Friday, July 24, 2009

I am confused

I really don't have a lot to say at the moment. I get up, do some stuff, eat some stuff, listen to the wireless and go to bed. Occasionally I speak to some people. On Sunday evenings between 9 and 11pm you will invariably find me attempting to read a book in a quiet corner of The Gaffer's Row. This is my weekly treat. I'm easily pleased.

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."
"Who says?"
"I do." And points to his staff badge.
"Tsk. It's not loud. "
"It is."
"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...

9 Vegetable peelings:

Blogger Dave said...

'I really don't have a lot to say at the moment.'

I think you said quite a lot, actually, and well worth reading it was.

5:59 am  
Blogger Rog said...

I would fit in in Gaffer's Row.

7:00 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Dave, I've found that the easiest way to overcome a block is to tell yourself there's nothing to write about. And the fact that I rarely talk to anyone during the day helps.

Rog, gaffer it.

11:40 am  
Anonymous markgamon said...

And... no matter how evil the Taliban may be, it's still their country. What would we be doing if a lethally-equipped professional Afghani army was running all over Cheshire Province complaining that if they had more helicopters they wouldn't be getting blown up so much? We'd increase the blowings-up before the Afghani Army Commissariat managed to procure said helicopters, that's what we'd do.

(This comment is in no way an endorsement of Taliban revolutionary technique. Or indeed Sharia Law)

8:58 am  
Blogger Dave said...

Thank you for today's comment at my place Richard. With your permission I'm going to quote it at the start of next Sunday's cricket report.

3:11 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

You have my permission.

5:41 pm  
Blogger Dave said...


7:15 pm  
Blogger Morton Shadow said...

Just be grateful you don't have to go to a University Library Richard. You think it's bad in Afghanistan, you should see one of our groups study rooms...



wv: bardest. (Yeah - old Will - isn't he just the...)

12:39 pm  
Blogger Andy said...

Being a regular visitor to China I have witnessed the 'brits abroad'and I felt ashamed.I think we're better thought of than the Yanks though!

6:37 pm  

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