The stereotype doesn’t match the stereo type

On the London Underground there were two black guys stood not too far away from me, both dressed virtually identically and both with shaved heads.

They weren’t travelling together, yet they had both hit the stereotype perfectly on the head with their choice of attire, hairstyle (or lack of) and the fact they were both sporting red Dr.Dre Beats headphones.

They were both casually bopping their heads to whatever they were listening to.

RnB or Hip Hop probably.

Is that a bit presumptive?

(Well, stereotypes exist for a reason).

We all got off the train and headed for the lift (elevator) to the surface, packed in tighter than a takeaway carton at a buffet.

The headphone twins both adopted the stereotypical swagger of someone with one leg shorter than the other, holding up their jeans with one hand and showing us too much underwear.

Like all lifts (elevators), it was deathly silent as we ascended, despite there being approximately 25 people in there.  It was at this point I realised I could hear music coming from one of our ‘gangstas’.

In the silence I could make out what he was listening to.

Shirley Bassey.

will the fuck

Knowing Left from Right

Occasionally something really grits my shit, but it’s such a small thing that I just deal with it and get on with life.

Well, I can take it no more.

Why create headphones that make it virtually impossible to distinguish left from right?


Every day I struggle to see which is which.

I look like an idiot, squinting like I’m having a difficult and painful shit; holding them at just the right angle in the light to make out the letters vaguely embossed at the depth of an atom.

How hard would this be to do?


You took the time to colour them purple, you bastards.


Well done Dan, you successfully chose the only seat on this empty train opposite the only penis who has now decided to talk at length on his phone.

I was going to blog about him but decided against it. I didn’t want to point out that he looks like Harley from Rizzle Kicks but with geeky glasses (which I assume are intentional), cute little pink sparkly cross earrings and a high top fade in his head like Kid missing Play.

I’m also not going to ridicule the fact he’s wearing a colourful plaid shirt with the top button done up and his beanpole arms sticking out from rolled up sleeves.

And I am certainly not going to comment that he has the campest, most feminine voice I’ve ever heard and is talking to his ‘mummy’ about not returning to college or university (or some establishment of learning) because of the drama and stress.

No, I’m not going to do any of that.

And do you know why?

Because I realised, as I pulled my headphones out of my bag to drown him out, that my headphones are bright pink.


Epic rail fail

I’ve just seen a guy miss his train.

Was he running late, or dashing like a madman? No, he was actually early.

He was stood on the platform, headphones in his ears and reading the morning paper; positioned right at the very end of the platform, presumably to get on at the front of the train.

The train pulled in, everyone got on and the train pulled out. The thing is, the train had pulled in about 20 feet short of where he was standing, so he hadn’t seen or heard it.

He was about to.

As the train started to leave it trundled slowly past him. It was at this point he put the newspaper under his arm and prepared himself to board. It had then dawned on him this train wasn’t slowing down, it was speeding up.

He looked around, checking the boards, glaring at his watch and strutting around frantically as if it was somehow someone else’s fault.

No mate,  you really did just stand there like a twat and watch it leave all by yourself.

I think I may have seen one of the passengers waving at him.

Fantasy Vs. Reality – Part 3

I’ve noticed that people who wear headphones fall into two very distinct camps; those who just sit there listening to the music, and those who dance.  Now, when I say dance, I don’t mean literally strutting their funky stuff in the street or outside public toilets (those people are in a completely different camp of their own, complete with high gates and heavy medication).

No, I’m referring to those who move ever so slightly to the music; either slaloming their head from side to side for R&B, or nodding along to rock like they’re sucking off an ant.  If you look closely enough it’s often possible to see them mouthing the words.  I don’t mean full on singing; just mouthing.  The ones who sing are mentally unhinged and need avoiding at all costs. 

I had one of these singing idiots in a gym once; just him and me.  He was lifting these heavy weights and grunting (as you do), and then in between sets he was singing tonelessly along to something in a high drawn out wailing voice.  It was like working out with Moby fucking Dick.

The last two words there were intentional.

But back to the dancing…

Being a headphone user myself I fall into the ‘dancer’ category.  I often find myself moving my head to the ‘riddim’ and occasionally mouthing the words.  I’m even guilty of walking along the pavement in time to the music like some obnoxious musical, half expecting those around to suddenly fall in behind me for a big dance number.

Why do I do this?  What do I think I look like? 

Actually, I think I look cool. 

People look at me and I can see they’re thinking “Wow, that guy really knows his music, and he’s got rhythm.   Look, he even knows the words.  He’s SO cool”.  I’m cultured, hip and simply awesome.

However, when other people do it they look like total pricks.



Not so personal stereo

Sat on the train waiting for it to leave London Victoria station with my headphones in and playing a game on my phone.  

A woman sits opposite me, also with headphones in, and we exchange a glance that suggests a mutual appreciation of music on the move; or it could’ve been ‘what the fuck are you looking at pal?’

I’ve never been great at picking up these subtleties.  

Anyway, no more than a minute had passed when the man sat next to her tapped her on the shoulder and gestured that she should turn her music down.  

I took out my right earphone just in case she kicked off, which I didn’t want to miss. Plus it’ll give me something funny to blog. Alas, all I heard her say, with a smile, was “of course, no problem”.


She then rolled her eyes, stood up, muttered ‘prick’ and moved to the next carriage.  

‘Thank you’, I thought, as I turned my music down.

Train’d Parrot

I get on the over packed train, having sprinted like a lunatic to catch it, and look everywhere for a seat. I walk down carriage upon carriage of smug commuters looking for my own little slice of heaven, but alas…nowhere to sit.

Then, in between the two EMPTY first class compartments, just where the carriages are coupled, I find a fold down seat not dissimilar to the jump seats used by cabin crew on an aircraft. There’s no one around, there’s no one using it…so I sit down.

Mmm, comfy.

The train pulls away and I settle down to play games on my iPhone.


I look up and down the carriage and it’s standing room only as far as the eye can see. I’m definitely part of the smug crowd.

About 3 mins into the commute I hear footsteps getting closer and closer. They stop to my left and I sense someone stood over me.

I don’t look up.

“Can I help you sir?”, comes a voice in a thick African accent.
“Can I help you sir?”, he repeats, in exactly the same way.
“Oh do you want to see my ticket?” I ask, knowing full well what he’s getting at.
“You can’t sit here” he continues.
“Why’s that?” I ask.
“You can’t sit here” he repeats again, not actually answering my question.

I stand up “sorry, why can’t I sit here? The train is packed and there’s nowhere to sit”
“Dis is for staff sir” he says, stating the bleedin’ obvious.
“But there’s no one sat here” I argue, knowing I’m going to be as successful as a dog walker, bag in hand, watching their dog squirt diarrhoea all over the floor.
“Dis is for staff sir” he repeats, like a parrot who’s been taught a phrase but hasn’t got a clue about the right sort of delivery.

Polly want a cracker?

I look him in the eye, smile and say “Oh! I see! It’s for you is it?”
“It’s for staff sir” he says again, causing me to suspect he may, just possibly, be absent a personality.

“Oh, well in that case I’ll go and stand over there uncomfortably with everyone else. Thank you so very much”. I walk back through the EMPTY first class compartment and join the sauna.

“Dis is for staff”

Yeah, I heard you the first 9 times you insufferable Jobsworth.

Luckily this train is really, really delayed and I’m left standing here amongst the coughers, newspaper rustlers and that one guy whose ipod is turned up so loud he’s having problems keeping his balance.

I may garrotte him with his headphones.

Mind you, he hasn’t got to endure those annoying phone users who all take this opportunity to call home and advise of their tardiness. They all start the same bloody way; “hi hun it’s me…me. It’s me. Hello? Yeah it’s me. I’ve got no sig…hello? Yeah I’ve got no signal! Hello? Hello can you hear me? Hello…my train is delayed and….” (Cut off)

They then get called back (with their ringtone at full volume…enough to startle Mr iPod) and repeat the above conversation, almost word for word.

End and repeat.
End and repeat.

In the meantime the guard has pissed off down the train somewhere and isn’t even using the ‘staff seat’.


We’re gonna need a bigger head…

I pointed out to a lady at work today that her headphones were massive.  And when I say massive, I mean they were akin to strapping two halves of a football to the sides of her noggin.

It was at this point that one of her colleagues proudly announced they were actually his.  I mocked him for a few seconds (included finger waggling and derisive laughter) before he concluded with “well why don’t you just blog about it”.

So I did.


And for those of you out there lacking the imagination to picture the sheer enormity of these beasts….here’s an example:

Headphone hell

I’ve just watched the woman opposite me on the train attempt to take headphones out of her purse.

She sat herself down, settled in, adjusted her scarf and put her immense handbag on her lap.

She then reached, elbow deep, into her handbag and produced a pair of (massive) white Dr.Dre Beats headphones; well half of them…the other half had snagged on something and was as reluctant to get out of the bag as I was out of bed this morning.

Finally she produced the entire monstrosity, and her keys with it. She put the keys back in her bag and started to pull on the headphone cord.

Out came her purse and a pack of chewing gum. Back in they go.

She pulled a bit more; ah her keys again, and what appeared to be another scarf tangled around the cord.

After about a minute of patiently unravelling this evil spaghetti of rubberised cord and scarf, she pulled again but was faced with a knot in the cord, and some sunglasses. Oh, and her keys.

She had the patience of a saint as by now I would’ve thrown the bag across the carriage, spilling its contents all over the place (which would’ve effectively solved the issue, and most likely decapitated a complete stranger)

Finally she found the jack end of the cord and plugged it into her iPhone.


She then took out a hairband, created some elaborate twisty bun in her hair and held it in place with the band (I assume so she could get the headphones on her head).

Then, and with a noticeably smug smile on her face, she put the mammoth headphones on.

She looked like a Cyberman.

She then sat back to enjoy her music. Alas, she hadn’t emancipated enough cord from the bag and the resulting tension pulled the bastard headphones off her head enough that the hairband came off, her hair went everywhere and the ‘L’ side of the headphones were now sat on her cheek with the ‘R’ on the back of her neck.

She shot me a glance to see if I’d noticed, but I was looking out the window so clearly I hadn’t.

But I had.


You raaaaang?

The guy opposite me on the train has got the biggest face in the world. It’s proper huge, like Lurch from the Addams family, or Frankenstein’s monster!
If he headbutted me I’d have bruises from my head to my knees. It would be like running into a statue on Easter Island.

I also think his glasses are two plasma screens connected with scaffolding poles. Yep, I think I can make out the words Samsung and Sony on them.

At first I thought he had regular headphones in, but they’re full size speakers wedged into a lorry’s tyre inner tubes.

His neck must be knackered.

Wednesday wafflers

Just starting to doze off on the train when we pull into a station and loads of people get on. Now this is fine as it’s an every day occurrence…however, today as a woman walks past there’s a voice from the seat behind me that says “Karen??”

She turns around, clearly recognising the owner of the annoyingly plummy voice.

Woman – “oh my god how are you??”
Man – “I’m fine, how are you?”
Woman – “so good to see you, how ARE you?” (Which, by the way, is the same question)
Man – “yeah I’m good thanks, how are things?” (Again, same question)
Woman – “shall we sit here behind Dan and talk super loud so he can’t sleep?”
Man – “absolutely, and if possible let’s try and disturb all these other commuters who are also clearly trying to sleep, or read, or work”

She sits next to him.

Woman – “blah blah blah”
Man – “blah blah blah”

Blah blah blah blah blah ha ha ha ha! blah blah blah blah oh I know! blah blah blah blah really? blah blah blah ha ha ha! blah blah blah…..

Ad nauseam.

Oh the looks they’re getting. Oh the stares. Oh the multitude of headphones being fished out of bags and pockets to drown the endless noise emitting from these waffling wankers.

The headlines tomorrow will read: ‘commuter strangles couple with headphones’

I hope they do it quietly; I’m trying to sleep…

Wired for sound…

Picture the scene.

A curvy young black woman sat next to me on the train, with FAR too much foundation, more extensions than than a call centre and hoop earrings a parrot could sit in.

She has 2 phones that are both on FULL VOLUME which she keeps checking every 3 seconds just in case she’s missed a text; switching them back and forth in her hand like a croupier with a deck of fucking annoying beeping cards. The multitude of messages are coming in thick and fast and here’s nothing like the pop pop pop of the keyboard as she types awkwardly with 2 inch blue fingernails. This is in addition to the click click click of her talons hitting the glass.

Of course, the noise of the phones have to be at FULL VOLUME so she can hear them over her Dr Dre Beats headphones banging out some generic R&B for all of us to enjoy. I mean, shes looking AT these phones without blinking, AND she keeps them from going into standby (the phones are screaming “come on luv, let us rest, we’re knackered!!”), so why the FULL VOLUME?

Also, she MUST be serious about her music. I mean, Dr Dre Beats headphones right? Why else would you spend triple figures on headphones?


Ah, she can’t hear me. Maybe I’ll text her….

Lord of the sniff/sith (sorry, bad attempt at a pun)

Another commuter observation…
The guy opposite me is really heavy breathing through his nose. It’s like a heavily nostrilled Darth Vader.

How the guys next to him is sleeping is beyond me…oh, hang on; headphones.

Good call.