I’m just going to vent about personal stereos that aren’t personal. Cheap tiny little headphones that bleed what must be akin to low dosage tinnitus to everyone within five meters.
It’s the 1150 Southern service to Brighton and the fuzzy, metallic,maddening noise has now been invading my conscious for the past 20 minutes.
As we left East Croydon, a tune I recognised could be discerned from the otherwise white noise emanating from the young man to my right. The fact that it was FleetwoodMac’s Sweet Little Lies made me somehow less angry, but sadder.
United in a desire for silence
Three other passengers have looked across to check out where the noise pollution is coming from. One has just exchanged a knowing look with me. All of us are being too British and polite to say ‘could you turn that down’. Or perhaps we’re simply afraid of the new British trait of self entitlement and anger that might be the go to response if the young man is asked to get personal with his music.
If I were Michael Douglas character in the film Falling Down, it would be at this point that I would remove a firearm from my jacket. Then calmly stand up towering over the noise pollution culprit until some inner third sense alerted him to open his eyes.
In a parallel universe
I imagine him ripping off his little red headphones. They’d fall on the table in front of him, and the tinny over excited Michael Jackson now playing would still discernible from the otherwise generic tccchhh tttchh chtttcchhhcch sounds he’s now sharing.
I’d look down at him over the barrel of my cocked weapon, “Could you turn that down please?” I ask.
“It’s rather annoying for those of us who don’t share your music taste. I won’t ask twice.”
Looking suitably terrified, he would rapidly reach down switch off the music. In my imagination, I’d then return to my seat, greeted with a round of applause from my fellow passengers.
Headphone kid would then get up and leave the carriage. Shaking. Headphones trailing behind him.
Of course, I did none of this. I stayed sitting silently cursing the young man who sat in blissful ignorance of the torment he was inflicting around him. In any case, I don’t like guns, not even imaginary ones.
It really is time I got the Bongo back on the road soon.