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Oh my, it is middle class around here.

September 12, 2013

I like walking around this area and just looking at All The Things. Today I came across this bloke and his dog; big, beefy bloke, big beefy dog. The dog ran up to me and sniffed me, then jumped up in that way that dogs do; “I have given you one good sniff and have deduced that you are, in fact, the perfect candidate to PLAY WITH ME.” And as the big, beefy dog jumped up, the big beefy man yelled, in the angriest, manliest voice you’ve ever heard, that most breathtakingly macho of words: “DORIS!!”

To which the meek but beefy Doris hastily retracted her offer of play.

Could you imagine if that was someone’s last word before dying? The sword goes in and the warrior is slain… He looks into his adversary’s eyes, and with his last burst of energy arranges his face into the most baleful expression he can muster, and thus utters the universal cry of promised posthumous revenge: “DORIIIIIS!”

Then comes that one kid who spends every day out fixing the car which is clearly brand new, the stacks of teenagers sitting on mopeds they aren’t yet able to drive, and that boy who just passed his test who literally drives up and down the street for three hours, at about the same speed as he would if he just squatted in the middle of the road, yelling “MeEeEeEeEe [a few false starts] eeeeeee EEEEEEE eeeeeeeeeee EEEEEEEE eeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!” Since teens currently have a tendency for wearing just the helmet (a legal requirement) with a T-shirt, shorts and trainers, he probably wouldn’t look any more ridiculous.

And the cyclist in all the tight lycra that ends sensibly just below the knee, but he wears cycling clips anyway, just to be trendy. And one of the those pointed at the back helmets to improve his speed or something, since we all know that having a spiky thing behind you makes you go forwards quicker. The icing on the cake is the Expression of Speed, you know the one. It’s sort of like this: >8E

He has to get somewhere fast. He doesn’t know where he’s going and he’d look like a pillock and a half if he ever showed up wearing all that stuff, but by Jebus, he’s going to beat the cars at it. Ah, we’ve had hell’s angels, hell’s grannies and now we’ve got hell’s middle-aged dads on a mid-life crisis. God, it’s like The Truman Show, or Penny Lane.

I’m the banker: “The banker never wears a mac in the pouring rain… Very strange.” I think that’s what I’m known for, the one who wanders around in the rain drinking open mugs of tea and smiling at other people’s dogs. Usually in a pair of tracky bottoms and some sort of baggy old coat.

I can’t help it, class or no class, I’m a natural born hobo. I’ve got a hobo’s shaving habits (infrequent), hobo’s dress sense (baggy, second hand, torn), a hobo’s weaving, slouching walk and a hobo’s tendency to talk to himself. It’s funny in my area because everyone’s so normal in that Mr and Mrs Dursley kind of way. So I like to take my hobo ways to the really posh areas just to stir up some fun.

Here’s what you have to do. You find an area that’s a bit sectioned off, like one of those labyrinth cul-de-sacs behind and iron gate that’s always open and says “Private”, like if you wander into the complex, MI5 will drop from the sky and take you down for entering without a 1st class citizenship.

Then you have to get your hobo shuffle on, looking at the ground a lot. Be alone, in a place where you obviously do not live and no one would ever randomly visit. Then you sort of hold your arms loose, like a gorilla / teenage boy, and allow your face to drop into a dopey sort of “Is this the dentist?” expression. You know the peepers are going mad by now, looking through the net curtains, wondering who this ne’er-do-well is and wringing their hands together anxiously about the area going to the dogs and the house value dropping suddenly.

If you’re really lucky, a resident will have to come out of his house, and you’ll be treated to that resolute middle class stare which shies away from nothing. It is the stare that says “Who are you? You’re not rich enough to live here. What do you want with my garden gnomes?” It’s great, because these people will turn right round to look at you, at risk of cricking their neck, in case if they take their eyes off you, you’re going to take a flying leap at them and maramlise them with your poverty-besmirched fingers.

Oh, suburban England. You’re shit eccentric and you don’t even know it.


From → British Culture

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