The Silent Freak Show
I should have done this a long time ago but this past weekend I finally broke down and bought a pair of "sound isolating" ear buds for the IPod. Besides increasing the sound quality about 100X compared to the lame pair that came with it, these beauties block out the worst of the background noise. The sound quality is amazing too. I am hearing notes that I didn't know existed. Shure brand buds are highly recommended.
I am not the type to go around everywhere with an MP3 player. As a matter of fact, I rarely travel with my IPod preferring to have all the situational awareness that I can muster particularly on the commute to ground-zero. I detest the morons with the dreaded "screaming" earbuds. You know the ones, generally street urchins with their players turned up so loudly that you really have to wonder why they even bother with them in the first place.
The big reason for my purchase though was that I was pretty much fed-up with the crowd on my commuter bus especially on the ride home in the evening. The obnoxious cell phone chatter, the ridiculous ring tones, idle praise for the MIC, the guy who makes pig noises, the old fart that lets out a cough that would wake the dead just as you are trying to catch a nap. It definitely is the bar scene from StarWars; a freak show. Half of these people probably couldn't fine their way to the highway much less commute for an hour in their own vehicles.
Now I can set back in my acoustic cocoon and observe my fellow man. It's not pretty.