I like the world and everything but it is populated by savages, isn’t it. And there’s nothing quite like Christmas to turn us all into complete beasts.
I know we are supposed to be happy that things are ostensibly picking up a bit in the world of money, but I think it’s created a delirium of distinct punchability in the streets.
While out shopping dutifully with the rest of the economy-boosting sheep, I have been tutted at, eye-rolled, and pushed to one side. I have noted the lack of old-fashioned words like please, thank you, and excuse me. And it’s making me in turn get all feisted up in defiance at rudeness.
In other words, you haven’t known true violent urges until you have been rammed up the jacksie by a six meter roll of nordic-style gift-wrap while Mariah Carey warbles about how she’s not really that materialistic and just wants a cuddle. (That was of course before she got mega loaded and started hanging out with rappers and things all went a bit bling-a-ding-ding.)
And it doesn’t even matter where you choose to shop – there’s no escape – you can be assaulted by bad manners anywhere. I was staring at some prosciutto in Waitrose the other day, thinking about pigs, and whether Jesus would be vegan if he was alive today (I think he would, I also think he’d wear those trousers with lots of pockets), when a respectable looking lady with a trolley piled so high with luxury goods that I almost sank to the floor and shined her shoes by default, bumped into my butt. Hard. I expected a posh-sounding “Oh, I’m so sorry” to follow, but it didn’t come. I turned and looked at her with my best serious adult face but she didn’t even acknowledge me, she just picked up a massive chorizo and swooshed off with an air of easy wealth. I thought about lobbing some pigs in blankets at the back of her head just so I could demonstrate how to say sorry properly when her brains fell out, but thought better of it. (I didn’t want to get chucked out before I’d had my free coffee.)
I was cross at myself that I had felt aggressive in my own response; normally I’d probably be more likely to apologise for my chubby bum obscuring her meat selection, but that day I just wanted her to be made actually viscerally accountable for her rudeness, which probably makes me worse than her.
The last straw came today. My friend got threatened in Boots by a man who thought she had pushed in front of him in the long lunchtime queue, who then said his wife was “over there and would come and sort her out”. His wife then came over and said “What did you say to my husband?” and got all aggy in my friend’s face. They may just have been oiks who live every day that way, but I think it’s just as likely Christmas hubbub had taken their aggression up a notch. The bristling of the mob out in force. When my friend told me what had happened I wanted to undertake a one-woman siege of the popular pharmacy to see if the vile cretin was still there, and failing that to take it out on someone else, perhaps an old lady a bit too keen to get to the talc aisle.
WHAT HAVE I BECOME?
Oh well. It’s almost over isn’t it.