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Posts Tagged ‘pet peeves’

NTKOG #28: The kind of prim, joyless shusher who isn’t afraid to make your life a living hell until you turn off your music, put your phone on vibrate, and stop clicking your goddamn jaw!!!

I am: a total sound nazi. That much is no exaggeration. Although, in my defense, I blame residual sound-trigger migraines resulting from a very involved medical/dental clusterfuck my sophomore year of college.

I am not: one to actually enforce my vision of a perfect, noiseless utopia on others, sadly.

The Scene: An inbound green line car on the T, a bit past Copley. I am sitting and reading next to a young professional who has a permanent furrow line in her forehead and is intently listening to music on her iPhone, earbuds firmly screwed in above fuchsia dangly kitty earrings.

Now guys, I know many people out there think Apple products are the height of space-age technology, but a disappointing newsflash: Your earbuds are not noise-canceling headphones. Nor are they noise-retaining headphones. They are merely NOISE-TRANSMITTING HEADPHONES that do not fit properly into your dang ears, casting an auditory halo all about your general vicinity, to the chagrin of your non-earbud-wearing seatmates.

I know. It’s a lot to take in all in one paragraph.

So the girl beside me has been shattering her young earbuds for the past half-hour with the screechiest, bassiest, summon-Lord-Satan-from-the-bowels-of-helliest death metal you can imagine. I mean, so loud that the auditory run-off from her headphones alone is about the volume I’d listen to music on my own. It’s so loud her face must be vibrating.

Finally, at the end of a song about, I dunno, gutting an orphan or something, I turn to her with a sweet, apologetic smile, and summon her attention:

TKOG: Would you mind turning down your music? It’s quite loud.
Future Skull-Themed Hearing Aid Owner: What? I’m wearing headphones.
TKOG: Oh, I know, and I’m really sorry, but it’s still pretty loud. I think your music might be louder than you realize.
FSTHAO: If you don’t like it, don’t listen.
TKOG: I really hate to bother you, but it’s actually giving me a headache.
FSTHOA: I’m. Wearing. HEADPHONES. Bitch.

And with that she jammed her earbuds back in and proceeded to turn up the volume (holy shit, it wasn’t at full volume?!), drowning our segment of the car in satanic wails.

At that point, the train lurched to a stop and the lights flickered. A vision flashed through my mind of the train losing power and us stuck underground next to each other for twenty friggin’ minutes. Said vision did not, realistically, end with everybody learning a zany lesson about respecting strangers.

Fortunately, after a two-minute random break-down, the train tooted on its merry way, and my disgruntled former seatmate got off at the next stop, trailed by a few last lingering notes of scorn and discord.

The Verdict: Dang. Turns out there was a good reason I’m not that kind of girl. I always kind of hoped that music-polluters just didn’t realize the annoyances they so liberally sowed! But clearly it’s far, far better to suffer just a smidge in silence rather than put yourself in the line of fire.

Still. Be a good person and think about headphone leakage next time you’re popping in your earbuds in a crowded place! It will, at the very least, save you some embarrassment when other people inevitably mock yo’ taste in music.

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Intended NTKOG: The kind of girl who, while in a public restroom, makes calls on her cell phone, heedless of public decency, dignity, or her callers’ eardrums.

I am: shy of bladder and faint of heart when it comes to public restrooms. During my two years in the dorms in undergrad, it was my primary goal to be that girl no one ever sees entering or exitin a restroom. I was eerily successful.

I am not:  really big on talking on the phone anyway, let alone in the cavern of bodily shame.

The Scene: The large restroom of the food court in the mall next to my current temp gig. Ideal, I figured, as it’s a) full of people, that b) I will never see again. All morning I chugged iced tea to flood out my bladder’s introversion, and when the moment was right, took my lunchbreak.

It took a while to figure out the perfect victim — er, lucky phone recipient. Finally, I settled on The Ex, because after living together for a few years, I figured the odds were slim that he had not at some point heard me peeing. Heck, he could probably pick the sound of me peeing out of some sort of terrible, dystopian auditory line-up just from my particular bladular cadence. (You can see I’m campaigning hard for the role in his wistful reveries as The One That Got Away…)

After pacing anxiously outside the restroom doors, I finally girded my (aching) loins and stormed the nearest stall like the Bastille. Snag: I was alone in there. So I crouched on the toilet for five or six minutes, clutching my cell phone, before, mercifully, a group of eight or nine women entered en masse. The time had come! 

I started to loosen my muscles, but then — TWIST! As I scrolled urgently through my contacts, I remembered: I deleted his number out of my phone a few weeks ago in the throes of break-up pique. Frantically I scrambled to remember his number, and right as my bladder was slipping, I hit the send button.

Only to find that the mall architects had apparently pre-empted this particular social dysfunction by rendering the restroom I was in as the only thirty square feet in the whole friggin’ mall with no. cell. reception.

For a moment I considered just faking the call, to at least give my fellow restroom compatriots the awk-talk treatment, but no, I decided. It would be against the spirit of the NTKOG project. It would be ignoble. It would be another twenty seconds at least until I was finally able to pee, and that just wasn’t an option.

So What Went Wrong? Ultimately, I decided to wait on this, the NTKOG I have been dreading since the conception of this project. Not to discard it altogether, mind, but merely to postpone it. And like the deferral of all dreaded tasks, this greatest mortification looms before me even more horrifying than before.

On the bright side, this massive TMI moment does suit nicely for the lovely LiLu‘s weekly TMI Thursday roundup — if only because no blog I know of features a WAAAAAAAAY TMI Wednesday.

But, as a cautionary note for everyone other than The Ex, who is now off the hook because all of the surprise will be gone (much like the magic in our relationship after he reads about my pee travails), beware any calls from TKOG. Because you might be next.

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