Friday, October 05, 2007

it's a bad day if i awaken in a good mood

I woke up today in a good mood.

I even got out of the house on time and relished the lovely weather--unseasonably warm!

I managed to choose the perfect spot on the train platform to stand at because when the train stopped, the door lined up right in front of me, so i got on first and had my pick of the best seats.

I sat down, fished out my monthly pass and settled down with an excellent and captivating graphic novel, in which I was engrossed for several minutes.

And then I heard it.

It was low and gutteral and came at me in unexpected bursts from the seat directly behind me. The train is nearly silent in the a.m., so every time it tore through my tranquility with a rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrip, I'd cringe and sit up straighter in annoyance. This woman had sat behind me before, destroying my peaceful morning ride with her just-when-you-thought-she-was-done-oh-wait-she's-not throat clearing. But I didn't know what she looked like to avoid her. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against throat clearing, sneezing or even repeated coughing. People need to do what they need to do. It's just hers that I cannot withstand: Quiet and painfully drawn out, not unlike the opening of candy wrappers reaaaaaallly sloooooowly in a darkened theater in hopes that no one will notice. And what's worse is that, to me, her particular throat-clearing sounds a lot like the noises very small children make when they're having difficulty trying to fill a diaper.

It took every atom of energy I had for nearly 35 minutes not to turn around and yell at the top of my lungs: LISTEN LADY, APPARENTLY YOU HAVE SOMETHING IN YOUR THROAT. WHY DON'T YOU PUT SOME EFFORT INTO COUGHING IT OUT AND DO SO IN AN ABRUPT, ALBEIT LOUD, MANNER? YOUR METHOD IS DRIVING ME FRICKING BALLISTIC! But instead I sat there, eyes glazed over, pretending to read but contemplating exactly how I'd word my bitter, hateful blog diatribe against her.

And then suddenly, it had been nearly ten minutes without a single rumble. I started to panic. What if throat lady could read minds and heard all the nasty things I was thinking about her? What if she's actually got an untreatable medical condition that causes her to annoy fellow human beings (the guy she was with was rocking some hugeass noise-canceling headphones)? What if this was the one incident that was pushed me completely into the Definitely Going To Hell category? I resumed full concentration on my book, and tried to think nice, apologetic thoughts.

But then she did it again. Just to piss me off. And the rest of my day hasn't been right since.


Michelle said...

That *is* one of the most irritating things. And it seems to only happen on trains. It's right up there with teenagers who, like, totally, can't, like, finish a sentence without, like, totally saying like. And then they add the shrill laughter at the end of every sentence, just to send you over the edge....argh!!

Becky said...

It's funny how little things like that can spoil a good mood- she probably had no idea! lately Pops has been doing this gross slurpy-sucking noise when he eats. it's so annoying that it makes me want to move out.

Sphincter said...

I hate that type of shit! Stupid throat-clearers! They are right up there with the stupid loud gum chewers. And the stupid people who turn newspaper and magazine pages by grinding the paper between overly dry fingers a few times! Damn them!

omar said...

It's like my wife around snifflers. She can't stand it, and will not be able to concentrate on anything else until the sniffler either blows his/her nose, or she gets out of earshot.

Anyway, sorry the throat-clearer ruined what started off being a good day.

Anonymous said...

I also take the train to work.

The worst thing is when 3 or 4 people are going downtown on a shopping spree and have never been on the train before.




Just ruins my nap time.

jazz said...

chewing gum loudly has the same effect on me.

it makes me almost murderous.

Beenzzz said...

You should have turned around and punched her in the nose. Sorry...PMS. Anyway, that would have driven me up a frickin' wall. Especially today!

Syar said...

The minute you start thinking people can read your thoughts, it turns out to be the exact opposite. But I've been caught in that dilemma. Dislodge thing in throat with a series of successive min-coughs, or scare the bejeezus out of everyone and dislodge it with one long, drawn out hack?

Almost makes me think we should all wear noise-cancelling headphones everywhere we go.

Lia said...

Highly annoying. If she just can't help it, she should take a cab. Or work from home. Or take some other measures to be more sensitive to the public.

Sometimes a good book can block that stuff out. Sorry it didn't work this time.

Jon said...

This is precisely why I carry around a pad and pen. In your instance, I would have written out a detailed letter, explaining what and why I was being annoyed. I then pass the letter, the person gets the message and all is well. It's subtle and effective. I know what you're thinking, but don't worry, I also carry around a braille embosser because I am sensitive to the fact that not everyone has sight. And in the rare case that I run into someone that is illiterate, I also incorporate a tiny chip in the upper right hand corner of the page that when held close to the ear can only be heard by the person holding the page. I've found this to be a pretty effective means to avoiding those little annoyances on the way to work.

ML said...

Throat clearing is extremely irritating to me. I'm surrounded by them at work and it drives me insane! I feel your pain.