Click on the blog-post title and it whisks you off to 'Etiquette on the Underground'. The two guys I asked to please turn down their music when we were all waiting for the Victoria line Underground train on Friday morning hadn't read about how to deal positively with a polite request.
One of them came over and gave me a shove when he grabbed my arm. He said 'How far away are you ?' (I was about two metres distant, and their 'rap' was up to no 10 on the scale.)
I walked away and turned my back, hoping that they would leave me alone. They came towards me again, so I pressed the big GREEN button on the platform-edge intercom marked 'Emergency'. I was explaining the situation (dangerous for me) to the control room guy - I left him as I said I wanted to get to work, and would be getting on the train which was just arriving.
This train terminated at the next station, a combined Underground and Overground (Railway) station. My usual journey was up an escalator and two flights of stairs, and only went to the Overground railway platform. I kept looking back to see if those two guys were following me (I was a little scared, to be honest, even though there were hundreds of people in the station.)
I walked to the very end of the platform (opposite the exit stairs at my destination). Usually there's no-one else there. And there wasn't on Friday morning. I took a deep breath and felt relieved that I'd got away from the two angry young dudes who'd not wanted to hear me ask them to turn down the music. I rang my partner to say how silly I'd been to start the whole thing off by asking perfect strangers to think of my well-being and adjust their volume. Just then, out of the corner of my eye I saw one of the guys. Standing right next to me on the platform edge. Smiling at me. No-one else there. S***.
I stayed on the 'phone, but she got very upset when I explained that I had those two angry guys for company. I told her that I'd try and move back down the platform, where I'd noticed a railway office. And I did. Somehow, and by shouting to the scores of people waiting for their train that I was being stalked by two guys behind me, I walked easily down the 50 metres to where a guard came out to see me. He went to talk to the two guys who seemed to want to teach me a lesson. They stayed up at the far end of the platform. I stayed down by the railway office. The railway guard came with me to my station up the line. No-one came to hurt me (those two guys didn't know where I intended to get off).
I was a nervous wreck for the next hour. Everyone was very nice to me at work. Offers of cups of tea came thick and fast. I got to hear everyone's stories about how their father/ brother/ sister was harassed by someone on a train platform. I had a normal day after that. It's in the past now.
So, what do I do next time ? Do I ignore the awful racket squawking out of a tiny mobile 'phone speaker ? Do I whip out my 'phone and put on The Grimethorpe Colliery band ( http://www.last.fm/music/Grimethorpe+Colliery+Band ) at no. ten ?
Well, on Friday afternoon I was reading upstairs on a no 279 bus. Two loud school-boys sat down opposite. One asked the other 'Put on some music ?' When he did, it was really loud, the usual volume. I looked them in the eye and said 'I'm trying to read my book.' They turned the volume down by half. I went back to reading (Andrew Marr on politics at Westminster, as reported by lobby correspondents over the past few decades, since you ask).
So, what have you done in that situation ? Do tell me, as I'm not sure what the correct thing is for all parties to do, when someone plays very loud music, etcetera . . .
POST-SCRIPT - I went to work again on Monday. I went down the stairs and stood again on the platform. I looked around. There were even fewer people sitting and standing today than on Friday. I was s***-scared, but no-one came to get me. I got on the train. I got off at the next station. I went up to the Overground platform. Nothing happened. I got on the Overground train and went to work. I came home. it's really finished. I can sleep soundly tonight. It's just my dreams which will be disturbed for a few weeks, but then the memory of being stalked will disappear, like a chimera. A happy ending, really . . .