There have been a number of interesting incidents that have occurred around me over the past few months, and I keep forgetting to write about them… but no more!
This post shall feature an extremely quick run down of just such incidents interspersed with “Tweet” style thoughts that have been going through my head over recent days.
Disclaimer: Whatever happens, please don’t take any views I present as actually serious… I’m never serious.
So, let us begin…
- Mental illness is no laughing matter… That is of course until fate seats you opposite a man with Tourette’s on the tube. Say what you will about equality, but trust me, you cannot comprehend the awkwardness of facing someone who is uncontrollably spewing out a barrage of random words until you experience it yourself. For the common man, the most disabled person they’ll meet maybe a wheelchair user, or someone on crutches. It’s very easy to spot them and exhibit the appropriate social behaviour toward them. That all goes out the window when you’re next to someone with Tourette’s. There I was, innocently reading my book on the District Line, when the aforementioned gentleman took the seat opposite me. I was sat in that little huddle of four seats – the kind where you feel there should be a table in the middle. Anyway, whilst reading, I hear some random mumbling. First I think “This man must be one of those ‘crazy’ people singing along to his music”. I didn’t pay it much attention. Then he started to say the title of the book I was reading, and the author. That’s when I freaked out. I looked over subtly, not wanting to provoke any potential violence that may be exacted upon me by said ‘crazy’ person. I saw a non-threatening figure in a shirt and tie, and didn’t think he looked at all like the stabbing kind. So I once again paid it no mind, thinking the person responsible was perhaps a few seats away. No sooner did I look down, I heard the sound again. Looking up quickly, I caught the man just as he finished speaking. Instantly my keen psychology training kicked in and I ran a one-off, free diagnosis on this poor fellow. I could not believe I was sitting opposite a Tourette’s sufferer. The psychologist in me was fascinated. I wanted to ask him questions. I wanted to know everything about it! But in London, what’s weirder than talking aloud on the tube, is speaking to the person who is talking aloud. It’s not the done thing – and so in silence I sat, reading. Isn’t that the worst thing though? We preach equality when it comes to the less-able and ourselves, but what else can you do in a situation like that? A man is trying so hard to control himself from speaking, but can’t do anything about it. He’s not swearing, but limiting his outbursts to the words he can see around him – titles of books; adverts on the wall. Instead of trying to converse with him, or show that we sympathise, we put our heads down and ignore him. Imagine if a man with a broken leg came onto the tube and instead of standing up and offering him a seat, everyone just avoided him? Isn’t it the same thing really? Well, I’m to blame for this behaviour, which explains what I did next… It wasn’t long before other people took notice of this man, and as I was the only person next to him, I felt a sense of stewardship upon me. I must protect my new found friend/patient from the eyes of the world, and so I stared down anyone who dared to try and make eye contact with him. In some small way, I felt I made up for the fact that I had initially been freaked out by this guy… but at the same I thought to myself ‘I gotta blog about this!’
- I saw a really awesome typewriter in a charity shop on the weekend… fully working for £25 with 2 ink ribbons. I must have it!
- Why do pregnant women on the tube always go to young men and ask them to stand up? Why don’t they ever ask another woman to stand up? I noticed it once, twice, and then too many times. I’m all about equality, and that’s why I bring up this point. Is it their way of getting back at us men for putting them in the position they are now in? One day I’d actually like to see a woman ask another woman to stand up for her; or for a woman to actually get up and offer her seat – sisterhood and all that. Usually I see a woman sitting down look over at a guy sitting down and indicating with their eyes that he should stand up for the pregnant lady – why doesn’t she just stand up? I’ve actually seen this happen on more than one occasion which is why I mention it. I thought women would sympathise with other women over being pregnant – but clearly they just revert back to old thinking – expecting men to stand up for them. Now, I’m all about that – don’t get me wrong. I love chivalry – I am, after all, a notorious charmer. But I just feel that if women want equality, they need to practice it and not just preach it. You can’t have it all.
- I’ve been really ‘on it’ with my tourist assistance lately. On three separate occasions last week I stopped to help lost looking tourists find their way around London. Unlike most Londoners, I LOVE tourists. If I see anyone with a map, I feel it’s my civic duty to help, and last week I was like a Boy Scout. Hopefully those individuals will go back to their respective countries and say “Oh! Londoners aren’t rude at all, in fact, they’re extremely helpful.” I’ll change the world… one tourist at a time.
- Dammit… I really want that typewriter.
- Awesome = Amazing.
Awful = Terrible.
Awless = ?
Well, that’s all I’ve got time for today. Keep smiling folks.
P.S. – A link to my latest video: