Living On The Edge

4 November 2016 Lorin Clarke

Living On The Edge

Nobody likes people who are rude to waiters.

Nobody likes bus exhaust.

Nobody likes it when someone opens a car window at the lights and twiddles loose hair from their fingers.

Nobody likes laborious opening credits.

Nobody likes that little moment in the lift where your stomach drops and you have to pretend to all the other adults that you’re not feeling like going “Woah!”

Nobody likes being watched while parking. A watched parker is a frazzled, sweaty idiot who cannot remember which way the wheel goes. An unseen parker is James Bond, reversing effortlessly into the perfect, slightly-too-small spot right outside the venue, in one smooth move, one arm resting casually out the open window. Witnessed by nobody.

Nobody likes a phone call where a text or an email will do. We live in an era where it is safe to assume that if your phone is ringing, it is either an automated message from your phone company, or somebody you know has died.

Nobody likes the following sentence being said about them: “Oh my goodness I love her to death, but…”

Nobody likes a missing spider that was there 20 seconds ago.

Nobody likes unexpected objects in the bagging area. What’s more, nobody likes your self-checkout attitude, supermarkets. You lose a bunch of staff for an apparently flawless self-checkout, and then say you’ve called the cops to crack down on people who walk out of the self-checkout with an extra truss tomato? Boo to the bagging area, boo to the taxpayer paying for what staff used to do and boo to truss tomatoes.

Nobody likes the words “it’s not good news”. This applies particularly in relation to: health, car troubles and whether or not a smart phone is under warranty.

Nobody likes your cheery chitchat, dentists. We are literally only here because otherwise our faces would fall off.

Nobody likes other people who know better. This pertains particularly to people who know better about:
The having of babies (“It will kill you! I had a baby and I exploded!”)
How to do your job (including emails titled: “a few quick suggestions”).
How to drive a car (“I would have turned there” is a phrase that should remain forever unuttered).
Love (“You’ll find someone when you least expect it. It’s funny, Darren and I…” Just, no).

Nobody likes the sound of their own voice recorded. We’re used to hearing it through the acoustics of our own heads. It’s like singing in your bedroom and then suddenly: boom! The lights go on and you’re on stage in front of everybody, through an amplifier. Nude.

Nobody likes one sock that holds up better than the other.

Nobody likes walking out of a movie before all the credits have run, just in case there’s an extra bit that’s completely hilarious. Or, at the very least, a crewmember called Dave “The Big Man” Morris or something.

Nobody likes trying to look casual while erecting a pop-up tent on the beach for the first time.

Nobody likes radio-traffic reporters giving the roads nicknames.

Nobody likes the lack of a clear regulatory system regarding chai. Is chai actually tea? Is it brewed like a pot of tea? Is it tealeaves in a little metal cage? Is it done like a coffee? Is it made with a bag? Powder? Or, criminally, a horrifying liquid that tastes like someone squeezed a day-old cake through a moldy cushion? Why are our leaders not moving on this? The people are as one – we will not be denied.
In the meantime, don’t sweat the small stuff. Give it a minute. Stare into the middle distance. Tune out. If you feel it might be beneficial, by all means have a piece of cake the size of your face.

This has been a public service announcement.
By Lorin Clarke

This article was first publised in Ed#524 of The Big Issue.

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