
The friend would get a ticket ( not licensed to drive the bus) and you would be out a job.

But it makes the most sense. Of a nonsensical question. :-)

janbb's avatar

@ChazMaz Agreed.

LethalCupcake's avatar

Why cant we kick two people off the bus and let all three get on? If of course i am the bus driver i have that capability?

ubersiren's avatar

I know a few people have said that your friend and lover would understand, but I rather think that the old woman would understand leaving her. She’s lived a long life and has no personal attachment to you, so probably wouldn’t be personally wounded by your decision like the other two would. The other two are much tougher. And I don’t know.

Val123's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh got the right answer, @ubersiren

ubersiren's avatar

Oh, I thought I read above that if someone was left behind they would die, but I see now that I misread that. They said they would not die. I should’ve known this was that riddle… I’ve only heard it like 20 times.

Val123's avatar

@ubersiren Actually, it did say the old lady would die if she didn’t get on the bus. The catch is, as @FireMadeFlesh showed us, it doesn’t matter WHO is driving the bus! So, stop at the stop, put your friend on to drive, he takes the old lady, and you hang out with your love till the next bus comes along!

evandad's avatar

Anything by King, Koontz or Patterson.

Pazza's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh – Bugger!, I couldn’t find the bus, I was still stuck inside the box thinking about it.

Pazza's avatar

What if your friend is secretly ‘T’bagging you lover’s head in?

Am just sayin!.......... It happens….......

bea2345's avatar

You can see that this is an American bus. In most Third World countries, room would be made for all – BTW, the bus is overworked and overloaded; so what is new?

filmfann's avatar

@FireMadeFlesh had the correct response for the normal question, which does not involve a bus. Therefore, because of this change, the Union gets you fired, since your friend isn’t a Union member, and your friend goes to jail for driving a bus without a Class B license. While you have found the love of your life, she leaves your dead beat unemployed ass first chance.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@filmfann That is assuming the friend gets caught. He could always drop her off then return for you to finish the route. Would you be willing to take the risk to meet that special someone?

janbb's avatar

Has anyone looked in the firzzer?

TheJoker's avatar

Easy…. I’d pick up the love of my life, & wouldn’t give the others a second thought as they disappeared in the smoke from the busses exhaust.

Poser's avatar

Put the old lady on the bus. Give my friend the keys and go grab coffee with the love of my life.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

Get the old lady and take her to the hospital. You are saving a life. Period.
Your friend can give the love of your life your phone number. She’ll probably ask for it because she will be turned on that you are saving the old lady. As all friends do he’ll try to pull the “I saved his life once” card to get in her pants. She’s too hot and bothered by your chivalry to listen though. Later when you have been dating for a year she cheats on you with your friend anyway. Some chick you just met at the bus stop isn’t the love of your life, sorry. That only happens in Hollywood. Your friend has no idea how relieved you are to be rid of her and how sorry you feel for him cause his life is about to go downhill fast. You meet him at the bar and buy him a beer and say..“well I guess we’re even now.”
The old lady finally dies but remembers you and leaves you her estate. Your friend lives vicariously through you now as you’re sipping margaritas in the sun in Costa Rica while he is getting yelled at for leaving his socks on the floor. They divorce, your friend works for the resort you bought because he’s your friend and you do still owe him one.

Morgannn's avatar

Easy. I’d hand the keys to the person who saved my life, have the person dying take the empty seat on the bus, and then I would get off of the bus and be with the love of my life.

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