Step right this way for your daily insult...


Do I allow myself to fall repeatedly into life's traps and snares in the modern day insult pit? First public smack in the face started in record shops. Nowadays people just nick music off the Internet so a whole generation has missed out on the condescension and scorn that was directed at customers at local music stores. Whatever record I asked for was met with a "tsk-tsk" and a look of abject pity at my choice of music. So withering were the looks that I can honestly admit more than once saying with a shrug: "Yeah, I know. Crap, but what can you do? It's a birthday present for my little sister!" as I slide a Billy Joel LP into the plastic bag like it was porn that I wanted no one to know I was carrying. It only occurred to me years later that if these guys were such discerning musical genii, how come they were working at the local Kidderminster Virgin record store at minimum wage rather than rubbing shoulders with Prince or Springsteen in the recording studio? The record store guilt trip has now morphed into the facial tick I get visiting a phone store to buy a new mobile or tablet. Please tell me there are people who actually understand what the salesman is saying.... however I assume it's no one over the age of 15! Invariably I say something dumb that shows I have completely misunderstood what has been painstakingly explained to me and then bang.....that look of sympathy, like an adult indulging a child asking why the sky is blue or grass is green, flashes across the salesman's face. "I think perhaps the basic version is all you require....." Ouch.

...and another thing

Restaurants displaying signs asking me to wait to be seated.

No no and thrice no!

I booked a table. I’m on time. I’m coming in and sitting down. The only possible excuse for this pantomime is if the restaurant is as full as a hard- boiled egg and my table has not yet been vacated. Then I’ll sit at the bar and if it’s a long wait expect the restaurant to pick up the bar bill.

However, instead I meekly stand behind a red velveteen rope until a greeter waiving a menu the size of one of Moses’ tablets beckons me to enter.

Dressed in a black trouser suit but with hair like an animated meringue and false eyelashes that cause a hurricane whenever she blinks, this woman sports an earpiece listening to central command (possibly in deep space). At near Olympic walking speed, she tells me to follow her into the dining room.

But being kept behind a rope for a room that’s half empty is only matched in the irritation stakes by then being asked to stand whilst ‘we clear the table’.    I hover as conspicuous to the other diners as a fashion victim at a nudist colony whilst a touch of dusting and place setting get underway.

...and another thing

The boarding call to a plane that’s not ready!

 I can hear you sigh as you read this. Why I am called to board a plane when the arriving passengers have only just stepped off and the cleaning crew have barely entered the cabin. So I stand in a Perspex gate corridor gently percolating (if it is summer)….. only to hear from behind me a second boarding announcement asking passengers in a different seat sector to now board. Like lemmings these poor suckers leap up only to join me in a queue going nowhere!

...and another thing

Explaining to the receptionist at the doctor’s office the embarrassing symptoms causing you to visit!

 I have never had to repeat myself if I have flu, a bad headache or sore throat but woe betide if I have an embarrassing complaint such as piles or worst of all as a teen-ager, the clap!

“Next. Can I help you?”

“Er.. yes good morning um, a bit of an upset tummy?”

“Sorry can you repeat that, please.”

“Yes sorry, have an upset tummy.”

“Tummy, you mean stomach.”


“Why is it upset? Did you insult it?”

“Ha… yes I see very funny. You know, can’t keep anything down.”

“So you are vomiting?”

“No, not really. Other end.”

“Please be specific sir, there is a queue.”

I only rent food … I have the Aztec two-step…. Montezumas revenge…. Confetti  flies out of my arse. I …have …the… shits… OK?” I cry, loud enough to wake the dead.

The whole waiting room is now staring at this ranting idiot as nurse Radshed asks if I might keep my voice down.

And another of life’s little barbs has spiked me……

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