If You Sing On Public Transportation, We Can't Be Friends

Few people are more inconsiderate than those who force a captive audience of fellow passengers to listen to them.

Jul 18, 2013 at 4:00pm | Leave a comment

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Two months ago, an American Airlines plane made an emergency landing when a woman refused to stop singing Whitney Houston songs at the top of her lungs. She was still defiantly belting "I Will Always Love You" as the police took her away.

Some said the emergency landing was an overreaction to nonthreatening behavior, but I felt a sense of satisfaction as I read about the ordeal. If I had been a passenger on that flight, I would've gladly accepted the consequent delay in order to remove her from the plane and, hopefully, teach her a lesson.

That lesson: YOU ARE THE WORST.

Pardon my hyperbole, but there is nothing more inconsiderate than singing on a mass-transit vehicle.

I'm not talking about legit(?) subway performers like Gypsy Trane or that accordion player whose change-cup-carrying wife is always nine months pregnant. I'm referring to passengers who think it's OK to sing whatever song is on their mind at the moment, completely disregarding the aural comfort of other commuters.

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Madeline wants you to know that she would never sing out loud on the subway. She was, however, singing Mandy Moore's "Candy" when we took this picture.

Taking the subway every day, I encounter these asshats on a pretty regular basis. There was the woman sitting in a corner seat singing gospel tunes softly but noticeably; the intimidatingly large man rapping incoherently in front of the doors; the happy-go-lucky-looking guy singing along to whatever was playing on his earbuds.

That last dude -- he's the worst of the worst. He seems to understand that boomboxes are frowned upon on the subway, so he's wearing headphones so only he has to hear what he's listening to; but singing along defeats the purpose, forcing the captive audience of fellow passengers to listen to not just his choice of music, but a really bad a cappella rendition of it.

Even if you're a great singer, it's still not OK. I can sing, but I don't have the gall to break into song in a public place just because I have a pleasant voice. It's not the quality of the voice that matters; it's the fact that, because of one selfish person's whims, we're being forced to hear for a sustained period of time something we didn't volunteer to listen to.

People singing on public transportation cause me such grief that I've seriously considered ordering mini cards from moo.com with this message on them:

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I'd hand them to the offending "vocalists" as I exit the train and hope they don't follow me off and beat the ever-loving shit out of me, even though a there's a tiny part of me that kind of wants to do that to them. (I put the "fist" in pacifist.)

And don't even get me started about whistling. It's never OK to whistle. Anywhere. Ever.

Am I the only one that gets this irritated about people who sing in confined public places? Are you one of those DGAF singers?