Saturday, 19 July 2008

'Meanwhile' is an acceptable segue when you're tired

When I heard that Margaret Thatcher had been granted a state funeral, I couldn’t believe that I’d missed the news of her death. Radio 1’s Newsbeat hadn’t even given it a passing mention. How embarrassing! It was a good fifteen minutes and three online articles later before I realised that she was, in fact, still with us. I know she’s lost her marbles and everything, but isn’t the whole thing a bit cruel? Hey Thatch! Yes, Margaret, that’s you. We’ve been talking and stuff and we reckon, since you’re probably not gonna last much longer, that we should start planning your funeral. Don’t worry, leave it all to us. It’s gonna be huge! We’ll leave your coffin open and let everyone come and have a look if they want to. Isn’t that nice? I’m sure everyone will be really respectful and no one will gob on you. Do you understand all that? You remember who I am, right?

Meanwhile I have quite a feeble pet hate, but it rears its head quite often. When you’re driving, and there’s a gap that may be too small for two cars to fit in, it’s common courtesy, if not necessity, for one of the drivers to move over and let the other pass. Why doesn’t this apply to pedestrians? I’ve lost count of the number of times that I’ve been forced into the path of a speeding juggernaut (or perhaps an ambling Fiesta, but nonetheless into the road) by two people who appear incapable of adopting a single file formation for the three seconds necessary to allow me to pass without leaving the pavement. It’s so rude. Mostly they seem oblivious to their actions which just makes it worse. Older people are the worst offenders. My disapproval doesn’t manifest itself very forcefully I’m afraid, but I do like to tut loudly or mutter ‘thank you’ under my breath. I’m working my way up to a Richard Ashcroft style shoulder barge as I stride forcefully ahead. I vote that everyone should apply ‘How Am I Walking?’ stickers, complete with freefone number and reference code, to their backs before setting out. Or perhaps I should apply them myself, without their knowledge or consent, like those ‘kick me’ notes you used to see in school. I think if I did that, I’d also have some stickers printed up to keep in my car that say LEARN TO PARK PROPERLY YOU MORON for application to the windscreens of those infuriating idiots who park across two spaces.

Back to the subject of walking, I had one of those ‘trip and try to maintain composure’ moments yesterday. It wasn’t just a mild stumble though, I almost went arse over tit. The people walking towards me did a pretty good job of not displaying signs of amusement, which must have been harder in light of my absurd ‘in total denial’ facial expression than for the trip itself.

6 comments:

Josh said...

I do one of two things, depending on how social I feel: walk into the road like yourself or I stand my ground, that is, I continue walking the path I'm on and play a pedestrian version of 'chicken', surprisingly, this has yet to lead to a collision, they alway move out of the way. It makes me feel slightly guilty if it's a hand holding couple and they have to 'split' but they take up the entire pavement!

editingrequired said...

well, i thought thatcher had died long before she even got into power, and her very existence was just some kind of elaborate practical joke involving a warmed-up corpse and very scary, staring eyes...
on the pavement dodgems front, why not combine your 'issues' into one easy solution and, when faced with oncoming perambulators and no through road, and clear your way with one of your 'i meant that' stumbles and kill two birds (and potentially a couple of pedestrians) with one stone that you simply keep in your pocket for tripping over time and time again?

Graham said...

Josh - I will certainly try your suggestion of 'chicken'. My only fear is that I'll meet someone equally stubborn and one or both of us will ricochet into the path of a milk float and die.

ER - In response to both subjects: Strrrrrrike!

Ariane said...

I remember you suggesting the 'milk float' joke for one of my New Woman articles. They vetoed it, because they had no sense of humour. "But Ariane, why would you throw yourself in front of a milk float? You'd throw yourself in front of a bus, surely?"

Well, they made me want to...

editingrequired said...

is that 'Strrrrrrike!' in the baseball or the bowling vernacular?

Graham said...

Ariane: Morrissey said it originally. I am nothing but a shameless plagiarist.

ER: Bowling - as in skittling over the oncoming pedestrians and leaving nothing but carnage, a la Sonic the Hedgehog.