This morning I didn’t feel like walking to work so I made up an excuse to myself (shoes didn’t feel right) and decided to get the bus instead. Due to this decision I got to experience some lovely old lady racism. When racism borders on adorable. Now I don’t consider myself to be particularly intimidating. I’m around 6ft, a little chubby and have the hair of Boris Johnson during his emo phase. But given that I wear black boots / gloves / hat and a huge ex navy black trench coat it does seem to give off the ‘I keep people kidneys in my pockets’ vibe.
So I’m standing at the bus stop minding my own business, headphones on but music off because I can’t be bothered to reach for my phone. Two old ladies sidle up to the bus stop and take a look at the time, somehow they hadn’t spotted me because when old lady one (let’s call her Ethel) looks up she goes “oooh” as if she’s just picked up a cup that’s slightly hotter than expected. “Oooh” then whispers to old lady two (we’ll call her Cathy) “Let’s move a bit away from this one” and the duo proceed to shuffle to the other side of the bus stop. See the problem with whispering to each other when you’re both half deaf is that everyone in a 3 block radius can hear you. I didn’t let on though, it was afterwards when the real fun started.
As they sat down on the other side of the bus stop a full on punk, mohawk, piercings and tattoo’s (rare sight in Leicester) wandered over to join the skit and stood next to the two old ladies. This time it was Cathy who gave the look of disapproval “Goodness me” She whispered to everyone in the current post code “scoot up”. After scooting as far from both of us as they could, they began some inane chit chat about which friend of there’s had died this week, they probably have all the names on a bingo card. Winner gets an ornamental cat that smells of wee.
Almost as if on cue in a story hugely exaggerated for comic effect, a teenage black guy with one of those ridiculously thin and cheap looking hoodies from ‘Superdry Japan’ that actually costs about as much as a small hatchback swaggers over and plonks himself down next to Cathy.
I guess the acceptable term is ‘roadman’ to describe the young man’s style, either way I don’t think there was much about his appearance or the grime music blasting from a tinny (not a typo, not tiny… tinny, as in tin like) mobile phone speaker that appealed to Ethel or Cathy. Next thing I know they’re both standing next to me again. Well I guess suddenly I’m not intimidating enough, I actually felt a little hurt. I could easily be the most dangerous of the three of us, thinking about it, I should have punched Ethel square in the face to teach them a lesson about stereotyping.
I didn’t do that obviously… In fact I made sure to let them both on the bus first with an elaborate ‘after you’. That will teach them to be so judgemental, drown in my kindness! So incase you were wondering, in the eyes of British old women the safety chart goes:
Young white men in all black clothing > Young white men with too many piercings > Young black men with no headphones and SuperDry Japan clothing.
I think I’m going to turn this into a scientific study, maybe I can get some EU funding while it’s still available. I mean, where would a young black man in all black clothing have fit in this table? Or a young Asian man in SuperDry Japan clothing playing Mozart’s Requiem through a tinny mobile phone speaker? The only scientific way to find out is for me to hunt down Cathy and Ethel, strap them to a bus stop and monitor their distrust of people around them from a safe distance… Though doing this may cause the Young white men in all black clothing to slide considerably down the leader board.
That was supposed to be the after shot, the palate cleanser at the end of today’s blog post, it’s ended up a little too big for that. Now I need a palate cleanser for my palate cleanser, what a wacky and unpredictable blog this is!
I will end today’s blog post with something that isn’t a complaint for a change… In fact it’s close to being the opposite of a complaint! Last night I went to see Stewart Lee’s stand up show ‘Content Provider’ and I heartily recommend it to anyone who hasn’t had the chance to see him live. It was a truly fantastic show and I’m sure he’d enjoy the irony of me recommending his stand up about the narcissism and vanity of today’s digital youth culture on a blog all about the mundanity of my life.