THE MAGIC WORD

29 Nov

It’s commonplace week-ends in the CBD to deal with the great shampoo’d mass of 4WD lugging boneheads from the suburbs and their ingrained sense of entitlement to lifelong comfort and convenience. Urban space? They have no idea. They believe that the entire universe was created for them to stroll thru unencumbered by the interests of others. A bit harsh maybe? Well suffer. When I first entered the world of online farnarkling I spent a while on Andrew Bolt’s blog. According to his disciples everyone living within 5 klicks of the CBD is a dole-bludging communist drug-addict. If you want to play that way I can too. Fuck you.

I had a choice encounter really, a classic example of the banal, ubiquitous discourtesy perpetrated by the perpetually unaware of everyone and everything. She was heading to her parked 4WD and cut straight in front of me as if I wasn’t there, saying ‘sorry’ as she passed. She knew I was there, walking along the sidewalk. She wanted to get to her tank and waiting the half-second beat it’d take me to pass was an outrageous tax on her precious time. So she shoved in and past. I had to swerve to avoid an elbow in the guts. She’s important: aren’t we all? But she did say… sorry.

“Don’t be sorry, just don’t do it,” I replied. Picked that phrase up in the country. Out there people will tell you off for being a jerk. And when you apologize they’ll say it: don’t be sorry, just don’t do it. So that’s what I said. She was exasperated! Clicked her tongue; Well! Really!!! How unreasonable! How rude!

Every week-end, every single day during the preparations for the stuff your fat faces fest Christmas holiday, you are cut off, stifled, blocked, pulled, pushed and trapped by people who have no idea that they’re being rude. This city is full of crowded narrow alleyways and these people will stroll down the centre of them, taking up as much space as they can, walking as slowly as possible without standing. At the cafes they cut straight into an obvious line nonchalant, pretending it doesn’t exist. Inform them and they’ll look at you like you’re crazy, paranoid. They weren’t trying to cut in, they just didn’t see. Sorry.

Sorry – no longer an admittance of slack behavior, of reprehensible inconsideration. It’s the magic word: the get-out-of-jail-free card. Do what you want. Act like the venal human seagull you are and evade all consequence or remand by saying it: sorry. Trample a little girl’s kitten, run over a foot, push old ladies into the gutter – sorry. We have all begun to expect automatic forgiveness at the utterance of a single word.

So this 4WD driver, she says sorry and I give her a serve and she’s all flustered. Telling me off down the street. I stop, turn, say: “You were rude Madam.”

And she replies, “I said sorry,” amazed that I could be so out of touch with reality that I wasn’t aware of the power of the magic word.

On the road and on the sidewalk, 4WD drivers know they come first. The light might be red but this doesn’t apply to them, pedestrians be aware. Cross the road at your peril. Such vehicles are perfectly entitled to mow you flat regardless the signals. Traffic lights? More like a guideline. They don’t apply to Drivers of Suburban Tanks. Their fat arses are higher.

You can see the problem in the tone of this post. I’m being rude. I’m slandering everyone who lives outside the 5 klick radius of the glistening towers that mark a city in the 21st century: fat arse’d, stupid, rude, uncultured, self-indulgent clods!!!! And they all drive what American television have us calling SUVs these days. And all SUV drivers are jerks. Is that how it is? Not fair is it? It’s a stereotype, it’s a slander. It’s naked hostility that only makes things worse. But that’s what you get. Discourtesy is contagious.

Sorry.

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