On being a monster
4th January 2013
Shit the bed and shag the cat, it’s been aeons since I last web-logged. Reasons for this include stuff, things, work, unwork and matters of a personal bearing. But I’m here now so stop shouting at me OK?
Am I a monster? I may be. Recently I committed an act that on the retell has shocked many of a gentle disposition i.e. members of my family. If you too are gently disposed, please read on and experience a small experimental heart attack.
Just prior to Christmas I attended a theatrical bonanza starring my dear friend, Louise. For those interested in the human body (I know some of you are, especially Nick) Louise removes her clothes mid-performance and does a nuddy. It’s always interesting to see one’s friends in the buff. To that end you should all come to our next house party.
Oh look, Louise has written about the experience here.
Louise’s nuditée is, however, irrelevant so please read on.
Not being a front-row kinda guy (“who wants to come up and play Titus Andronicus?”) I established myself in the second row and removed my Bradley Wiggins autobiography.
A thick-set middle-aged gent sat in front. Five minutes later he swiveled his chair and in the most unfriendly voice since voices began, boomed:
“PLEASE STOP TAPPING THE BACK OF MY CHAIR WITH YOUR FOOT”.
“I wasn’t aware I was,” I responded, honestly.
“WELL YOU ARE,” he replied and reverted to the front.
I doubt there are many more frustrating experiences in the theatre/exam room/electric chair than having someone beat a rhythm about your seat. It’s a nuisance in the arse. I didn’t think I was doing it. But I must have been. Unless the man could feel the rapid pulsations of blood flowing through my extremities as I read about Wiggins’ thrilling time trial victory at Chartres during stage 19 of last summer’s Tour de France.
Either way it was not the message but the means of conveyance. There was a marked shortfall between the punishment and the crime. The man wanted to murder my head off.
Even in the context of his own understandable annoyance he was rude. The sort of rudeness that invites one to comment quite unthinkingly and out of hand that the person in the picture is a nit, git, tit or shit. This is easily cemented when said person removes a copy of the Daily Mail and – worse still – reads it. Yes, he did. Yes, I know.
I jiggled in my seat such that there would be no further toe-to-chair contact.
Why are you going on about this man’s rudeness, Saul? What do you expect – you were the one tapping on his fucking chair.
I am merely providing context to the denouement.
OK, carry on.
The play began. There was acting, and some nudity.
I was engrossed. Had forgotten about the earlier incident.
Then a clunk.
I looked down. Daily Mail’s car keys were on the floor, having slipped from his pocket. He craned a glance, to see if I was the noise-maker.
The play continued, there was more acting though no more nuding. I glanced intermittently at the keys.
The play finished, Louise bowed (fully clothed) and the actors ran off to resounding applause.
The man in front rose and left. I said nothing. The man appeared in a hurry, was pretty much the first to exit the auditorium. I said nothing.
A cry went up: “Has anyone dropped any keys?”
The message was passed along the throng. No Chinese whispers, just keys. “Keys?” “Anyone?” “Anyone dropped their keys?” But the man was fast and was already outside when the news hit the front.
What had I done? Nothing. All that is necessary for evil to triumph is that good men do nothing. I never said I was good. But I’m not rude. This man was (probably still is). I took against him from the start. Frankly and to be honest with you I wouldn’t go skiing with him even if he begged me.
What’s to be said? You reap what you sow. Instant karma’s gonna get you. What goes around comes around.
Don’t mess with me. I’m changing.
(I’m not really changing)