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On a long school coach journey to some faraway museum or such, a good deal of enjoyment can be derived from driving everybody stark raving bonkers by singing "99 Green Bottles" (or "99 Bottles of Beer", if that is your preference). Unfortunately, many people do not know how to maximise the annoyance factor of these songs. This is a simple guide so that you can also enjoy your new powers of driving everyone within a three metre radius absolutely seething with insanity. As everyone knows, only the devil would play the same five songs over and over.

1. Which Song Is Best For My Situation?
Pick your song. There are many variants, so it might be difficult to pick the one that suits you. A good strategy is to change the exact words of the song slightly every now and then, but not too often or it's not repetitive enough. Start with the type that the others find most annoying, and return to it periodically. You can choose from such classics as:

Be flexible! Improvise your own, with any kind of object which is sickeningly green.

2. It's All In The Delivery
You're trying to induce murderous urges in everybody having to listen to your chronic inability to sing. This means three things. One, don't screw up the song! Sing it right, and it's all the more irritating. Two, sing it LOUD. Coach seats can insulate sound pretty well, and the sound of the engine will drown out just about anything below twenty decibels. Third, (and this is an extension of point one) pick a specific target and occasionally sing special stanzas which insult said target. Think about the kind of things they and their relatives might do on, around or behind a wall. Sing about it. Repeat.

3. Choose a number, any number
You want to sing for the right number of bottles. 99 is actually a pretty good number, because it keeps going for a nice long time, but will probably end before you get there (in about an hour or two). 999 is just plain stupid, and even you would probably get bored. 9 is obviously too small a number. 99 is just right. Remember that.

4. Additionals
You know how an accompaniment and rhythm make a song so much better? Get the person sitting next to you to join in. They can help sing the song, do a rhythm (heavy punk bass sounds good) or riff (daa-daa-daa-dum-dum-bang!). A good heavy drummer, who preferably spits a lot when doing drum sounds beginning with 'b', can increase the annoyance factor a good deal. Use bongos!

5. Your ultimate aim
Ultimately, you want to either make everyone go crazy, or get everyone singing the song at the same time. The latter is the best case scenario, but difficult because there's always one party pooper on board, be it a teacher or someone trying to listen to Blink 182 on his Discman and doesn't appreciate his sonic space being invaded.
If you get everyone singing, this is best, because then this will slowly annoy the bus driver. You want the critical mass of people singing the song in one localised area of the coach so that the volume reaches the front of the bus. Coach drivers are nice people, so only do this if it's one of those nasty ones who hates children. And anyone else. The bus driver will probably tell everyone to shut up a couple of times, and then 'suddenly' will go completely ballistic and scream at everyone to sit down and shaddap. This can be very amusing, and it gives you a good 'psycho bus driver' story to tell.

6. What now?
Once you've actually managed to complete your song (perfectly possible, especially if you do actually manage to sing 99 down to 0 without stopping) then you may well be tempted to rest on your laurels. THIS IS THE WORST THING YOU CAN DO. The slightest respite from a nosebleed inducing tune will give people time to rest their ears and might even give them the strength to fight back. You do not want this, since who's to tell what they'll use? Harvey The Wonder Hamster? Agadoo? Maybe even the old classic Minimum Wage? There's no way of telling. Nay, what one must do is actually increase the number back up again to 99; try using the word 'wall' a third time when doing this. Only then will you be able to get people to throw themselves out of the window to escape:

No green snotrags, steaming on the wall.
No green snotrags, steaming on the wall.
But if one green snotrag should jump back on the wall,
There'll be one green snotrag, steaming on the wall.
One green snotrag, steaming on the wall...

Try and give it an element of surprise. That horrible, slow, sinking surprise that the horror isn't going to end. Just suddenly carry on. There should be a few moments of silence from everyone but you, and then you should hear someone screaming, "OH NO! OH GOD NO!".

7. Aftermath
When getting off the bus, everyone who has had to endure your aimless melody will probably want to beat the living shit out of you. Consequently, it is advisable that you wear a bulletproof vest, a cycle helmet and some riot gear, or you may get crushed as everybody stamps on top of your body.

8. Feedback
2002.12.16 at 19:19: Haschel47 says I enjoyed your node 99 bottles of X on the wall. Personnally, I've gotten good results with "99 two-liter bottles of nonalcoholic carbonated beverages on the wall". I actually finished once without being attacked. Ahh yes, that was a great day.

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