I’m sweating in the oppressive heat of the underground on my way from Angel to Kensington Olympia. I’m on the first leg of my journey on the Northern line on the way to Kings Cross and I have just sat down. Almost immediately, I have the misfortune to hear the guy wearing sunglasses sitting beside me loudly say: “Gays should be put in line and shot. They’re disgusting”. This remark is said without any shame in the kind of voice intended to be heard by all around, inviting controversy. His friend opposite heartily agrees before the original imbecile goes on to theorise: “Being born gay is bollocks – come on, do you see two year old boys trying to make out?” I struggle to ignore the temptation to respond to this ludicrous line of argument and manage by internalising my rant.
This is the fourth thing I have heard or witnessed in one day to shake my faith in humanity and genuinely shock, surprise or disgust me. Earlier in the day I encountered a child arguably more unfortunately named than God’s Promise. Who names their son Endurance? Calling the register, I struggled to stifle a smirk, immediately thinking of condoms and later of the Japanese game show. Towards the end of the same lesson, I stopped another student from walking out of the class. When asked where they were going, they cockily informed me they needed to fart and could they please leave the room. A few hours on and another child I have expressly told to stay put abandons ship. I go to challenge him but a learning support assistant stops me and calls me over to tell me she has given him permission because he needs to "break wind" and this isn’t something I want to witness. I don’t remember fellow students ever pre-empting such an event while I was at school or recall ever encountering this request in the five years that I was teaching in
Being called fat in
Having survived such pleasant commentary from an aged skank, I should have been prepared for my next shock. Talking to a hotel receptionist in
A few days ago on the radio, I listened to stats claiming most people worry about giving up a seat on a bus or train for a seemingly pregnant woman for fear of getting it wrong and causing offence. Since my travels, I am fully aware I need to get back in shape but pregnant! It is just my luck to have met the few individuals who manage to fall outside these statistics. A steady build-up of these disturbing encounters has left me severely doubting humanity. I am in serious need of a door holder, bag carrier or “bless you” to remind me such individuals are thankfully in the minority.