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Commuting Suicide: Volume XXI

Posted by aquaman on December 29, 2006.


“At least we don’t have to listen to holiday music out here.”

It was raining and dreary and we were outside. At a bus stop. The absence of holiday music wasn’t doing it for me.

“And hey, the bus won’t be decorated.” With his second comment, the stranger earned himself December’s silver medal for annoying commuter behavior.

I find complaints about Christmas music and overbearing decorations more annoying than Christmas music and overbearing decorations. I’m staunchly pro-holiday cheer. Especially at the individual commuter level. When people are more polite and patient, life is generally better.

There are, of course, exceptions. Which brings me to an even more annoying encounter. Some passengers can’t handle their cheer. Like last Thursday’s seatmate, whose holiday spirit manifested itself in a steady stream of conversational awkwardness. He gets the gold medal. It was a long ride.

“What do you got there, headphones?”

I pretended not to hear him. My act was convincing, what with the headphones and all. He fired again.

“Headphones, eh?” The “eh?” coincided with a firm elbow-to-elbow tap. His mind was trained on idle chit-chat. There was nothing I could do.

“What? Yeah. Headphones. iPod!” I was stammering. We were engaged.

“That’s a good idea,” he said. “Help block out the noise.” Delivered without a trace of irony.

And on he went, drunk with cheer. Every time I thought he’d talked himself quiet, he started back in. He twice asked if I had siblings. After miles and miles of absolutely nothing, he said he was ready for the holidays (”Ready as you can be these days, you know what I mean?” I did not.)

I finally got all Scrooge on him and cracked open a book. This did not have the desired effect.

“Headphones and a book? I don’t know how you concentrate!”

He’ll be hard to beat in ‘07.

If you enjoyed this story, read more like it in our Commuting Suicide section.

Reader Comments

Ha! At what point during this exchange did you start looking around for the hidden camera?

Posted by Miss Cellania.

I need to start commuting with a friend who can sit across from me and take pictures. You'd be able to tell this guy was out of his element and out of his mind.

Posted by aquaman.