Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Mr Do Something


I don’t know what the rules are for walking down the street with your dog. All I know is, some people break them.


As you may be aware, I’m an ardent perambulator, and can typically be found wandering up and down the street for no good reason, simply to perambulate. When I’m not bumping into One-arm Barry every five minutes, there are plenty of other people who brighten my day as they gad around my tiny corner of the planet inadvertently proffering the best and worst of their accumulated habits, characteristics and weird noses before me like gifts bundled free with my precious mortality.

From The Mock Rick Wakeman to Leggy Watson to Mrs Waiting To Be 47, I have a cast of thousands ready to leap out at me from their semis and entertain me with their gay wherewithal.

Mr Do Something, however, is in a class of his own. Ruddy cheeked like he grew up in a freezing cold farmhouse, and slight of frame like said farmhouse had no animals or crops and was 25 miles from the nearest supermarket, Mr Do Something is a treat to behold. I normally encounter him walking his overenthusiastic sheepdog in the lane where Maurice lurks. Maybe they have a thing going, I don’t know. You never can tell with Maurice.

Anyhow, the point is that although I don’t know Mr Do Something’s name (because, yes, that’s not actually his name), we’ve passed each other often enough to cotton on that we’re both

a) locals
b) not assassins
c) conscious

so the option of passing each other by without any sign of acknowledgement is a no-no. The neighbours would talk. Then they would form a lynch mob. Then they would most surely beat us.

So what happens when he comes round the corner with his dog? And we look up to see one another over a 20 foot expanse of tarmac, knowing that we must pass and have some sort of inane conversation? Or a loaded nod?

There’s a frisson to this, sometimes, isn’t there? When to nod, or when to say hello — and the whole sorry business of varying the peurile nonsense you said last time.


‘Morning.’
‘Morning.’
‘Nice out.’
‘Yes, it is.’

‘Morning.
‘Hello.’
‘Decent weather.’
‘Yes.’

‘Morning.’
‘Hi.’
‘I can’t wait to find out what Santa is bringing me this Christmas.’
‘Rubber liederhosen, if I know you...’

Okay, so I made up the last example. But you get the point.

The rules for this (as far as I can see) are Apprehension-Perambulation-Greeting. But Mr Do Something can’t help himself. He has to do something between the Apprehension and Perambulation stages, like he can’t bear the long wait till the Greeting. So we’ll encounter each other between a couple of modest front gardens, and the moment he sees me, he’ll start whistling — not a tune or anything sophisticated; just a few notes of twiddle to cover himself till one of us nods or says hello. Or maybe he’ll call to his dog, or fiddle with his belt, or cough, or adjust his hat, or pretend to be looking somewhere, or do up his coat, or take something out of his pocket and look at it, or cough again, or anything anything anything that’s something; and though I’m a pleasant and respectable person not given to random acts of violence in the street, sometimes I just want to grab hold of him and shake him till his bones either fall apart or fuse together and shout, ‘for fuck’s sake, mate, why can’t you just walk down the street normally and simply say hello or nod? Why the hell do you have to engage in this extra, unwanted, supplementary activity that serves no purpose other than to annoy me? Why do you have to DO SOMETHING???!!!


Maybe, if we both moved to Italy, with its passion, romance and pasta, I’d be allowed to savage him with an uncooked linguine birch, but hey, this is England.


Note

The competition announced in the previous post is now closed. I'l be alerting the lucky winner shortly.

Note 2

I'm pleased to reveal that it's now possible to locate this blog on Google by typing in "extract semen from goat"

6 comments:

Kiersten White said...

Okay, I was all set to make a clever, charming comment until I read that last announcement.

The ensuing gigglage erased all thought from my mind.

Oft-decanted Sid said...

It's a curse...

Cramped Hand Larry said...

I think I know Leggy Watson. Skinny bloke, wears those bitty running shorts, right?

Anyway, I know I've met Sid before.

Whirlochre said...

I sense a theme developing here...

Robin S. said...

Sounds like my morning elevator weather-related and 'you're on four, aren't you? oh moved to five now, how interesting for you...' kind of space filler. But it is weird when someone breaks the code and just stands there like they're too good to mix words with the rest of us or something. In the elevator, rather than a dog or a cod check, they feel all over their Blackberries, keep their eyes down, and look important. Pisses me off and makes me laugh all at the same time. I'm with you. At least nod and pretend to be human.

sylvia said...

The Do-Something guy would drive me crazy as well, especially as once you notice such a thing, you can't un-notice it.

Congrats on escaping obscurity via goat semon!