Who knew? That stupid article about how to interrupt a woman wearing headphones has real legs, and is stirring up a lot of irritable snarling all over the place. One of the most interesting kinds of responses, though, is the horror story. This reaction by Alexandra Petri is beautiful, and sent chills down my spine.
You can talk to anyone, you tell yourself.
It is only a woman, you tell yourself.
But you know that it is not.
Women were something different.
Your comrade made the awful mistake of talking to the Woman Who Is Reading A Book On The Subway. You watched it happen.
He made her look up from the book and her basilisk eyes fell on him, unblinking, and he melted.
You still remember the screams.
They were so horrible that the city lay awake for days trying to forget them.
Yesterday half your comrades were ordered to shout “Smile!” at the Woman Who Is Walking.
And the woman did. Too wide.
So wide that her mouth engulfed the street and became a vast cavern.
Six of your friends were devoured.
You could hear the unladylike slurping sounds from blocks away as you beat a hasty retreat between the Scylla of the Woman Who Has Put Her Bag Next To Her On A Bar Stool and the Charybdis of the Woman Who Is Just Jogging.
You did not attempt to speak to either of them.
They passed you.
You were left unscathed.
You are about to talk to the Woman in Headphones.
My God, I pity you.
You are close now. Almost in range.
Before The Woman and behind her the ground is littered with shoes and hats and pick-up manuals and AXE body spray.
She sits patiently gnawing on a thigh bone.
You do not think she is single or looking.
You cannot make out the words she is listening to.
You know how this will go.
You know what the headphones mean.
You know what will happen when you ask her to remove the headphones.
Read the whole thing. It’s bone-chilling beauty. Like women, apparently.