shut it

Two jabbermouths on the GO Train last week speaking three decibels higher than necessary in a public place. Everyone else is quiet. Some try to read, many wear headphones, watching videos, playing video games.

But these two. They think they have the right to let the whole train in on their incessant chatter. How the baby is getting weened off the bottle. How the dog only eats Swiss Chalet. How the wife hasn't lost all the pregnancy weight yet, but it's because she doesn't eat regularly, so she binges.

"Eating three large bags of chips in one sitting isn't reasonable. I'm a 220 lb man and I can't do that you know?"

Then GUY #2 starts up with his advice to GUY #1 on how to handle his wife when the baby starts to crawl.

"You gotta watch that. Believe me, she won't want him to touch anything, there's germs on this and there's germs on that. Mine was no better with the dog. Now the 100 lb lab needs to be hand fed because she coddled it so much. I mean really."

No. I mean really?

TMI guys. Too much information. Must you do this in public? Have you no sense of privacy? No respect for fellow commuters? Inside voices, please.

The following day, they were at the other end of the car so I only caught the last of their conversation as they were exiting the train.

"It's my ingrown toenail."
"Oh yeah. If you cut it too close, where the skin is thick you know, it can get infected."
"It's been like this for a while."
"How long?"
"A year maybe."
"A YEAR? You have to get that looked at."

Good grief.

Don't get me wrong, I've been told to shut up plenty of times - at the office carousing in the cubicles and disturbing others, on the balcony - usually late after several beverages have been consumed, once on a patio on Church street - years ago but I still remember this - a couple of gal pals I hadn't seen in a while got together and our laughter was reverberating off the buildings out back of the restaurant. It was 11:00 p.m. on a Friday night.

But the GO Train? Come on.

In an age where we, in North America, are online more than offline tweeting, skyping, facebooking, texting, MSN'ing through our days, one would think it might get a little quieter.

But it's no better on the subway. My colleague had a subway ride that was interrupted by two teens screaming curses at each other to a point that led a passenger to pull the emergency alarm. Subway stops. Driver gets on. What's the problem? No problem here Sir, not anymore.

I was on the streetcar once where the guy next to me, right next to me, in a two seater near the back, was trying to sort out his Rogers bill because he'd been out of the country for a for a year. He had all his credit card info, address, phone number, mother's maiden name out there on display. He'd been teaching in Korea and had changed addresses now and needed the service back up.

You can't read with that going on next to you.

Etiquette people. Try it on.

It's no wonder bands write songs about it. One of my favourites is Cake's Nugget, from Fashion Nugget.

The lyrics to the chorus are:

shut the fu*k up.
shut the f*ck up.
right now
learn to buck up.
shut the f*ck up.
right, shut the f*ck up
yeah, yeah
learn to buck up.

And the opening lyrics to the Black Eyed Peas song, Shut Up.

Shut up
Just shut up
Shut up [3x]
Shut it up, just shut up
Shut up
Just shut up
Shut up [3x]
Shut it up, just shut up

And of course, the chorus to Joe Dolce's classic 80's comedy song, Shut Uppa You Face.

What's-a matter you? Hey! Gotta no respect.
What-a you t'ink you do? Why you look-a so sad?
It's-a not so bad, it's-a nice-a place.
Ah, shaddap-a you face!

The youtube video has over 1.5 million views.

While in line to buy another GO pass, the woman behind me gives a speech on relationship woes to her troubled pal.

"You did this before, I'm just saying. I see the same thing happening and you can't let her get away with it again. She's gonna walk all over you if you let her. I'm just saying."

Maybe I should just shut up and ride my bicycle all year long.