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Oh no. The mega-sizzling headphones...

Footscray bus interchange, photo from PTUA

I can hear it before he even gets on the bus, and I'm sitting near the back! tsh-tsheesh-ts-ts WAA-ra-WA-ra tsh-tsheesh-ts-ts Oooh yes you're so cool in your trendy open neck shirt and designer trousers. And those sunglasses must have cost more than a big weekend on the town. But why isn't there blood pouring from your eardrums?

As he walks past me and sits behind, I can easily make out all the puerile lyrics within this swirling commercial drivel. I usually tolerate this, but I've just spent a day in the studio mixing. Enough! This is really irritating and outrageously loud. I have another 25 minutes of this ahead of me.

The bus is full. There is no escape.

The young woman sitting next to me is squirming too. I turn around and make immediate eye contact and ask calmly and politely, "Why do I have to listen to your music?" He shakes his head a little, somewhat perplexed, twists the earbud in his ear without removing it, and starts fingering the volume control on his gleaming black smartphone. I ask again and he responds, "Sorry. What was that?? I can't hear you." Durrr, you DIMWIT. Of course you can't fu%#ing hear me. Even if you turn the volume down, you've probably suffered so much hearing damage that you'll have no hope of understanding me anyway.

Now that the sizzling has dissipated, and the earbud is flicked out, I maintain my steady gaze. I repeat, "Why do I have to listen to your music? It's really really loud." I'm still firm but polite. OMG. I didn't get my head kicked in. I wasn't verbally abused. My hair (what's left of it) wasn't tweezed from my scalp. Victory!