the state of things
Sunday Morning in Little Britain and Why We Should All Live Abroad
by Douglas Lindsay - 10:35 on 15 March 2010
We were in the market leading supermarket yesterday morning. Every day I go into a shop and look at the newspaper headlines. I never buy a paper, just want to see what's on the front pages, mostly so I can get annoyed about the things that the papers think we're interested in, and annoyed by the fact that millions of people continue to buy this crap because obviously they are interested in it. So, I had only just moved on from perusing the papers and being duly fed up, annoyed, appalled and embarrassed to be British, when a bloke about my age - we'll call him Man A - took up position behind me and started to peruse the headlines in the manner in which I'd been doing. And then this old fella - Man B - comes alongside him and says something along the lines of, 'Listen, you bloody young scamp, if you're going to read a paper you should bloody well buy it.'
The old guy was actually annoyed that someone was choosing to read the headlines before picking up a paper. Man A, quite justifiably puts up a stout defence on his undeniable right to look at a newspaper headline before choosing which one to buy. Man B continues to protest in an angry manner - really, how could you get angry about something like that...? - and so two grown men were having a stand up row in the market leading supermarket on a Sunday morning about something completely and utterly stupid.
Man C, a disinterested observer walked past, saying, 'Fight fight fight fight...'
We all walked on and left them to it. I was on Man A's side, but had decided that interjecting on his behalf would just have meant that three grown men were having a stand up row about something completely stupid on a Sunday morning in the market leading supermarket.
I pointed out to Woman A - The Parent Currently Known As Mum - that this was one of the reasons why one ought to live in a country in which one doesn't speak the language. Imagine you're in a newsagents in France or Spain or Italy, you don't speak French, Spanish or Italian, and an argument starts up beside the front pages. Those languages are great to argue in; they sound passionate and romantic, and you would just stand there watching Man A and Man B thinking that they were having an argument over some great issue of the day. You would admire the passion, possibly even get yourself a cup of coffee and pitch up to watch. It'd be exciting and you would imagine they were fighting over the budget deficit, or the inane crap on the front page of the tabloids, or about the fact that Man A had once refused to marry Man B's daughter.
Not, however, when you're in a grey shop on a grey Sunday morning in grey Britain. You stand there getting the full depressive weight of petty Little Britain in all its pettiness and littleness.
I didn't watch what Man B did afterwards, but I bet he bought the Mail or the Express.
So, we're moving to Italy later this week. TPCKAM doesn't know this yet, but I'm sure she won't mind. It'll be warmer, I sell more books there, and we won't understand a word that anyone's saying...
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