Diary

Earthbound Asteroids

27 April 2007 | Diary

“[There] is a sort of defeated moralism. If you are only slightly peculiar, there is the possibility that a shouting at will save you and bring you back to the straight and narrow. But, if you are too far gone in any direction, there is no hope; either there is nothing that even a shouting at can do for you or you are simply pitiable.” – Reggie C. King.

If last night’s events are anything to go by, it seems that a new craze has descended upon the city like a fat, three-arsed spider.

I’m talking, of course, about drive-by insults. American cities have proper crime with drive-by shootings but here in Little Britain we have this other form of abuse-in-motion, which I postulate might someday be known as “Tit!”-and-run driving.

“Fags!” shouted the first of the evening.

“Nice Hat!” bawled the second.

“Fudd!” spat the third, particularly aggressively.

A fudd, for the non-Glaswegian among you is a finely-crafted synonym referring to what is more cordially known as a “lady’s tuppence”.

Each of their insults fell victim to the doppler effect. Defied by simple GCSE physics.

It’s astonishing what small and insignificant things can antagonise some people to the extent that they feel obliged to shout abuse at a stranger from the window of their car.

All I had done was wear a hat.

Yet it made my friend and I the objects of three aggressive drive-by insults. It wasn’t even a particularly extravagant hat: just a black porkpie which is in entirely good proportion and I don’t think makes me look strange or gay.

I don’t think your dress sense has to be particularly extravagant to attract such attention any more though. This afternoon, I received another derisive attire-based comment from a stranger but this one was perhaps the oddest. A slightly chavvy schoolgirl took the briefest of glances at me before squawking, “Hah! Can I borrow your suit?!”. Since the girl had at least been brave enough not to deliver her insult from a speeding vehicle, I was able to retort. I said: “I don’t think so. Such an exercise would be uncomfortable for both of us” .

But why had she found a man in a suit so worthy of comment? I was clearly walking back from work. Don’t most people wear suits to work? It’s quite funny really. I suddenly remember that Fast Show sketch in which Mark Williams, seemingly disgusted with every single person he sees, shouts from his car window with impossibly increasing shrillness, “Brick Layer! Carpet Fitter?! Milk Man!!! Shop Keeper?! PAPER BOY??!

It does make me wonder though how genuinely different people get by. What of dandies, punks, ethnic minorities, goths, people with missing limbs, baldies, fatties, transexuals, the aged? What of the tattooed, the birthmarked, the deformed, the limping? How do they walk down the street without being showered by the spittle of passing drivers?

There is a rather strange man who patrols my street in a massive cowboy hat, constantly swearing at himself and spitting on his own shoes. You’d imagine that such an individual would take away the attention from marginally different people such as myself in a similar fashion to the how planet Jupiter protects the Earth from so many asteroids. But alas it seems not to happen.

Perhaps it is the very fact that I occupy a grey area between ‘sane’ and ‘bonkers’ that bothers people so much. Maybe they are fine with those individuals who are clearly properly mad but when a fairly regular bloke decides to wear a hat, it has the tendency to confuse and upset.

Let that be a lesson to you, dear reader. Society only understands extremes – the sane and the crazy; the totally ascetic and the utterly greedy. I am proud to announce that this blog and all my subsequent works will now represent a voice for the new minority: the marginally peculiar and the vaguely odd. Unite, slightly strange brothers and sisters!



Leave a Reply