Saturday, 28 July 2012

Unnatural selection - Sometimes nature needs a hand

I'm pretty sure it's not just me. Surely everybody gets irked by 21st century life at some juncture or other. Admittedly in my case it occurs approximately every three seconds but I can't believe that even the most angelic, level headed people don't occasionally feel their piss begin to move from a gentle simmer to a rolling boil when faced with supreme idiocy.

My wife claims I'm getting worse as I get older and she is probably right but there is just so much to point at and ridicule. I probably and hopefully have somewhere between thirty to fifty years left to live and frankly I'm not sure how I'm going to find the time to bark all the invective and rebuke required to make me feel even a little bit better.

It's not the big things for me. I can't get worked up about politics - that just feels like bald men arguing over a comb - I can occasionally get heated about religion but I also respect peoples right to be narrow minded and deluded if that's what they want to be. It tends to be the really small things things that really get my proverbial goat.

I rejoice in the minutiae of irritability, I take comfort from the absolute fucknuggetry of every day life. I realise I'm not painting a great picture and there is a part of me that wishes I was programmed differently with a sunnier and more positive disposition but really, where is the fun in that?

If I share an example with you, you'll get a feel for where I'm going with this. Over the course of the last six months I've driven somewhere in the region of 15,000 miles, criss crossing the UK in my professional life and driving long distances south to our home in France. Over the course of those journeys I have inevitably experienced discourteous drivers, aggressive maniacs and all manner of annoying practices. I don't even flich at those things (other than the odd hand gesture here and there). However, the one thing that really sends me apoplectic with rage is the behaviour of a small percentage of people who are biologically ill-equipped to deal with life at toll booths and car parks.

Approaching the machine at the correct angle with the correct change or means of payment ready at hand really should be considered a basic skill of driving and yet I estimate based on WAGNER data (Wild Arse Guess Not Easily Refuted) that I have spent approximately five hours of my life waiting at toll booths or car park exits behind people who appear to have ventured onto the roads for the very first time that day. I am magnetically attracted to the lanes that these people occupy and I sit and seethe whilst watching the rest of the traffic sail efficiently through other lanes whilst the driver in front of me wrestles to position their car within walking distance of the machine or window, before eventually giving that one up and getting out of the car and strolling over with a look of bewilderment etched on their face. Inevitably at this point, they realise that they don't have the correct change or indeed any other means of payment. Sometimes, they resort to casually and optimistically throwing coins in the general direction of the coin collection basket or pump small change into a machine in the hope that the automatic systems will somehow take pity on them and let them through. Of course this wishing well mentality has no impact whatsoever and the driver moves through the' curve of ignorance and stupidity'  from denial to acceptance of their situation.

There are as yet undiscovered biological organisms clinging to the sides of hydrothermal vents in some of the most remote ocean trenches. Even they know how the culmination of this regrettable scenario plays out. Eventually after realising that hope is not an accepted method of payment, the assistance button is eventually pushed. A lumo-jacketed, attendant eventually arrives. After a quick check of their give-a-shit-ometer to establish it is still registering zero the attendant starts a conversation which inexplicably takes several more minutes before it inevitably ends by waving the driver through. Annoyed at having had to put out their cigarette and leave their copy of 'take a break' magazine in order to deal with another cockwomble the attendant stomps back to boredom whilst the driver oblivious to the primal fury that has erupted in the car immediately behind them sails off to their next date with ineptitude.

Natural selection should take care of people like this but seems somehow inadequate. To remind you, the definition of Natural selection is 'the gradual process by which biological traits become either more or less common in a population as a function of differential reproduction of their bearers'. I suspect that in ancient history when humans existed on a much more level playing field than exists today, people like this would have been eaten by bears or some other such predator, caught and devoured whilst trying to negotiate the tricky act of walking and breathing at the same time. But in the cosseted and cocooned bubble in which we now exist, no such filtration exists. It's time we gave nature a hand. In an ideal scenario, the attendant should point the driver over to a special lane where they must get out of the car, are forced hand over their driving licence and car keys before being given the required amount of bus fare to take them home and give themselves a good talking to. That and an appointment at their local hospital where a crack medical team are on standby to ensure their genetic pool is contained and prevented from any further breeding.

See, I told you I was grumpy.......


  1. Thank god drive-thru ATM's have never caught on in the UK!

  2. Very good point. I do sometimes wonder if there is a hidden videogame on ATM's that the person in front of me is playing. Thank god they have reduced the things you can do on them, I used to get stuck behind people printing off mini-statements.

  3. Superb read! And I always thought it was just me that gets stuck behind these turds at checkouts etc, fiddling around for change, deciding they haven't got enough change, deciding on paying by card, then neatly re-packing their bags, before slowly moving on. That's what happened to me in Greggs today......the pasty was nice though & I've not had any heartburn as yet. Bit of a result really.

  4. You've clearly not discovered the miracle of Omeprazole then Jarrod? Say goodbye to indigestion forever. Available from all good chemists and some shit ones.

  5. It is so comforting to realise that no matter how we age some things do not change! Mr leishman is still a grump!!

    Are you treating us to your thoughts on the OlympIc opening ceremony?

    Hope you are well.

  6. I loved the opening ceremony but I'm sure I'll find something to get grumpy about.....lx