I am confused
But I do like to observe. Occasionally I see things that make me laugh. More often than not I witness the crass and boorish ignorance of the great British public that makes us so loved around the world. Yesterday, while sitting at one of the library terminals, I was becoming seriously annoyed with the loud and aggravating noise leaking from the earbuds of the young man sitting next to me. He's a regular user and to be honest, he scares me. He's the kind of person who you're pretty certain, just from watching his body language, exists permenently on a hair trigger, ready to go "off on one" for no apparent reason. After a while, the guy sitting on the far side of him, who happened to be a member of staff, very politely asked him to turn his music down as it was annoying other library users. Not 4 feet away is a giant poster, covering half a wall, that exhorts users to be considerate.
"Could you please turn your music down, it's very loud and is annoying other users."
"I do." And points to his staff badge.
"Tsk. It's not loud. "
"You're having a laugh. I have to have it loud because...(and here a completely illogical justification takes place based on the fact that the music is loud in the first place)."
"Well can you please turn it down then"
"Who's going to make me?"
"There's no need to be so aggressive."
"I wasn't being aggressive"
" I just asked you politely to turn your music down. You replied aggressively."
"You don't know what it means. I wasn't being aggressive. I'll show you aggressive."
At this point I am sitting behind him shaking my head and mouthing "wanker" at him. His surliness, complete disregard for others and plain ignorance is really starting to annoy me and my lower middle class hackles are starting to rise. I'm poised, like a coiled spring, to leap into action. I could take him out, I think, with a swing of my golf umbrella handle to the base of the spine, else I could easily snap his neck with a couple of quick moves like you see done at the pictures. Or I could run out the door in a gratifying display of rank cowardice.
A mobile phone rings, loudly, 3 times. The owner gets up and politely walks out.
"You going to tell him to turn it off?"
I want to point out the obvious. Luckily, my time is up, my screen clears and I make my escape.
Elsewhere: I hear on the news that apparently soldiers are dying in Afghanistan. Regardless of the legitimacy of the conflict, that they are doing so in far fewer numbers than any previous heavily armed conflict seems to have escaped most commentators. That they are also soldiers and this is what they signed up to do is also lost on everyone bar the families of the men who trot out the familiar lines about about duty and protecting us (it's working. There are very few Taliban in Crewe now. 6 months ago you couldn't get a decent sausage anywhere but the stonings in Town Square really brought the crowds in). Apparently the cause of these deaths is a dearth of helicopters. I scream at the wireless in a Milligan-esque fashion "You twats. It's the other side. We sent our soldiers out there only to find that some shit had the temerity to sell the other lot guns. WTF did you think they were going to do with them, train their sweet peas up the barrels?"
A couple of hours ago, in the petrol station, the headline in the Daily Express catches my eye. Children are now being blamed for the spread of Swine Flu. I look up to the sky, the clouds have turned dark and there's a flash of lightning...