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Commuting delights: Singing on the bus

In my experience, it does not happen as often as people loudly talking on their mobile phones on public transport, but it is no less annoying: People singing along to whatever they listen to on their mp3 players.

Actually, such performances can almost never be classified as singing.

As mentioned before, I am temporarily taking the bus route to work. This morning I sat down in the near vicinity of a grandmotherly-looking African woman, who was quietly knitting. To my surprise, as soon as I opened my magazine, she started humming a tune, first softly and then with more and more conviction. At some point, she put aside the knitting, pressed her hands to her ears (at which point I noticed the headphone wires framing her head) and proceeded to emit sounds that I can charitably call death-throes moaning for good five minutes.

She was so obviously in a state of rapture that I did not deign to ask her to stop (not that I ever ask cell-phone talkers to cease and desist – I attempted to analyze this fairly inexplicable behavior on my part here). I did move a few rows away – the bus was thankfully far from full at that juncture.

The woman rode all the way to the final stop, which was my destination as well, treating all around her to an encore a handful of times on a 50-minute ride…


  1. John the Scientist

    You get the singing occasionally on the moveable hell that is Amtrak. but not too often.

    My favorite bus story is actually a friend’s. He used to wear black t-shirts a lot when teaching lab because sulfuric acid stains don’t show up on black clothes. He’s about 170 cm and maybe 65 kilos.

    He was standing on the bus next to a woman with a BMI of maybe 40, so she’s at least 2 of him. As the bus rounds a corner (he’s hanging on to the rail) he swings her way a little bit. She puts her hand on his chest and says’ “please don’t fall on me”.

    Oh, yes, did I mention she was eating a bag of Cheetos? He went around all day with a big ol’ orange hand print on his chest.

  2. Ilya

    Brian, I do that on occasion. The problem is, I can’t read and have music played in my ears at the same time, and commuting time constitutes practically the only opportunity to read for me. To be fair, I get into unbearably distracting situations such as this no more than once a week…

    John, I am only moderately squeamish when it comes to soiled clothes, but it would gross me out tremendously to have to wear somebody’s greasy hand print on my shirt, visible or not.

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