I swear to God I must have some kind of invisible sign on my forehead that only the truly crazy and/or obnoxious can see. I’m not sure what it says exactly, but it’s probably something along the lines of:
BATSHIT CRAZY? STOP ME AND TELL ME ABOUT IT! I’M LISTENING!
Yeah, I have a pretty big forehead.
Anyway, this morning I headed out to the doctor’s surgery to collect a prescription. Just as I reached the doors of the building, a man came out of them, and started mopping his head exaggeratedly. "It’s too hot in there," he said, nodding back towards the surgery. "Had to get out."
"Yes," I said brightly, for I have made a resolution to try to be nice to people who talk to me in the street. My usual death glare just wasn’t endearing me to anyone. "It’s very warm today, isn’t it?"
My new friend nodded, encouraged. "You know what else?" he said, looking shifty. "There’s a f*****g sheik in there too. With a mask on. Shouldn’t even be in the f*****g country."
Now, in my head, where I am a brave person who is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs, even when accosted in the street by someone who might just have been there to pick up his methodone, I would have stopped, turned round and demanded to know just what part of my "Yes, it is very warm today," translated as "If you have any offensive, hate filled views, please tell me about them!" before… well, I dunno what I should have done after that. In the real world, I was already halfway through the door when he said it and I thought, "nah, he can’t just have said that to me. Can’t have."
But he had. As I reached the reception I saw a Muslim woman standing there, dressed in a burkha, with three children. Minding her own business. Harming no one. And while I have my own views on cultures which force women to cover every inch of their flesh in that way, I try not to make a habit of stopping people in the street to spout off about it. I can’t believe there are people who think it’s acceptable to do that. Actually, scratch that – I can believe it. I see examples of it all the time, particularly in our post-9/11 world where it seems that all of the racist, biggoted asshats out there appear to have found validation for their hate filled views. GOD.
The woman spoke perfect English, with a Scottish accent – she’d clearly lived here for a long time, and had probably been born here. Nevertheless, when she reached the head of the queue, I noticed that the woman on reception spoke to her very. slowly. and. clearly. as. if. she. was. a. bit. simple. What is wrong with people?
It took the best part of an hour for my prescription to be ready, so I bought Heat magazine and sat and read it the car, in a bid to stay away from the Crazies. When I finally did go back to collect it, some old biddy pushed straight to the front of the queue and was served first. No one questioned this. God, people annoy me. I mean, this is exactly why I try to live my live vicariously, through the internet. Nice to live vicariously through the internet!
On the way home, though, I did see a dog in a poncho. So it wasn’t all bad.