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Amber Lamps is the nickname given to an unknown woman who briefly appeared in the background of Iyanna Washington’s 2010 “AC Transit Bus Fight” video that went viral on YouTube for its depiction of a brawl between two passengers, Thomas Bruso and a man named Michael. The moniker “Amber Lamps” comes from a misinterpretation of Michael’s call for an ambulance after getting pinned down to the floor by Bruso.
The AC Transit Bus fight video was uploaded onto YouTube by Iyanna Washington on Februrary 16th, 2010. In the video, Thomas Bruso and another passenger simply known as Michael can be heard arguing about something before breaking into a fistfight, during which Michael suffers multiple blows to his face and eventually yells out for someone to call “an ambulance.” However, due to his impeded speech (presumably caused by the injury) and ambient background noises, his call for “an ambulance” was misheard by many viewers as “an M&M” or “Amber Lamps.”
Meanwhile, some viewers took notice of a fashionably dressed young woman casually sitting in the background, who didn’t seem to pay much attention to the altercation that unfolded only a few feet away her seat. Soon, 4chan users began posting close-up screenshots of the mysterious passenger with the nickname “Amber Lamps.”
Later that same day, a Facebook fan page dedicated to Amber Lamps was launched and a definition entry for the nickname was submitted to Urban Dictionary. On February 22nd, Holy Taco posted a theoretical account of what was going on in her head as she watched the scene unfold.
In March 2010, an archived thread on 4chan’s /b/ (random) board hailed the girl as a goddess, detailing her theorized life through photoshopped images of famous moments in history. Days later, the term “Amber Lamps” was mentioned in a Tosh.0 skit. That April, an Uncyclopedia page for the girl was established, which harped on the theory that she is some sort of mythical being. As of September 2012, the Facebook fan page for “Amber Lamps” has more than 10,000 likes.
Search For Identity
Throughout February and March, the search for the true identity of Amber Lamps continued, albeit without any success. In April 2010, Facebook user Ian Garl Frazier posted to the Amber Lamps Facebook page that he had traced the woman’s identity to a San Francisco resident Allison Budzinski, judging from her public wall post submitted around the time of the Epic Beard Man incident. The post reportedly stated “Found out today the bus system is not for me, i’ll be walking from now on,” but it has since been removed from public view and no screen shot is available. Though Budzinski has neither confirmed nor denied this, her name has been associated with the identity of the woman on the bus on the UselessJunk.net forums, rifle enthusiast forum AR15, BodyBuilding.com and the Bay Area Riders Forum.
Portrayal in Film
A character named Amber Lamps appeared in the 2012 action film Bad Ass, a dramatic interpretation of the Epic Beard Man story. However, the character played by actress Joyful Drake (shown below, left) is portrayed in the film as a love interest for Frank Vega, played by Danny Trejo. The producers also included a hipster-looking young woman wearing oversized headphones during the bus scene (shown below, right).