Teenagers up and down the country are bemoaning a new fad of reading out loud that seems to be sweeping through the senior citizen population. With half-term approaching it is feared that this behaviour could drive more and more teenagers from the buses and force them to walk all the way to the nearest Gregg’s pasty shop.
"It’s, like, so, like, rude. Innit?" said Chardonnay, 14 from Plumstead in South London. "We is like on the 96, right? Few of us girls. Innit? And we are trying to listen to Shabney’s music. She got the volume right up on her phone but we don’t hear, like, nothin’ ‘cos of, like, some old dear at the, back, reading aloud some rubbish about a bitches’ Detective Agency in Africa."
The phenomena is seen to be the latest step in anti-social behaviour on public transport and something else that delay-weary passengers must contend with.
"It really is quite terrible now," said one middle-aged commuter who didn’t want to be named
"When I have sloped off work early I often have to share my train with old and young people alike. A couple of years ago we would be whizzing through the country listening to the tinny screeching of Chris Brown, or Rhianna, from a mobile phone. Now it’s all people reading sections from ‘Captain Correlli’s Mandolin’ and bits from discarded copies of the Metro at the tops of their voices."
Many commuters find that middle-aged people have taken to the habit of playing audio books through their speakerphones.
"It’s like sitting in Stephen Fry’s living room sometimes," said a commuter. "I have to bring a dictionary with me now just to know if something is rude."
However some of the teenagers said that the disruption caused by older members of society wasn’t all bad as it gave them a rare insight into literature, something that would otherwise be unattainable to them.
"No one at my home can read nothing. Apart from maybe text messages, right?" said Derrington, 15 from Kidbrooke. "Although if one is totally honest one would prefer less about ‘Come Dancing’ and more contemporary cultural references and insights into the human condition. Like."
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