One of the things that I have truly come to hate is the proliferation in the last year or so of mobile phones which allow their users to play music without using headphones. Well, actually my phone does that, so, to be more specific, I hate the discourteous defectives who use them on public transport. I’d love to know which rocket scientist thought it would be nice to make such technology available to the generally-moronic public. We would have words. And these spotty pricks who use them (they are nearly always spotty. Or at least greasy) are never playing any of the sort of music I wouldn’t mind being unwittingly bombarded with after a day at work; no Carole King, no Tchaikovsky, no Lemonjelly, not even any Mike Oldfield. How they can bring themselves to advertise their liking for the frankly abysmal music they do favour I don’t know; I would keep that sort of thing secret. Alas, there’s nothing to be done: people who think little of disturbing and disrespecting their fellow human beings in such a way are often the one and same people who think little of stamping on people’s heads until brain matter oozes from their victims’ ears. And they often seem to be in packs. Sometimes I think about reading my book out loud to them, but I am not brave enough.
Sometimes though, the nature of their pack mentality means they outstupid themselves. A group with multiple phones are often too vain and self-important to bring themselves to elect a sole phone to provide their dubious entertainment, and will all simultaneously brandish their shitty-music playing toys, resulting in an obsolete cacophony of noise being emitted is even more indistinct and unlistenable than usual, even for them.
I was reminded of this last Friday. I had stayed at work late, and was waiting for my bus having got back to Croydon. A rabble of Stella-swilling fifteen-year-olds shared the bus shelter with me, breaking off from the mini-concert they were treating me to make multiple phone calls to clarify where they were supposedly headed.
“Somewhere, a houseparty is happening,” I sleuthed to myself.
The normally deserted 20.30 bus was absolutely packed with spotty teenagers (or at least greasy teenagers. The girls’ grease and spots were covered with a good half inch of foundation, but I could tell it was there. The windows were fogged with condensed sebum), all clearly on the way to this party, forcing me to stand by the door next to the driver. There must have been about fifty kids, and perhaps as many as twenty mobile phones all competing to provide the musical accompaniment to this shrieking collective. There was however an indignant and frustrated feeling in the air, because it wasn’t just me who stood at the front of the bus. Two police officers had also boarded, and stood with a smug air which said “we might not know where you are going, but we are happy to just follow you”.
“The Police are fucking wankers, the police are fucking wankers, la la la la, oi! La la la la, oi!” chanted some of the braver boys, but the song died on their lips whenever the officers looked in their direction, bravado being outweighed by the thought of the police telling your mum you’d been using swear words I suppose.
4 weeks ago