Monday, 26 November 2012

Slights Return.

It's bullshit, isn't it? Everywhere you go and everything you see, hear, taste, touch or kill is just such complete and utter bullshit. There is no God, this country is broken, music is awful, my shoulder hurts, it's always nearly Christmas, we could all be dead tomorrow, I have nothing in the fridge, half the world doesn't have a fridge, everyone who has ever voted ever has voted for the wrong person, BBC 3, Disney now own Star Wars, Studio Canal now owns Tron, there are only two types of people in the world and they're both cunts, puppies are cute and cows are food, Clare Balding, there's not enough cuddling in pornography, Ceefax has gone, the government is a late-night members only gentleman's drinking establishment and we're all the strippers.

2012 was supposed to be a year of inspiration and pride for us all thanks to the Olympics, the Queen's 200th year as monarch and other trivial fluff given to us as presents for shutting the fuck up and doing what we're told. But it's been a terrifying year. The BBC might close because everyone who has ever worked for them is a paedophile. Every politician could resign because they're all paedophiles. You are a paedophile. I woke up at 6 this morning and went downstairs and sat next to Jerk. I have sworn that I've heard Jerk speak a few times in the past. Once I thought she said "Hello". Another time she climbed on top of me, looked me in the eye and I could have sworn she said "Friend?". But this morning when I sat on her sofa she sighed, got up and said "Han shot first". I'm sure of it. Look, what I'm saying is that I'm clearly someone who is easily confused and I think this year has been the most confusing and worrying year of my life. Nothing seems reliable. Everything's not as it looks. The only thing that I can be sure of in 2012 is that the moment I wake up (IF I WAKE UP) it's going to be awful. That's definite. As soon as I leave my house, it's rock solid that I will meet a complete arsehole who is hell bent on ruining my day within seconds. Whoever you are, I have always depended on the rudeness of strangers.

It's taken me a while but I've finally found a cure for that feeling of anger you get when you hold a door open for someone and they just walk past without saying "Thank you". For decades I have actually started to believe that I AM a doorman. My Dad always had a beautiful touch when it came to such matters. He would clearly, loudly and Northern Irishly shout "COULD YOU COME BACK HERE, PLEASE?" to the rude, thankless person who would then timidly reply "Why?". Dad would then clearly, loudly and Northern Irishly say "BECAUSE I WANT TO SLAM THIS DOOR IN YOUR FACE". That's right, even in Northern Ireland, the Northern Irish accent is scary. No wonder it took so long to get some of us to sit down and chat about being more civil towards one another. Anyway, I'm really glad to say that my cure for that anger brought on by rudeness works. I've tried it a few times and it's always a lovely feeling. I invented it in Birmingham recently when I was leaving WH Smith's and a dick was walking in. I held the door open to let him through. He walked past without a word. Well, this will not do, I thought. Then this happened...

"Excuse me", I said.

"Yes?", replied the dick.

"Could you just hold this door for me?"

The dick then held the door open and I walked away.

It felt great to look back and see the dick looking confused and still holding a door open while people walked past him and, let's face it, in these confusing and uncertain times where would we be without small victories? It's practically all I live for. Here's another handy tip that I don't recommend you ever use. I was on the tube just a few nights ago and I was tired and a bit drunk and I just wanted to sit in silence until I got home. Sadly, youths sat beside me (I say youths, they were probably about 20). They decided to play a game of Let's See Who Can Talk About Vaginas The Loudest. If I was judging that game I would have been pushed to pick a winner. They were all brilliant at it. The three in front of me were easily equal to the two sitting directly beside me. The woman sitting opposite and a few seats down looked furious and I was feeling pretty similar too. But you know what? All you have to do in situations like this is politely ask the people to keep the noise down and, being civil people themselves, they'll oblige. Of course, I'm an idiot who gets bored easily so I turned to the one sitting next to me and asked him what aftershave he was wearing. He said "I'm not wearing aftershave" and that was pretty much all he and his friends said for the rest of the journey. Coincidence? No.

I'm not really sure what happens to me when I face the rude but I definitely become a different person. I become confident, something I most certainly am not at any other time. Maybe I should thank these rude people but as they've clearly never heard the phrase "Thank you" it might startle and scare them. Take this for example. I was walking along the Southbank just a few weeks ago when a complete stranger came up to me and said "Where's Waterloo Station?"

Look, I know we haven't stopped global hunger yet and I realise that my energies could be better spent elsewhere but I just thought to myself "No. That's just not good enough" and said "Excuse me?" to the man. He replied with "I'm looking for Waterloo Station".

"What an odd thing to say", I said. He looked confused and said "What?"

"Well, I mean coming up to a complete stranger in the street and saying I'm looking for Waterloo Station is really weird. Do you always stop people you've never met before to tell them what you're doing? Surely that's what Twitter is for?"

He looked really confused and was about to respond when I cheerily said "Oh, hang on. Did you mean 'Excuse me. Sorry to bother you but I'm trying to find Waterloo Station. Could you help me at all, please?'"

He said yes and then I asked him to say it then. He did. Then I told him where Waterloo Station was. "There", I said. "That didn't hurt, did it?" He agreed that it didn't hurt, thanked me and walked away. A job well done, I thought. Then I heard him say "Asshole". He was right, of course, and I completely agreed with him. "While there are cunts like you, mate, there will always be assholes like me".

And I hope that's true. We've got just over a month left of this strange and uninspiring year left. Let's not give up hope yet.

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