I was on a train the other day, heading into town. All the seats were full, but I had one, so OK.
A youngish guy dressed in the very heighth of fashion sitting a few seats away delved in his bag, brought out a portable record player (I think it was a Numark PT01) then dragged out his headphones (probably Sony mdrv500‘s) then a 12″, and put it on. He listened intently, barely batting an eyelid as the rocking of the train caused the needle to leap around like a cricket. He listened to just the first minute or so of each track, flipping it halfway.
I was fascinated. Why bother carrying this crap around? What were you expecting to achieve? Are you a DJ doing some research into what to play that night? Are you a glitch-hiphop pioneer, experimenting with the arrhythmic sounds of public transport and melding them into some phat science? Or are you a twat?
I was also annoyed. It’s bad enough with the tinny noise you get from people’s earphones when they have them too loud (especially the cheap plasticky knock-off shite you get with Nokia mobile phones and Apple iPods), but you could hear the sound direct from the needle across the carriage. Some ropey pose fodder for men with beards drawn in marker.
I also saw a guy with a portable DVD player on another train. He was watching ’24’. I know this because of those distorted time-signal pips that infest that TV show, while they do the split-screen-aren’t-we-clever bit. Cheap earbuds for him too.
Also, he kept sniggering at how bad Kiefer Sutherlands acting is. Dead giveaway.