Friday, January 23, 2009

A Plague Of Politeness

I don’t think London needs another great fire and I think bubonic plague and ‘the black death’ could be a little bit excessive after all I wouldn’t wish death on anyone but I would wish manners. Manners seem to be something really lacking in people at the moment and it’s wrong. I was shocked when I read this yesterday, the lovely Stella saved some poor girl from being spat at sworn at and wished aids upon. The people around this scene either walked on or milled past!

Until last night (you wait for what’s coming) the only time I had witnessed the joys of the British (well London) people doing sweet nothing was when a guy collapsed cracking his head open in front of Tooting Broadway tube. The florist lady and I were left to deal with the scenario with no one offering any help or simply gawping. The worst offender for me was a girl who simply reeled off the events down her mobile phone to a mate while she looked on, a mobile that could have been used to call an ambulance.

Back to last night when I went and saw the slightly un-thrilling Thriller Live! Hattie and I were unlucky enough to be sat on the same row as a rather large group of drunken ladettes who had seats in the middle and arrived late. Later still was one of the delightful groups’ sisters and pal who decided the free seats in front of us would make good resting spots for their almost paralytic mutton dressed as lamb saggy arses. (Sorry if am being rude ha!) At which point not only did they start ‘yee-hee-ing’ etc they stood up and danced, swayed, screamed.

A girl next to them kindly said ‘I know your having a good time but could you tone it down a bit?’ To which the most mutton dressed as lamb lady turned, sneered and screamed ‘shut the f**k up you black bitch, I paid good money to see this show, don’t think your any better than me, I am a f**king huge Jackson fan, so shut the f**k up’. To my horror this was met by quite a lot of laughter, I hope some was nervous. No one did anything though.

I couldn’t help but say ‘I don’t think anyone behind you paid to see you though did they?’ The manager was called for which I think saved my bacon from monster mutton, though as the lady who had been insulted ‘didn’t want to make a fuss’ they were asked simply to sing and dance at the back. Now when I worked in theatre management a complaint lead to action and in this instance the girl and her group would have been told to leave, their booking name would have been taken and ticket sellers would have been contacted and that booker would have been barred from theatres for a year. Clearly the Lyric don’t feel that’s the way to respond. What shocked me most though was that all parties washed over the racist comment. (My Gran would be proud – I have sent a strongly worded email.)

However, it’s not just casual homophobia, as Stella saw, or casual racism like last night that’s overlooked its manners as a whole. London commuters are famous for being rude. Why is that a claim to fame and not just deemed unacceptable? I then realised I am partly to blame as I can think of a few incidents when I have simply let other peoples rudeness pass me by. For example being asked as a favour to write something for someone and something they do on more than one occasion, spend hours on it and then that person not even having the decency to say they don’t need it anymore. Did I say anything… no! Then there was the neighbour who collected all the post the other day told me none of the ten parcels were mine ‘they are all for us, all of them for us’ before slamming their door. Two minutes later with a loud thud and bang my parcels are thrown/dropped in front of my door. They were fortunately books not glass. Did I say anything… no! When someone barged into me and trod on my foot on the tube. Did I say anything… no!

That has all changed after last night as come on manners cost nothing. I am a great believer in karma but if I am not doing anything then I can’t really complain, well I can I just have. I have done something about last night though and a new leaf has been turned over. It showed when today my landlord phoned to say that the neighbours have complained that the area between their front door and my fire escape smells and it seems to be emanating from my flat. The landlord said he found this odd as every time he has been round it’s been spotless. So rather than be rude and say how these neighbours were always having loud sex, stomping up and down the steps. I sweetly said ‘I think that might be from when they dropped all their shopping outside their front door including milk and eggs and haven’t cleaned it up since.’ That’s not rude that’s just truth. What’s rude is lying and blaming others. I have popped a note through their door offering some of our carpet shampoo to clean up the stains, that’s neighbourly of me isn’t it?

So that’s my rant over, and I shall leave you with my wish… if I could be all magical and mystical, I would send not a plague of politeness simply on ‘both your houses’ or my neighbours house, lets go for the whole bloody city and surrounding areas, in fact maybe the whole country could do with a bout of it?

No comments: