Getting an Earful

The even tenor of our journey was interrupted this morning when an unseen teenager* got on at Queenstown Road and started sodcasting their music to the carriage at large. Most of us merely emerged briefly from our semi-comatose state for a moment, realised that, yes, the rest of the journey was going to be played out to a soundtrack of fuzzily reproduced wishy-washy R&B, and adjusted our expectations for the day downward. This, sadly, is not the outrage it once was and has become just one of those things that may happen to you when you’re using public transport, like late trains or people barging in front of you. But one woman on the carriage had not yet lowered her standards to the same extent that the rest of us have. First she unleashed a sigh loud enough to drown out the music, at least for a moment. Then, realising this wasn’t a sustainable approach if she didn’t want to pass out from hyperventilation, she addressed the teenager. ‘Is that yours?’ she asked. The teenager acknowledged it was. ‘Could you turn it down’

The music stopped. And that was all it took…

This is one of the those urban annoyances that people like to complain about – to each other and, yes, on their blogs – and frequently fantasise about doing something about – like throwing the phone out of the window – but I think that’s the first time I’ve seen someone simply and calmly just doing something about it and actually succeeding. Hmmm. I wonder whether asking people to pick up their litter would work as well? It’s worth a try…

*I’m guessing here as he/she sat down in the seats behind me & I never actually saw them, but surely nobody over the age of seventeen thinks this is a good idea?

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12 responses to “Getting an Earful

  1. I assume you couldn’t see the woman either. Perhaps she threatened him with a flick knife. Speaking their language, as it were.

  2. No, I could see her as she was across the aisle, and she was perfectly middle-class and middle-aged.

    Of course she could have had a flick-knife in her knitting bag …

  3. Knitting needles! I reckon that’s the answer I think even the Fascists of the TSA and DHS still let people on planes with knitting needles. maybe they assume that apple pie making Middle aged, middle class knitting ladies can’t be terrorists, or maybe they assume their steely gaze and steely knitting needles will protect the free world.

    Personally I’m still waiting to use the “are you poor?” put down line, which I believe has been seen here blogs passim.

  4. Indeed. Of course my nice middle-class knitting mother used to smuggle alcohol in her knitting bag, so I always knew it was a subversive occupation

  5. Oh, jolly good, she is clearly a legend for succeeding. I wonder if ordering the little getts to give up their seat for old ladies will meet with the same success?

  6. Backed up by the steely threat of knitting needles, how could it fail?

  7. I quite regularly travel with one or more katanas on the train and I often fantasise about using them to dispense swift justice to oiks like that.

  8. ‘Smuggling alcohol’ perhaps needs a tad more context. I doubt if a Kuwaiti Customs’ Officer would have been intimidated by a knitting needle. Ah A Klashnikov!Thats talking their language! Your nice middle class mother was really, in a crunch, woefully lacking in the firepower department.

  9. Jeepers creepers. This turned Daily Mail quickly. I think, on principle, I applaud the plucky youngster. Just so I can stay spiritually young. Uh, peace out.

  10. TMC – in fairness, the young person turned the music off when asked, so violence was not called for
    Huttonian – the kalashnikov tends to stick out the top of the knitting bag, which makes smuggling it on to the plane difficult
    Ross – you do that, but remember, to be truly young at heart you have to start wearing your trousers hanging off your bum…

  11. Disgruntled: This is amazing. Soph has had no end of hassles with chavs sodcasting on the train to/from work. I shall suggest this approach – but the last time she asked for a volume reduction she got bad-mouthed and threatened.

    chaOtic: Have you seen the TSAs blog? tsa.gov/blog? Hilarious! But unfortunately it’s not intended that way.

  12. Brennig – I can only report what I heard. Possibly you have to pick your sodcaster carefully

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