What do earphones do? Do they keep unwanted noise from people so that you can listen to music and not disturb others? Maybe. I think what they really do is block out the outside world. That is certainly why I use them. But some people don't get that. I'm always amazed at how some people don't see the obvious FUCK OFF's that I put out there. I'm reading a book on a train? People will start asking me questions like "Does this train stop at London Bridge?" or "Does this train not stop at London Bridge?" while completely ignoring the people around me who are just sitting there doing nothing but waiting for death. I'm walking down the street talking on my phone? People will come up to me and ask ridiculous questions like "Do you have the time?" or "Does this train stop at London Bridge?" I'M ON THE PHONE, DICKHEAD. ASK SOMEONE ELSE.
So let me ask that question again. What do earphones do? They tell you to FUCK OFF, that's what earphones do. If you see anyone wearing earphones then that is a shut shop. Go elsewhere. We're closed.
A young lady in Charing Cross station last night did not understand that simple rule. She didn't understand a lot of things.
I may have got pointlessly angry at the girl from 1992 last weekend because she had the audacity to be young but she was never rude. She was incredibly polite. But this fuckhead was obviously born before 1992 (like 1988. Same year as The Travelling Wilbury's album. Well done, dick) and she was just rude, rude, rude. She stood toooooooo close, that's already wrong, and said "Where's the Piccadilly Line?" I had earphones in my head. I did what anyone in my position would do. I ignored her. If she can't see that she's being told to FUCK OFF by two bits of plastic then that's her problem. Then she said it a bit louder. "Where's the Piccadilly Line?"
What the fuck has happened to excuse me and please? Is that just not hip?
I took my earphones out and said "Pardon me?" I genuinely, and stupidly, thought that if I showed some manners then she might display some too. What a big eejit I am, eh? "Where's the Piccadilly Line?"
I just sighed and said "There is no Piccadilly Line at this station". She then asked what I meant.
Yep. It was a tricky concept and I certainly didn't expect her to grasp it. Then I told her she needed to go up one stop on the Northern Line to Leicester Square and change there. She walked away.
What? She just walks away? No "Thank you"? Not even an "Right" or an "Oh"? She just walks away? My earphones were in. Earphones mean FUCK OFF. You can't just break into my world and then be rude. So, I went after her.
I tapped her on the shoulder and said "You're not even going to say thank you?" and she did it. She fucking did it. The rudest, most annoying thing you can do. She rolled her eyes and sucked her teeth. I fucking hate that noise. Who the hell came up with that? She walked away and I, a man in his 40's, shouted "You fucking cunt". The look on her face was emotionless. Totally blank. Like she hadn't registered someone shouting "you fucking cunt" at her because it happens every single day of her life. She walked on and away while I had to remain standing there and continue being The Man Who Just Shouted Cunt on the concourse of Charing Cross Station.
People often wonder why I get angry at rude people and my answer is always the same: there's no need to be rude and I'm just pointing out that rudeness shouldn't be tolerated. But when I meet someone like that I can see their point. There is no point in getting angry with someone like her because no matter what you do, no matter what you say, she just won't get it. She is the most important person in the world and has no idea how trivial she is. You could kick her in the face every day for a year but she still wouldn't get that being rude is wrong. That doesn't mean that you shouldn't kick her in the face every day for a year. But the result for her will always be the same: someone has got angry for no reason and she can just walk away and forget about it while they stay fuming.
I stayed fuming.
Luckily, I had Roundtable at 6 Music to do that night. I turned up to the studio all tense from a 10 second encounter with a bastard but it would soon all go. Roundtable is a brilliant fun radio show to do. Andrew Collins hosted and his guests were Midge Ure, Sean Rowley and me. The three of us listened to new records and Andrew asked our opinions. I'm so happy to say that I have something in common with the ex-lead singer of Ultravox and the founder of Guilty Pleasures: we all hate everything. The records just got panned. Even when we were being positive we were saying they were shit. You can listen to it here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/6music/shows/roundtable/features/listeners-roundtable/
Midge seemed like a nice man and Sean was just fantastic company. He is a great talker. Someone who obviously soaks up information and then can't wait to share it with you. Even when he's talking about constellation therapy, where you are coaxed to go deep within your mind and have conversations with long dead relatives, you didn't feel like "Oh no! He's a nutter". It was more "Brilliant! He's a nutter!" A really fun, lovely man. I wonder if I'll ever see him again?
Andrew and I went out and got drunk. Not just drunk, putting-the-world-to-rights drunk. We solved the world's problems with religion, atheism, war and Mums over too much beer. Well too much beer for us. We even had a chat with Dave Rotheray. Later we were joined by Liz Buckley (would have been earlier but I gave her the wrong address) and, as she's a woman, we pretended to be sober for a while. Didn't work.