The Spillover Factor
This occurs when one replaces the detestable Apple earbuds with a cheap but decent-sounding set of external earphones. These cheapies may work well enough, but if you turn up the volume, everyone around you is unwillingly subjected to whatever you're listening to with annoying clarity. Take this morning, for example: I bopped into my office building, grinning happily over my Red Hot Chili Peppers, when I noticed that the nice gay man with whom I shared the elevator looked as if he were about to either A) cry, or B) slap me like the bitch that I am. I was confused and dismayed at first; if anyone loves me, it's the gays. What could possibly be amiss? And then it dawned on me...the problem here was The Spillover Factor. I guess the repetitive chorus of "I wanna party on your pussy" just wasn't quite what the nice gay man wanted to hear first thing in the morning. Oops. Sorry 'bout that.
The Ass Factor
Let's be honest, people...we all fart in public sometimes. We all know it. Don't bother lying. And the trick to public flatulence is, of course, not getting caught. So we exercise the highest possible degree of sphincter control, in order to ensure that the release is as quiet as possible. Fine. But sometimes, you inadvertently release what I call a sneaker. You do everything you're supposed to, you think it's gonna be silent, and it comes out sounding like you sat on a giant bullhorn-wielding duck. The key then becomes blame deflection. You immediately turn to the nearest person with a look of horrified disgust. If need be, you can even get up and move away from the scene of the crime, casting annoyed glances back over your shoulder, thereby causing witnesses to assume that it was that poor bastard rather than you who just smoked out the subway car/elevator/Armani store/what have you.
But Helen, how does this relate to me, and the volume of my iPod? Good question. Think about it: If your volume's turned up too loud, you're gonna be the only one who doesn't know you blew a sneaker. Thus, no chance of employing necessary blame-deflection techniques. Thus...you are so, SO busted.
This public service announcement brought to you by The Who, Giorgio Armani, and the gay guy who works on the 22nd floor.