Litany of Hate
Some people actually chose to cast doubt on the veracity of the week before
last's editorial, in which I documented my encounter with a Tube Loonie -- they didn't seem to believe that
such a mild-mannered citizen as myself could be so upfront. But it all
happened as described (allowing for literary hyperbole); there are just
some things which push my buttons and cause me to react in a way which can
seem excessive to those who don't share the particular dislike.
TC reader Mal Aitchison pointed me in the direction of page 576 on
Ceefax -- a corner of this usually staid and straight-laced medium given
over to people ranting about the things that they hate. Entitled, "It Makes
Me Mad", it is populated by, in Mal's words, "the largest collection
of oddballs, fuckwits and psychos outside of Rampton". And largely he is
correct, with lists of things like "foreigners talking in their own language
in front of you" and "modern underwear, because the elastic perishes, but you
can't replace it like you used to" -- world hunger, the Kosovo crisis and the
destruction of the rain forests don't get a look in.
But there is something curiously infectious and cathartic about the
process of compiling such a list. It defines your persona, and it is only
by confronting your demons that you can control them. Thus, here are the
things that make me go AAAAAAAAAARGGGGH!
There are a whole bunch more: Big Issue sellers, everyone over 65,
politicians, feminists, anybody who thinks horse racing is interesting, the
undeserving rich, the undeserving poor, cycle couriers, Cleo Laine, Carla
Lane, anyone involved with the National Lottery TV show, and animal rights
activists, all to varying extents deserving of extermination. On the one
hand, I am a bitter, misanthropic person given to sweeping generalisations;
on the other, all the above combined probably account for much less than a
billion people, and the other five billion or so are fine by me. I'm sure
they are cheered by the knowledge.
- On public transport, people who put their bags on seats -- see
the aforementioned editorial. I make a deliberate policy of sitting next to
these bastards, even if there are other empty seats.
- Car drivers who accelerate on zebra crossings. To get to Tulse
Hill station, I've to use two of them, and barely a week goes by without
some twat choosing not to stop -- even though he's got to stop ten yards up
the road. If you time it right, you can clatter your bag into the side of
their car with a most satisfactory thump... On at least one occasion, the
driver in question has come screeching to a halt, before realising that
the South Circular is perhaps not the best place to park.
- Johnnie Vaughn + Denise Van Outen. Those faux-flirty couples on
daytime TV are bad enough, but these two REALLY piss me off, with their
forced ad-libs, and a rapport as natural as margarine, just greasier.
Vaughn's "I'm so clever" attitude is utterly unbearable, making even Chris
Evans seem like a choirboy. And how Van Outen makes it into so many of
those "most fanciable women" lists beats me.
- People who choose not to queue. You're in a shop; there's two or
three tills open, but people wait in one line for whichever becomes
free. But there's always some imbecile who ignores the large queue and
decides to start their own.
- Supermarket customers who pay for a pint of milk with a credit
card. This is self-explanatory. Just as bad are those who queue up,
then decide to wander off and get some more items, leaving their basket
behind them. Hey, do your shopping FIRST, huh?
- Pedestrians who insist on walking three abreast down busy
pavements. Inevitably at the speed of an arthritic slug too.
- Closely related, in the "should be a capital offence" category, are
those who stand on the left hand side of escalators.
- People with umbrellas. Especially those who have golf umbrellas
large enough for a herd of elephants to shelter beneath.
Readers are encouraged to try the above for themselves, and see just how
satisfying it can be. Once you get started, it's difficult to stop! Feel
free to submit your lists to me as well: I'm
sure I can sympathise with some of them. Or have a good laugh at least.
As for me, having safely unburdened the above, I'm off for a pint...
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