Friday, September 20, 2013

Public Abuse

You know, in the city I mostly keep to myself, head down, fast walk, no dawdling. I don't really like interaction with strangers. I feel my face go bright red when I get accosted in public. In the last two weeks I've had a pretty high rate of abuse; nothing serious, nothing violent, but still, enough to make me go red.

First there was when I was walking through a narrow part of a pavement which had been partially blocked by a food stall. My head was down; I hadn't noticed someone was waiting for me to pass. When I did, he shouted out (sarcastically): 'You're fucking welcome mate'. I went red and walked fast. Next was the crazy homeless man who asked me for change. I said no. He had a rant at me. 'Do you know who I am?' (No). 'If you knew who I was…' (Yes?). 'Go wank in your mother's face!' And off he went, leaving me with that image and a lot of people looking at me. Then on the tube escalators, two women felt the need to tell me (loudly) that my shirt looked like a pyjama top.

Most recently it was raining and I was in the library. It was crowded but hushed. A woman stood up, came over to me and exclaimed in a loud, clear voice, 'Has anyone ever told you you look exactly like Sven Goran Eriksson?'
'Er, no.'
'Well you do.'
'Well, thank you.' (Slightly sarcastic; I hadn't taken it as a compliment.)
'No, thank you.' (Very sincerely.)

I don't know, when I was younger I was told I looked like James Dean (fleetingly) and Bob Dylan (which I had taken as a compliment, though it was mainly to do with the hair). As I got older, it was Richard Gere and George Clooney (definitely the hair). But now Sven Goran Eriksson? Jesus.

Previously on Barnflakes:
Train tales #1: the nipple-tassled French woman
Hair tips


Ulrika said...

Why do you not like the Sven comparison? He is a very sexy man. We had many happy times together. Please call me on 07990495%$82.

Caspar said...

You don't look anything like any of the above. But those girls may well have been right about your shirt.
The "Wank in your mother's face bit" reminded me of the time back when I was a smoker, and refused to give a fag to some stranger in the street. It was like lighting the blue touch paper. He twice shouted at me: "Fuck yourself better!"

Barnaby said...

I love that shirt.