I'm slowly but surely turning into a grumpy old woman. I usually take a book or a newspaper to read on my gruelling 2, 2 1/2 hour daily commute, and would be quite happy to pass that time quietly reading; but more and more my pleasure is ruined by the godawful noise coming from mobile phone ringtones, and most especially, Walkmans/iPods/MP3 players. Why do those things always have to be played so loudly? Why, when I'm sat at one end of a carriage, do I have to hear the tinny sounds of a drum machine gone mad coming out of the headphones of somebody sat at the other end? And why do these youths (because they're always youths) have to act like you've just told them you want to roast their grandmother if you ask them to turn it down a little? They never comply, but the rest of the journey you'll have to suffer their filthy looks and sometimes, their indignant verbal abuse as well. Complaining to the conductors, on those rare occasions they dare show themselves, I've found is completely useless -- even if you're in the area on the train formally designated a hush zone. They'd rather not get involved, and the most you can get is a "chin up, little lady, you'll soon be at your destination -- only three more stops!" But that's not the point. One Walkman, I might be able to ignore, but when the sound is coming from 6 different directions at once, it's a cacophony and I have no option but to close my book with a sigh because I've read the same paragraph 23 times and I still don't have a clue what it's about.
And of course, I understand the attraction of playing your music loudly. I used to be tempted to do the same when I was younger, but I didn't unless I was sure I wasn't bothering anyone. I have parquetry flooring at home. I kick off my shoes as soon as I come in, because I don't want to give the downstairs neighbours cause to start banging on the ceiling. These kids, can't they invest in better headphones so they don't need to turn up their music, if I may call it that because all I hear is that awful tinny noise, to the max to drown out the sounds of the world around them? For now, I comfort myself with the thought that these louts (and loutettes) will all be stone deaf by the time they reach 30, and then they'll be laughing on the other side of their face. </rant>
Luckily, things are not all bad this morning: it's sinecure's birthday! May it be a jolly one!