Note: First published in the Huffington Post on October 8th 2013
Warning: I’m going to rant!
This isn’t an intellectual comedy discourse like my previous blog. In the words of the Jaws The Revenge tagline: This time it’s personal!
Do you own a phone with accompanying ear/headphones, or perhaps an iPod/ equivalent MP3-type device? Yes?
Ok, well do you ever ride public transport as well? Specifically, in this case trains? (Think very carefully before you answer!!!)
If the answer to these questions is yes, then there’s a chance this rant is aimed at you.
Last question; and if you answer yes, then I suggest you put those grubby little creators-of-noise-making-annoyance in your ears, because I’m going to shout! Very loudly.
WHY, OH WHY, do you insist on having your music so loud that I can hear every single lyric of your favourite song of the moment?!
I practically live on trains. That’s not your fault, I know. I’ve decided to live in Scotland whilst working in an industry that bases itself to a large extent in London. There’s nothing you can do about that when you sit next to me, I accept that. However, what you can do, the variable in this equation that you absolutely can control, is a very tiny little button on your music making device that controls the noise!
I’m a writer; I write on trains; I write on desks, and today I’m sitting naked writing on my couch (my partner doesn’t like this last fact, but I’m doing it again anyway as a minor act of defiance against what I perceive to be her overly strict rule about wet towels on the bed- but that is for another rant!).
Anyway, where was I… oh yes, how can I be expected to concentrate? How can any person that wants to do work, or think, or even breath when travelling on these patience draining metal boxes, expect to concentrate when that racket is coming from at least ten pairs of ear/headphones, all playing different, but equally annoying, types of music? Yesterday I moved carriages three times!
Now, I listen to music as well. I’m not unsympathetic to the problems of a noisy carriage drowning out those poetic lyrics of Jay Zed or Jason Amarillo or Low Tide Rider or whoever you’re listening to.
And yes, I got those names wrong. I’m not “up” on music; I’m not in the cool music crowd, but that’s only because I’ve been prodded and poked into hating it so much recently because of you and your music bleeding crew!
I’m really not unsympathetic, but surely you know how annoying you are to other people?
You’re about to scroll back to the top and look at the picture of this blogger aren’t you? You’re thinking that this writer is a grumpy old man. Well, if that’s the case, you’re completely wrong. I’m 31 years old and I’m peed off with, usually, other young/youngish people.
I’m also not rich enough, or even organised enough, to book an advanced first class ticket. I’ve never been in first class, but I imagine it to be a haven of serenity. Oh, there’s probably the odd noise offender, as there is in all walks of life, but at least they’ll have the good grace to crank out Mozart or Beethoven or something a little more refined. Or at least that’s how I imagine it when I’m being tortured into a state of desperation in standard class.
And while I’m taking about genre, why is it that all of these noise offenders listen to techno, rave, house or some other deviant of ‘thumpy thump’ music? I’ve got Backstreet Boys on my phone; I could pump up the volume and we could all sing along to ‘Back Street’s Back’, which I’d enjoy immensely, but some how I don’t think you would appreciate that.
My point is- and I’m pleading with you all now- how hard it is it do the old ‘outy-ear’ check? Set your desired volume, pull the ear plugs out, have a little listen away from your ears and if you can still hear those ‘bouncing vibes’ then you’re using them as a SPEAKER and not a pair of PERSONAL head phones!!!
How hard can it be?
If you all continue to persist in this rude and quite frankly anti-social behaviour, then tomorrow morning, when I’m back on that Glasgow to London train, I will counter your noise disturbance by sitting completely naked. It’ll put you off your coffee and bacon butty for sure. And you’ll have no one to blame but yourself!
Quiet train passenger Paul Charlton
The Ginge, the Geordie and the Geek continues this Sunday (13th Oct) at 7.30pm on BBC2. (other episodes available on BBC Iplayer)
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