The Worst Things I Was Forced To Hear When I Forgot My Headphones

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The Worst Things I Was Forced To Hear When I Forgot My Headphones

I legitimately don’t know how people functioned before the invention of portable music players and headphones. Every day when I leave my house, I plug my ear buds into my iPhone (through an aux port, the way god intended), and pull up Spotify (premium, I’m not a peasant) to find a playlist that fits my mood. I keep my headphones in for literally every single minute of my day that I’m not actively conversing with someone until I get home at night.

Having music playing in my ears at all times not only transforms my average day into a personal music video, it also acts as a shield defending me from all the gross, weird, and downright uncomfortable things I would have to hear in the city otherwise. Yesterday that all changed. I left the house in a hurry for an interview, and upon getting on the train, realized something was very wrong. I could hear. I could hear EVERYTHING. This is what I was forced to hear all day while I seriously contemplated dropping $30 on a new pair of buds just to survive.

An in depth conversation between two girls, comparing the dicks of the two guys one girl was seeing.

My interest in hearing about dicks decreases exponentially when it’s not about mine. I didn’t need to know that “John’s is bigger, but uncircumcised so it always tastes nasty.” I could have easily gone my whole life without that knowledge and died a happy man. But no, because of my lack of musical barrier, that fact is now stuck in my head. Every time I meet a John from here on out, I’m going to wonder if I’ve accidentally heard about his gross-tasting dick.

A man’s sad sales pitch asking for money to help cover his medical bills for his diabetes.

Anyone who’s ridden a train or subway has seen a version of this guy. He walks from car to car, panhandling for funds for his medical bills. I know he’s probably lying, but damn is it a lot easier to ignore his (probably fake) plight when I can’t hear what he’s saying. Also, my lack of headphones made me a target, and he made eye contact with me the whole time, knowing I couldn’t pretend I didn’t hear him. He was right. I gave him a few bucks.

One of those fucking Green Peace guys trying to guilt me into “saving the environment.”

Instead of just giving the universal “I can’t hear you” hand signal, I was forced to interact with this hemp wearing, rope-belted douchenozzle. Seeing my lack of headphones, he stepped directly into my path and aggressively asked me if I cared about saving the pandas, to which I gave a resounding “no.” He looked appalled, but that’s what he gets for asking dumb questions. I’ve seen pandas at the San Diego zoo and they’re the most boring animals alive. I believe in survival of the fittest, and I’m not wasting time or money trying to save an animal that is too lazy to have sex. I spend enough effort getting myself laid; I can’t be a wingman to awkward endangered animals as well.

Everyone else’s disgusting noises at the gym.

Working out without music is a goddamn nightmare. Not only do I not have the sweet melody of Ariana Grande Tiesto to pump me up and keep me in the zone, I can now hear every disgusting noise the human body can make from all around me. Without music, a gym is just a warehouse with great acoustics filled with the panting, snorting, and grunting of a hundred people. It was like I was Daredevil, and could pick up sounds that no one else could hear. The chunky dude running on the treadmill next to me? My ears were filled with the sounds of his thighs smacking together. The man on the bench next to me? There’s no need to be grunting like a Hungarian tennis player when you’re putting up 135 pounds. I could hear the weird, tuneless humming of a middle-aged woman doing yoga mixed with the cracks of the crossfit couple’s joints being ruined and it created a haunting and extremely distracting sound.

My own disgusting noises that gym.

Holy shit, I sound like I’m dying. I like to think of myself as pretty athletic, but after hearing what I sound like while pounding out a two-mile run, I know it’s a miracle I haven’t had a heart attack. 30 seconds in, I’m already wheezing like an asthmatic leaving a cigar shop and my knees sound like a giant bowl of Rice Krispies. It dawned on me that every time I thought a girl was checking me out at the gym, they were actually just praying that I didn’t collapse, die, and ruin their workout.

Someone playing Candy Crush on fucking max volume.

First of all, it’s 2016. The Candy Crush train is long gone, bro. Secondly, full fucking volume? Why? Do the dings and tiny explosion sounds really add to this game experience? You’re playing on a train sitting next to a hobo who has without a doubt shit himself. Are those stupid little candy noises really taking you away from all this and immersing you in the gaming experience? You’re playing a knockoff Bejeweled with a candy theme that tweens played for a few months in 2014. Out of everything I was forced to listen to all day, this was the one that almost broke me. I guarantee this guy also has his text keyboard set to make clicking noises and types away during meetings at work. His cubicle mate is one more silly game noise away from murdering him, and his wife is having an affair with a man who has a cell phone holder on his belt. I’ve never been more sure of anything in my life.

As you can see, it’s beneficial for everyone that I always have music to shield me from this horrible noisy world we live in. I’m never going anywhere without headphones again.

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