Thursday, 13 August 2009

Bad to the bone

People watching, was popularised in the late 1970's in a book "Manwatching", by Desmond Morris, of "The naked ape" fame.
Now it’s not like me to have a go at people. I can put up with a lot, but there are some things that for whatever reason, jar with me. Here is an example of a perfectly innocent youth who ticked most of my “despair” boxes.

Well what’s wrong with him? I don’t hear you ask. I am sitting in the sunshine at an outside cafĂ© which has a good view of the chateau from my seat. To show that I am not a tourist, I choose a seat with my back to the view. I can now people watch. This lanky 6ft something youth turns up and sits at the table next to mine. He too chooses to sit with his back to the castle. He IS a tourist and he seems to be travelling alone.
He has a huge rucksack and carries a pop-up tent in its green carry-case in one hand. This is fair enough so far. It is 3pm ish in the afternoon. His tee-shirt and trousers look to be in pristine condition. He sports open sandals and immaculately clean feet and has obviously not walked far. He is probably 18 to 21 years of age.
Here is the list of his “crimes” some of which you may sport yourselves, blissfully unaware of the mental torture that you may be causing to others. We will start from the top.
1) He is wearing a really stupid hat with a little turned up brim all the way round it, which offers no real shade, looks like it is meant for a girl, is immaculately clean of course. What message is he trying to convey? Hello, my name is Delphine?
2) He has blonde hair, which is fair enough (geddit?), don’t we all. However he manages to push three of my “bloody hell look at that twat buttons”.
2a) pony tail. This only works if you are a huge biker or Hulk Hogan sized, as of course, self-preservation comes first. If you are working in food preparation, and combine the ponytail with a hairnet, then good for you.
2b) This is combined with a weedy little plait, wound round with little beads or some-such. This really is an insult to men everywhere. If he is so desperate to get in touch with his feminine side he should wear a bloody dress!
2c) His chin sports a whispy, longish goatee beard. Frankly on him this just looks ridiculous. Someone with dark hair might get away with a tidy goatee, but this whispy, bum-fluff effort will have women and / or men running for the hills.
So really it is his head and headwear that is offensive.
In my role as a people watcher I have also decided that he is a phoney.
Remember when you were little and in trouble with your parents. Which of us hasn’t packed our little red, plastic suitcase with some toys, declared that we are leaving home, and marched off down the drive, ready for said repentant parents to fetch us back with an apology before we reach the gate.
Which of us has then not hung around said gate, saying “they’ll be sorry when I’m gone”, until finally getting fed up and returning home in time for tea or a television programme?
Well I decided that this was such a runaway, except that he had just made it to the pub and had a beer and then when his parents still hadn’t come to fetch him, he ordered a pernod and water. Instead of a toy, he brought out a big comic book and read his way through it.
After 2 hours, I got fed up waiting for him to start off or resume his camping trip, or to make the short trip back up the driveway of his parent's house in time for the cartoons on TV.. So we will never know the truth. Perhaps he was from the good old US of A doing Urp in three weeks? Surely not! :-) Yep, bad to the bone, that's me!, but perfectly formed and the epitome of sartorial elegance.

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