Friday, November 17, 2006

Blood on the tracks

Buoyed by winning small 'greater good' pavement battle against 'I'm all right Jack' overprivileged dullards (no Clio in evidence for last 24 hours), this morning I asked two young men on the train to turn off the R'n'B videos they were watching (and listening to) on a laptop in the Quiet Zone.

'There's nowhere else to sit'.
'So... can you turn it off?'
'Do you want to borrow my earphones? You can use one each!'
'We'll turn it down'
'Mmmm, I can still hear it. It's the Quiet Zone. Please turn it off'.
'No, sorry.'
'Well, you're clearly not sorry are you? You can't be sorry about something that you know is wrong but you refuse to stop doing. Sorry doesn't cover it.'

'You're not going to turn it off are you?'
'No, sorry'.
'Spare me the sorry'.

I gave up at this point, being a) alone, b) small and c) unable to think of anything else to say that wasn't aggressive. As I sat down again my neighbours made little supportive grunting noises, and one of them said 'someone else asked them earlier'.

What is it with people that they think they can inflict their tinny sexist MOR shite on people who have deliberately chosen to sit somewhere they won't be subjected to tinny sexist MOR shite? I should point out that they were at the lumpen, inarticulate, scurfy end of humanity, but even so, I don't get it. I'd be embarrassed, myself.



Blogger Andy said...

I totally sympathise in this.

Thing is, I think the whole idea of a quiet zone causes more problems than it's worth.

When the train is full (and these days, when isn't a train full), where else can the noise makers sit?

I'm not saying they were in the right, but the Quiet Zone is just another reason to cause conflict.

I blame Virgin trains.

No, I blame John Major.

8:42 pm  
Anonymous Charlie said...

I think if they're listening to their laptops without headphones in ANY section of the train, then it's they who are causing conflict. But since I quail at the prospect of telling huge brutish blokes to turn their music down, I feel it would be a bit pathetic to start throwing my weight around with anyone smaller either.

Probably the thing to do is to draw it to the attention of the train manager, who will be only too delighted to help.

11:43 am  
Blogger Jo said...

I think I agree that the whole idea of the Quiet Zone is problematic. Firstly, nobody is quiet in there. Most people are in there because it's the only carriage they could get a seat in, and the rest are people who booked seats in there because they are travelling with small children. Oh, and me. So between the screaming and the mobile phones and the NGCHA NGCHA NGCHA of teenagers' iPod headphones there's no peace at all -- and I feel more aggrieved than I would if the QZ didn't exist. And I wonder if the fact that it does means that meatheads think they can make as much noise as they like anywhere that *isn't* the QZ... a bit like some drivers think that if there's no bike lane then it's fine to cut cyclists up? I don't know. But it's a good job we aren't allowed guns or I'd have shot them. Maybe we could give guns to train managers and cyclists, but nobody else?

5:43 pm  
Blogger Tim said...

Now if only everybody wore those earphones I told you about...

10:13 pm  

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