Yes, Russell Kane was marvellous last night, thanks for asking! I wept with laughter when he talked about him and his brother mentally torturing each other as they were growing up. Reminded me of me and the middle lil sis (as opposed to the lil-lil sis) when we were kids. Only if you've got a brother or sister can you experience mutual love and pure, boundless hatred for the same person at once at such an early age. I believe it prepares you for further social interaction down the road of this topsy turvy journey we call life - "You are my reason for existing, but I do so wish you wouldn't BREATHE so much!!"
Anyhow, that wasn't the topic I wanted to get into today. I don't so much want to talk about the comedy gig I went to, but something slightly unsettling that happened to me on the way in. I was heckled. On the way into a comedy gig. Irony and that.
A and I were strolling along the shortish stretch of pavement between car and venue, when we spotted a pair "youths" (I'm old enough to refer to teenagers as youths now, yes?) perched on top of the seven foot wall surrounding the Tesco we were passing. My instinctive reaction was to stare unblinkingly at the road in front of me in the most unsubtle way possible of telling them "I have not noticed your presence, young twatlings, for I have places to be. Do not involve me in your mischief."
As one of the human race's lady folk (fuck you, I am SUCH a lady!!), I am used to being heckled by menfolk of all ages. There's a certain type of male that seems unable to hold any of their opinions of you in their head as you get on with your life. I'm pretty sure this breed of man are given extra curricular classes in "shouting things at women", and given a white van upon graduation. I'm not saying that I get the aggressively 'complimentary' type of heckles either, so don't assume I'm trying to tell you that I think I'm so damn irresistible that men have to tell me how good I look all the time. I get the bizarre, backhanded and sometimes plain insulting ones. A couple of examples to demonstrate -
- Walking to my old college's sandwich shop for a bag of crisps, I squeeze past a gaggle of man-children, only about two years my junior. "Does she teach here? I'd still do 'er." Very generous of them, considering they believed I was old enough to be their teacher. Nice, boys. Very nice.
- My personal favourite heckle: Jogging around the lake near my old workplace. A man sticks his head, dog-like out of the passenger window of a car. "RUN, BITCH, RUUUUUUN!!!"
Based on my experience of verbal ejaculate from the less mentally endowed of men (a vast proportion of men don't do this. This is the proportion that we love and will allow to continue breathing), I was fully expecting some charming insult to be coming in mine and A's way. Something along the lines of "Your missus is a minger, mate!". Standard. Instead, what came out of the teenager's gob was so unexpected that I felt my brain stall for a second.
"Hey!" A shrill, pubescent voice called out into the dark "You two make a nice couple!"
What am I supposed to do with that?! I was so busy scanning myself and coming up with no suitable response that I didn't react at all. Just kept on shuffling towards my destination, head down, brow furrowed in thought. Was I supposed to smile beatifically in thanks? Maybe do a little curtsey? That is the sort of thing grown women say to each other in parties. Not wall climbing teenaged boys. That was the politest heckle I've ever had. Perhaps used to having nice things shouted at him in the street ("Lovely hair sir! You have a marvellous face!"), A just laughed and carried on walking while my mind started to hold the compliment aloft like a funny rock I'd found, and look at it from different angles.
It didn't sound like sarcasm to my ears, but then I don't know how sarcasm's done these days. Perhaps it was some kind of hipster sarcasm, where they were doing it so ironically that it sounded sincere? I don't get the hipster thing. How is it possible to like something ironically? You either do or you don't!
Perhaps they were doing something illegal like sniffing on the cracks, or injecting dopes, and the compliment was a knee-jerk reaction to stun potential witnesses to their crime into not noticing what they were seeing. I mean, who else would hang out on a tall supermarket wall in the dark but glue smokers?
I just didn't know what to do with it. I've never come across an overtly friendly teen before. It's not in their nature is it? Hormones suck that niceness from you and holds it captive until age twenty, surely? I was sullen and quiet for a good chunk of the time, in my black curls and luminous pink flares (ironic, of course, because I had my oh-so-gothic black netted top on with them, and eyeliner down to my chin - see hipsters, I was doing irony long before you and your "I love Geeks" t-shirts!), and whenever I was shouting, it was only at my closest loved ones for being FUCKING PRICKS THAT ARE ALWAYS COMING INTO MY ROOM!! It's just...I don't know. At least I know what to do with "Nice tits!" (bore satanically into their soul with your eyes and will them with your mind to spontaneously combust. It's not worked yet, but a girl can try).
Maybe that's why they did it. These were super smart teens who realised that they could shout at me, and there was no negative way I'd be able to react. I couldn't tell them to fuck off because they'd said something nice. Instead, I could only ruminate about it until I drove myself up the wall trying to decipher what it is they really meant by it. Maybe they knew all along that it's better to send someone down a bottomless confusion spiral than to be an out-and-out, admonishable douche.
Those clever, polite little bastards.