For quite possibly the first time in my life, I almost blew my top at a complete stranger.
Actually if you read that first sentence again, all I'm really saying is that nothing actually happened. And that is the problem.
Let me first talk you through what did happen. I was walking home from work just after 5pm today. It's not a very long walk; usually takes 5 minutes or so. I was walking behind three teenagers - I'd say between 16 and 18 years old. They were walking quite slow and, as I have longs legs and a big stride, I overtook them. As I started to pull away from them, one of them said to his mates "Ankle Hangers", in reference to me.
At this point, I feel I should say that technically the young man's observation was accurate. The jeans I wore were not quite long enough in the leg. They were bought along with another pair of jeans which were "2 for £10" in a sale several months ago, and were purchased specifically to be worn as work wear. I didn't realise at the time that one pair would be shorter in the leg than the other (both pairs being 36" waist, but one being 36" leg and the other 33"), but to be honest I don't care - they were cheap, I work in a warehouse so will be getting them dirty, and when I wear my work boots, they look fine. It was only because I leave my work boots at work, and was wearing trainers that the shortness of my jeans was highlighted.
Still, the sniggering behind me hit a nerve. Not because I was embarrassed about my jeans, but because an unpleasantly recognisable feeling was rearing its ugly head inside me. Far too many times in my life - especially my youth - I have been on the receiving end of ridicule because of my height, the way I look, my name, all sorts of things. And I get angry because to be quite honest, it isn't fair. I'm not a bad person; yes, I have bad thoughts and I have done bad things, but I do a lot of good things too. I care for people, I help people, I try to make folk laugh.
Of course, this is the way of the world - we as a species do not have the time or inclination to see other for who they are. It is much easier to see them as they appear to us in the first instance and make a snap judgement - I do it all the time. But being the hypocrite I and 100% of the human are, I still wanted to turn around and smash that bastard who laughed at me in the face. And I would not have regretted it, no sir. I would have accepted any punishment given to me by the police, but would have no remorse whatsoever.
But of course, I didn't do anything. I just kept walking, and soon left them out of earshot. I could have turned round and confronted them, god knows I wanted to - but that little voice inside my head said "ignore it" - the same little voice that's been saying it to me for years, knowing full well that I don't. The problem is of course, that I've been a weak person far too long. I should have stood up for myself a long long time ago. Yes, I would have got a smack in the face or three, but so what? bruises fade, cuts heal.
I'm sick of talking like this, about this stuff so here's my last word on the subject: I'm no longer a spineless wimp, who will take abuse in silence. If someones got a problem with me that's fine - provided they tell me to my face. If people want to laugh at me from a distance, or behind my back, they'd better not let me hear them because I will confront them.
If there's a story in the news this weekend about a bloke going mental in Tesco's and stabbing 12 people to death with a french stick - that'll be me.
I've just had a nosebleed. Now that's either the pent up rage inside me bursting a small blood vessel - or I've been bogey hunting again.
I've decided that Motorcyclists are either solar powered, or are secretly cold blooded lizards. I've come to this conclusion based on the fact that whenever we have a day of glorious sunshine, thousands of motorcycle riders appear on our roads. Great long chains of them weaving their way through the traffic like a human version of the old Nokia mobile game "Snake", every now and then growing in length as another one miraculously appears. But where do they come from? why do we not see them in the Winter, or when it's raining, or just overcast? Do they secretly huddle together in their thousands like Artic Penguins (as opposed to those Caribbean Penguins, with their dreadlocks and tan lines), in the abandoned forecourt of a disused garage, gathering what warmth they can from each other?
Maybe they are just normally pedestrians, slowly trudging back and forth to work during the winter months - until when they open the curtains and see the sun, they put on their leathers and run to the patio to bask until their cold bodies have warmed up. Then with a shout of "phone work and tell them I've got the flu!" they pull the dust cover off their bike, and roar off down the road.
Now I now why you often see large groups of bikers together by the road side. They're not meeting to plan a road trip, they've all run out of energy because the sun's gone in.
I talked earlier about me getting angry, but the way men and women get angry are so different. Men shout alot and swear, and bang about generally (I know not all men do that, but for arguments sake - and I'm right in the mood for an argument - let's say that they do) because that's how we are. We are still animals, and in the animal kingdom, if you've got the loudest roar, or scariest display, your the boss.
But women are different, aren't they. They rarely lose their temper or scream and shout (again, I know they do - but throw me a frickin' bone here!) like men do, but nonetheless are just as effective.
You know when you are in trouble with a woman when she stops the war of words, and answers everything with "fine.". When you hear that, you know that things aren't going to be fine for a very long time. And like the idiots that we are, us blokes keep asking if they are okay - and all we get it "I'm fine", or "it's fine." or "everything is fine."
But then you really know when things are bad, when your missus starts doing that super fast cleaning thing. If your wife or girlfriend is scrubbing at the kitchen tiles so fast and hard that the tiles themselves are disintegrating, you know it's time to leave the house. For a good few hours. And it doesn't matter if you are in the right, and she is in the wrong - you still go.
Surely we could win gold at the Curling at the Winter Olympics? All we need to do is ask the women to do the brushing of the ice (to make it smoother so that the stone can travel further), and then upset them just as the stone is released.
'So here in the Final of the mixed pairs curling, it's Brian and Susan for Great Britain. They need one more point to win gold. It's the last stone of the last end. And here goes Brian releasing the stone....'
"Susan! Susan!.................I'm sleeping with your sister".
'And look at that broom action from Susan! she's like a woman possessed! it was a poor release by Brian, but Susan is making that broom work so hard the stone is going to make it right into the centre!!! It's gold for Britain!!!'
Or something like that.
I obviously have a wealth of experience in upsetting women, as the fact that I am single will testify to.