I, Anonymous

Hey Ferry Singer

It began as a typical weeknight crossing. A few people sitting around the galley talking, the galley staff mopping, some tourists leafing through magazines and looking out at the lights on shore, you sitting quietly at a table. Then you opened your guitar case and began strumming, then strumming louder, then singing out loudly some nonmelodious trilling lyrics made incomprehensible by your falsetto tremolo. And it was the same bar played over and over, the sounds bouncing off the windows on the other side of the boat. But you were mistaken: It wasn't your "music" people wanted to hear—they wanted you to shut the hell up, or at least to moderate your volume so you weren't as intrusive into their space. A lot of the people on that boat were tired after a long workday and just wanted a little peace and quiet. They, and I, sure didn't want to be subjected to your presumptuous narcissism and clattering attempt to offer a soothing fucking peaceful song to ease their journey—especially since your shrill scraping vocals sounded less like a lullaby than it was like hearing someone throw a bunch of Joni Mitchell albums into a wood chipper being dragged behind the Partridge Family bus as it careens through a crowd of children at Folklife. You're like the rude neighbor who is surprised and confused that their attempt to "purge" the apartment hallway of "bad vibes" with their fucking incense isn't received with joyful thanks by everyone else on the floor. Do the rest of us—including the hardworking men and women of Washington State Ferries who also wanted you to shut up, but couldn't say anything—a favor and shut the hell up. Thanks, and peace—and fucking quiet.


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Comments (48) RSS

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Theodore Gorath 1
I am glad I live in a rude east coast city and do not have to put up with this type of crap because a boat full of people are too scared to tell one dude to shut the fuck up.
Posted by Theodore Gorath on February 19, 2014 at 11:12 AM · Report this
Earplugs are a great and inexpensive way to sidestep the annoying bus/train/ferry shouters/proselytizers/mentally unbalanced... except that if there's an emergency and they announce it over the intercom, you're screwed. I'm wondering though--in passive aggressive Seattle, did anyone think to ask the moron with the guitar to kindly STFU? Or, did you mutter under your breath and whisper to each other about how annoying this person was? See, I'm from the East Coast (but lived in Seattle for eleven years) and I don't have a problem (usually) with letting people know they're being douche nozzles. Of course, in this day and age the guitar crooner could be armed with a gun or something...
Posted by DrummerGrrl on February 19, 2014 at 11:20 AM · Report this
If his playing and singing was as bad as your attempt to be clever with your writing it must have been unbearable. The Joni Mitchell thing leading to the Partridge Family thing was torture. But much like he probably thought he was talented and creative you too probably thought you'd woven a masterpiece.
Posted by Cletus on February 19, 2014 at 2:17 PM · Report this
So the ferry workers couldn't say anything to him, but as other posters have pointed out, you could have. But you decided to make a try for being printed in I,Anon instead.

And yes, people who play their music on public transportation suck ass. Nobody wants to hear that shit.
Posted by treehugger on February 19, 2014 at 2:45 PM · Report this
you are a pussy, anon
Posted by joemomma on February 19, 2014 at 2:52 PM · Report this
I would think that, as a Ferry employee, you actually could (and should) say something..."sorry dude, this isn't a campfire. You need to put that away and respect the other passengers' right to peace and quiet. Thanks. "
Posted by portland scribe on February 19, 2014 at 2:57 PM · Report this
Simple 7
He might have been doing a siren song that could have attracted an Orca,or a mermaid/man, or a unicorn, leprechan, clean coal factory? You don't know.
Posted by Simple on February 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM · Report this
Any ferry ride is a short one. If you didn't want to hear this persons performance, go back to your car or move to the other side of the ferry. There are people who want to experience being in a public place "performing" their music. I would like to be a music performer one day and the thought of being in front of a crowd watching me is like the worst nightmare imaginable. This person needs confirmation, not your negative attitude that he is "disturbing your ride".
Posted by longwayhome on February 19, 2014 at 8:39 PM · Report this
Seattlebcc 9
Remember that folks, the first amendment only applies when you are not tired and trapped on a HUGE ferry that has ample floors and space to move too! God Bless America and her Bill of Rights!
Posted by Seattlebcc on February 20, 2014 at 7:27 AM · Report this
Throw him overboard.
Posted by meb on February 20, 2014 at 9:06 AM · Report this
@9 -- Actually, people are not allowed to play music on public transportation (i.e., buses) without headphones. How is this different? And why does everyone else have to move just because this person is a d-bag?
Posted by lawdawg47 on February 20, 2014 at 12:32 PM · Report this
wow grumpy people here! If you have an issue with something, say something. Also, I find it tiring when a grumpy person claims to speak for a whole crowd of people that they imagine are silently agreeing with them. They may or may not agree. Your issue with the singer guy is your issue, not OUR issue. I like it when wierd stuff like this happens. If you dont, tell him to STFU, but dont imagine that youre standing up for me.
Posted by JonCracolici on February 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM · Report this
mtnlion 13
@9, you are making a frustratingly common error regarding public nicety and norms.

Just because one has the constitutional right to be loud/annoying/obnoxious doesn't mean they should be. I have the legal right to fart on little children's heads as I pass them, but I almost never do, because it's not very nice. And anon is also within his/her rights to tell Shitty Guitar player to STFU--why anon didn't do that is beyond me. I'd probably pull the nice, quiet Washingtonian "can you keep it down please?" move with the lowering-of-the-hand gesture.

It's pretty simple. There are your formal rights (the ones you see in a textbook, hear interpreted by pundits to serve their own interests and political beliefs, and hopefully regurgitate if you get arrested) and then there are fluid rules (much more real and respectable and applicable day-to-day) about how to be a normal fucking human.
Posted by mtnlion on February 20, 2014 at 4:32 PM · Report this
When my sister was in a full-blown manic episode, she walked around Seattle with her guitar that she didn't know how to play, and strummed it loudly and sang everywhere she went. Maybe this person on the ferry was mentally handicap or perhaps going through an episode themselves. My advice: Be nice to people. You never know what they're dealing with.
Posted by snootergirl on February 20, 2014 at 4:44 PM · Report this
Good grief, I, Anon, it's a fucking FERRY, get the fuck up off your lazy fat ass and walk yourself to a different part of the boat.
Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on February 20, 2014 at 6:58 PM · Report this
Oh, and by the way, cut the dude some slak, he was probably will into a big PILE OF COCAINE and a case of MALT LIQUOR.

Posted by Arthur Zifferelli on February 20, 2014 at 7:05 PM · Report this
Zifferelli's BACK!!!!
Posted by Iheartziffy on February 21, 2014 at 8:48 AM · Report this
You had a yell down war hell ride.
Posted by Birdman Kicked My Ass on February 21, 2014 at 12:24 PM · Report this
Y.F. Redux 19
So nobody had a tazer or pepper spray?
Posted by Y.F. Redux on February 21, 2014 at 7:21 PM · Report this
This is one of those instances where I can see being annoyed, but I can't see myself actually taking the time to craft an I, Anonymous post about it.
Posted by happy time on February 22, 2014 at 9:45 AM · Report this
Badger 21
Whatever happened to politely asking someone to tone it down?
Posted by Badger on February 22, 2014 at 2:13 PM · Report this
why is everyone assuming it's a dude? There's nothing in the letter that specifies gender.
Posted by singsong on February 22, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this
@8 you said - "if you didn't want to hear this persons performance, go back to your car or move to the other side of the ferry. There are people who want to experience being in a public place "performing" their music."

First, why do I have to go sit in my car in the hold? Why can't this "artist" go sit in his/her car and play?

Second, there are open mic nights galore. And why does this person's practice performance have to be on people who are not there for that purpose?

Sorry, I'm with Anon.
Posted by westello on February 22, 2014 at 5:10 PM · Report this
Posted by Gern Blanston on February 22, 2014 at 5:48 PM · Report this
Ferry workers tell loud idiots to shut the hell up all the time. You might have to ask them to, but I have witnessed it more than once.
Posted by leighzbohns on February 22, 2014 at 6:28 PM · Report this
@14 people who have mental disorders that are disordering the space around them should not be allowed to just "go through" whatever they're going through. People who are in mental crisis need treatment, immediately. And while I've had a few choice words for the mental health care system in Washington state, I also think that the reluctance for people to use those services are part of what keep them from being improved and monitored.

This isn't about tolerance, it's about neglect. People who are so fucking annoying that they can't comprehend their violation of social norms are actually excellent candidates for psychiatric help. It's an ugly process because the seeking of treatment is more stigmatized than being a public nuisance.
Posted by stilettov on February 22, 2014 at 8:08 PM · Report this
@8: Is it even possible to sit in your car on a ferry? I was under the impression that the crew want all passengers on deck in case the ship starts sinking, for whatever reason. Everybody's on deck where life jackets are readily available, and not trapped in a car that is rapidly submerging.
Posted by Jared Bascomb on February 22, 2014 at 8:40 PM · Report this
doloresdaphne 28
To I anon (and everyone else who feels I anon's pain); I feel your pain.

I want to live in a world where people feel free to play music in public, but I also want to live in a world in which there aren't so many over confident, entitled 'musicians' who think what they have to offer is more important than what's already going on in peoples' heads.

Fact. Most noise pollution is caused by men in their 20's & 30's. Old enough to feel entitlement, but not old enough to be out of their adolescent self absorption. (Don't believe me, do an audit).
Posted by doloresdaphne on February 22, 2014 at 9:11 PM · Report this
@28 or psychologically challenged narcissists. This sounds like a case of mental illness to me, less like S Train syndrome.
Posted by stilettov on February 22, 2014 at 9:38 PM · Report this
Protip people: NEVER get on ANY form of public transportation WITHOUT YOUR HEADPHONES. You will invariably sit in front of a teenager on a cell phone or someone like this "singer".
Posted by chi_type on February 22, 2014 at 10:28 PM · Report this
@27 You haven't ridden the ferry system very much, obviously. There are no rules for where you have to be when the ferry is in motion. Never, in the history of the Wash. State Ferry System has any ferry sunk, unless you count the Kalakala which is not a ferry anymore but a derelict hulk sitting in Tacoma awaiting a wealthy donor to rebuild her.
Posted by longwayhome on February 22, 2014 at 11:45 PM · Report this
Catalina Vel-DuRay 32
If everything is so wonderful on the east coast, why are all these east coasters out here telling us how inferior we are?
Posted by Catalina Vel-DuRay on February 23, 2014 at 8:13 AM · Report this
@27 you can totally sit in your car. Although I guarantee you that some motherfucker's car alarm will go off on every trip.

Regarding "musicians" who do this kind of shit: your "performance" to a captive audience is an asshole power trip. If people don't have the option to leave the area, you are a dick for making noise in it.
Posted by Real Musicians Don't Do This on February 23, 2014 at 8:37 AM · Report this
When I saw the title of this I Anon I hoped, for one brief shining moment, that it wouldn't be yet another unfunny, passive-aggressive complaining I Anon.

Ah, well. Maybe next week.
Posted by random_lez on February 23, 2014 at 10:11 AM · Report this
@8 40 min is short?

You and him both sound entitled.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on February 23, 2014 at 6:44 PM · Report this
@ 10 FTW
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on February 23, 2014 at 6:45 PM · Report this
@35 You sound like a person with no patience. A tail gater, you probably change lanes on the freeway just to get ahead of the asshole in front of you that is a bit slow on the merge. You ride the ferry and you start your engine 15 min. before the ferry docks and sit there with the brake released and the car in drive. Meditate, take a deep breath, enjoy the scenery. Sheesh!
Posted by longwayhome on February 23, 2014 at 7:04 PM · Report this
I do meditate daily and I don't merge on the highway unless I got to I'm strictly right lane.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on February 24, 2014 at 12:53 AM · Report this
It's called an open mic night, go sing there.
Posted by dkjndmsahksdhksal on February 24, 2014 at 12:59 AM · Report this
The singer uses a guide dog and uses the guitar case as passive panhandling technique. It would be opening a giant can of worms to insist that she stop.
Posted by yup we received complaints on February 25, 2014 at 9:02 AM · Report this
There is a Federal Law pertaining to this issue. It's a Federal Law called Law of Encroachment meant to address such issues.
Posted by GPW on February 25, 2014 at 11:07 AM · Report this
Dear Insufferable New Yorker,

I've been to New York and I'm pretty sure there are all sorts of street performers/dance troupes performing in every fucking subway car on Manhattan. I've never seen a proud "rude east coaster" like yourself tell any of them to STFU. They all sit there and take it, just like we do in Seattle.

Get over yourself or move back to New York.

-Cowering Seattle Ferry Rider
Posted by Marklarmarklar on February 25, 2014 at 11:12 AM · Report this
I do regularly practice Concertina and try out ideas on the ferry, but only on the top weather deck. An essential etiquette of busking should be not to play where an audience is confined and you were not invited to do so.

Busking (no matter how badly) is protected speech, but you can politely ask them to take it else where they don't disturb others. You might just give them some important feedback.

Posted by Ducky loves on February 25, 2014 at 2:34 PM · Report this
Texas10R 44
How lucky for the wayward troubadour he/she wasn't in Florida – I hear that "stand your ground" law can be hazardous to providers of unappreciated loud music in unexpected public places.
Posted by Texas10R on February 25, 2014 at 4:10 PM · Report this
@38 & 39 Undecipherable comments.
Posted by longwayhome on February 25, 2014 at 9:09 PM · Report this
Texas10R 46

Comment 39 suggests the solo musician avail himself, or herself, of one of the local "open mic" events at which such persons are actually INVITED and EXPECTED to punish or delight the audience, and the other attending musical participants, with their entertaining (or not) offerings.

This would be an appropriate venue, rather than foisting your "talents" on the unsuspecting, and apparently disgruntled, captive audience of a moving boat.

Now the comment is deciphered.
Posted by Texas10R on February 26, 2014 at 6:38 AM · Report this
Attention Seattle: you are confusing Snark with Wit, again.

It does not make you seen hip or clever.
Ref. 'douchebag'.

That is all.
Posted by Tard on February 26, 2014 at 3:07 PM · Report this
Posted by Yepyewbet on March 1, 2014 at 1:26 PM · Report this

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