Saturday, 25 October 2014

'I Don't Want to Sound Like a Twat...But I'm Gonna'

I don't often post personal stuff on here, because I just don't feel it's that interesting and because I don't necessarily view a blog as a diary. Granted I may occasionally post about things I'm personally involved with, such as my recent voluntary work with a performing arts group for people with disabilities and health issues, but just general posts about how I'm feeling or what's happening with me are quite rare.

But today I want to post about something that happened to me the other day, in particular my brief (thankfully) meeting with a complete and utter stranger.

It had been a good night, I had been to see Jess Thom's Backstage In Biscuit Land (you can see the review of that fantabulous experience here) and perhaps in hindsight against my better judgement I decided to go for a couple of drinks afterwards with the group I had been to see the performance with.

We ended up in a bar I have been visiting quite regularly lately (a friend is set to start a regular comedy night there next month) and got our first drinks during the final round of the monthly pub quiz. As such, I ensured we sat at a respectable distance and spoke relatively quietly as the questions were being read out. 

A little while later and a few more drinks down the line we were approaching chucking out time. I had been spotted by a neighbour who beckoned me over for a quick chat and not long after I had sat down with him, the quizmaster joined us and began to stare at me as I was talking.

Finally, he spoke, addressing my neighbour rather than me. 

"Who the fuck is this?" the man demanded in a deadpan fashion. 

"I'm sorry?" I laughed somewhat uncertainly as my neighbour briefly explained the nature of our acquaintance.

"You've not introduced me, so I'm just asking who the fuck is this?" he repeated.

At which point, I thought I'd best interject "And who the fuck are you?" I laughed "You sound like Joe Pesci in Goodfellas. Next thing you'll be asking if you amuse me, if I think you're some kinda clown" 

He seemed to accept this and laughed politely before returning his attention to his mobile phone.

A little while after, my neighbour excused himself to the loos and I was about to return my group. Before I did, the quizmaster had one more thing to say.

"I don't want to sound like a twat..." he began.

Oh dear. Now if you ask me, whenever anyone starts a sentence with a phrase like that or 'No offence' say, it usually means that is exactly what they intend to do. They want to cause offence, they want to be a twat.

And after all, the less than hospitable host had previous form in twattishness towards me right?

I decided to head him off at the pass "You don't? Oh go on, I'm sure you're going to"

He paused, met my gaze and said "You've got twenty minutes to finish your drink"

What? Was I suddenly in a Western? Was this a barely concealed threat for forthcoming violence towards me?

"The barman has ordered his cab and that's when it'll be arriving. So, drink up"

I assured him I would finish what remained of my pint (I had about a half to go) long before that point, and went back to my friends. Unfortunately I had missed one friend's departure having spent the last few minutes being insulted by this self confessed twat.

Why do people have to behave so offensively? I genuinely don't go out drinking all that often - I enjoy a pub but because of my own health I probably do more drinking at home than actual socialising/drinking - and it's at times like this that I realise just why I don't.

Since that evening I've been wondering just what it is that makes someone behave like that towards a stranger. Was it intentional, did he really want to make me feel so unwelcome? I realised that the bar in question was 'gay friendly' and as I am heterosexual myself I wondered if this man was somehow offended to be confronted by a 'not we'? If so, he is the first person to behave in such a manner as the bar has always lived up to its friendly rep. Maybe he was hoping to cop off with my neighbour and saw me as a threat?! 

Just what makes people behave so unfairly to one another? Do they ever wonder how their behaviour affects others?

Normally after a night out I often have a horrible feeling of guilt and melancholy which leads to much thought and analysis. It's something I've managed to self diagnose as being down to the previous night's alcohol intake and, perhaps, its lack of good companionship with the anti-depressants I have been taking for over ten years now. That feeling was there in spades the following day and continues to linger now, which is why I'm posting something personal for a change.

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