Ear Bud Hazard

iPodThe other day I was walking down the sidewalk, close behind a woman wearing an iPod. That in itself isn't such an noteworthy occurance for I have been known, on occasion that is, to actually walk a tad.

It's true!

Like from my office to the parkade, from the car door to my front door... you know; that inconvenient thingy some people call "exercise".

Anyway, what made it noteworthy was that it got me thinking about the hazards of wearing an iPod-like-device in public.

We've all read about the potential for hearing loss, ear infections or being distracted from treacherous traffic conditions... yada, yada, yada.

But I have now discovered the WORST menace yet from wearing ear buds among the general population. And I shall forgo the fame and fortune I would most certainly garner by publishing my findings in some Hoity-Toity Scientific Journal™ to instead announce it here as a public service to all three of my loyal readers.

The absolute most wretched danger from wearing ear buds is:

The wearer not realizing they're singing horribly off-key at the top of their lungs to an awful song they don't even know the words to.

At least it's incredibly hazardous to those of us forced to listen whilst walking behind them.

* The HTSJ is apparently the best one. Or so they claim.

20 People would rather be commenting:

MYM said...

That is a Hazard. Luckily for me no ear bud is small enough to fit in my ears ... the only part of my body that's petite.

Anonymous said...

I cringed as I read this post: I think I might be one of those people who sing along to my iPod in public. I hope I am generally on key, singing the correct lyrics, but hey, how would I know? Nobody's tapping me on the shoulder to tell me, are they?

Kevin said...

The trick is to listen to (and then repeat out loud, like you would sing along with a song) famous speeches. Your confident, thundering statement, "We have nothing to fear but FEAR ITSELF" will serve to soothe and reassure everyone else on the escalator.

DJ Kirkby said...

Lol and here I was worrying about damage to our son's ears when really it is damage to our ears I should be concerned about!

Jack Steiner said...

I have been stuck behind that guy/girl more times than I like to think about.

ReformingGeek said...

I used to sit next to someone at work that did that. We would have to get his attention and ask him to stop singing. He didn't even realize how loud he was.

I'll admit to doing that sometimes while I'm running but I try to make sure nobody is around!

Ed said...

I have experienced those hazards. Painful indeed.

JoJo said...

Well I think that's true of all earphone devices. When my hubby has an earworm and plays the CD on his laptop computer w/ the earphones on, I am subjected to his already off-key voice, even louder and more off-key. :S

Maureen said...

Drowsey Monkey: Ah, Daughter has the same problem; there is only one make of earphones she can wear... the real Apple ones. So as you can see, I get he Sony set and give her mine when she wears out hers.

Pinklea: Ha! Well, maybe you're good enough to be entertaining your crowd, so no tapping is necessary. Although I severely wanted to tap that woman on HER shoulder and tell her to shut up!

Kevin: Now there's a great idea! Ha!

DJ Kirby: See? Someone has benefitted from my discovery already.... ;)

Jack: My condolences! Har!!

Reforming Geek: Oh my. Outside is one thing; but indoors in an office??? Yikes!!!

Ed: Sounds like an epidemic. Dammit. I should have published my findings.

Jo-Jo: Okay, visions of The Wrath Of Khan come to mind at the mention of an "Earworm"... Ick!!

Oh my Lady Banana: I would be so embarassed! I will sing in the car alone, but on public transit?? Holy crap...

Swubird said...


Funny, but absolutely true. I was in Borders this morning. My Queen and I were sitting quietly reading and enjoying a little cool drink. Suddenly, a lady sits down beside me, opens up a magazine and commences to sing along with her iPod! Now, I wondered, how can a person read a magazine, listen to music an iPod and sing all at the same time? Astounding.

Happy trails.

JC said...

Ha! That might have been me you were walking behind.....and I'll have you know that I'm an excellent singer! :o)

Stumbled across your blog quite by accident......and I love it!

jay said...

Awful, isn't it? I can't sing to save my life, but I know better than to try to do it in public. In my car with the windows closed, yes, but never outside it!

But that's not the only hazard with earbuds etc. They often make people oblivious to their surroundings, so you get doors swung in your face if you follow too close behind them - not that you're likely to, with them singing like that, but still..

And watch out for sudden stops and changes of direction, and never stand within eighteen inches of any apparently-comatose-but-earbudded bodies, in case they start to dance on the spot. Ouch.

Karen MEG said...

I think you should still publish it in the Hoity Toity (LOL!). More people need to know!

I love the look here, Maureen, I guess it's been a while since I've been by...

Badass Geek said...

I catch myself tapping out the beat on any available surface. Perhaps not as entertaining as singing off-key, but it definitely can get annoying.

Louise said...

I could rant about this forever. Not just that, but how idiotic people can be when they have them on. Maybe I'll do a post someday. Poor you! You should have given said person a dirty look. (One of my pet peeves is the dirty looks I get from such said people.)

Maureen said...

Swubird: Oh my! In Borders!!! That's just inconsiderate. I am surprised no one asked her to be quiet.

Oh Hi JC!!! Glad you stumbled... er, across my blog that is. And I am sure you ARE a good singer. If I were following you, I certainly wouldn't have cringed. ;)

Jay: Ahahahaha! An impromptu dance number; now THAT's what she needed!!! And yes, I save my singing for the car too; and only when I am travelling solo.

Aw, thanks KarenMeg! Yes, I shall have to investigate the submission guidelines for the HTSJ methinks...

Badass Geek: It all depends... do you have rhythm? What are you tapping on? And most importantly, what song are you tap, tap, tapping? These are all variables in determining the annoyance factor, you know.

Louise: I WOULD have given her my best dirty look (I have many...) but alas, she was walking ahead of me. Short of running in front of her, cutting her off and waving profusely to garner her attention, she was oblivious to anyone around her.

Jill said...

Oh yes. It's a reincarnation of the very same hazard of the Walkman - I remember it well!

Maureen said...

Jill: I wonder how far back this phenomenon really goes; I mean, did people in the 70s carrying huge ghetto blasters on their shoulders have the same affliction??? Probably.

Cupcake Blonde said...

*holds hand up* Guilty. However, I never sing off-key. I do not always know the words though. :)

Maureen said...

Vegas Princess: Well, as long as you can sing, I GUESS you're innocent. We'll just call it "entertaining the masses".

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