Stooling Problems

I’ve never really understood the phrase ‘It’s grim up North’ because mostly, it really isn’t. If anything, having a stroll round Newcastle yesterday afternoon, I realised just what a nice city it is. The sandstone brick buildings, places such as the Royal Theatre, ancient wall ruins and the occasional statue of a man who made tea (that must be what Lord Early Grey is famous for) make it a rather picturesque place. In fact all the people seemed to be lovely too. From the general manner of everyone from the second I got off the train to the gig last night at Blake’s Coffee House, all the Geordie’s were alreet. Then, just when I had nearly blocked last year’s visit from hell out of my brain, we met a man in a bar who proved that proper dicks exist everywhere. I say met, but it was more of an imposed introduction that involved him being very aggressive with everyone around the table I was sitting on. His reason for aggression? Well we had taken a stool from his table, after politely asking his friend if we could take it, and his friend had said yes. Then Captain Twat in a black shirt and red tie just waltzed over 20 minutes later, grabbed the stool, called us all fuckers for stealing his stool and got properly aggressively angry about it. Like wanting to fight aggressive. The level of aggression I don’t think I’ve ever got to in my life. I suppose this is because I have some sort of mental block that says, ‘maybe if we handle this reasonably, I won’t get hit in the face’. This man did not have that. Probably because it would be the other person’s face getting hit and therefore slightly less problematic for him.

Myself, Tom Wrigglesworth and the other two men on the table were entirely unsure how to handle this and most of us did awkward explanations about how we’d asked nicely for the chair and other such mutterings that the angry man didn’t seem to register. Then, as we were scrabbling out worrying about our faces, one of the girls just grabbed the stool off him and put it back. He then got very angry, his mates made him sit down and everything was both better and uncomfortable all at once. Like a brand new nice sofa but with some large sticks in it. We resumed conversation and could hear angry man saying things along the lines of what people say in films when they get all angry like ‘yeah you’re fucking lucky this time’ and all that kind of thing. Then the same girl that took the stool thought it a good idea to turn around, and ask the man if he’d ‘got over the whole stool thing’. This was not a good idea. It was the sort of idea that had Archimedes had it, everyone would have preferred him to drown in the bath. The man had not got over the stool incident and instead got more angry at the antagonising and as such the girl on our table was forcefully turned around and we just about managed to avoid any further conflict. Well done the women on having more balls than me about it all. Although not well done on starting it up again. I wonder if that’s how a lot of conflicts start between men. I blame Helen of Troy. She started it. Oddly that’s the second Greek legend reference I’ve made today. Wonder why? Maybe because I checked my bank and saw how in debt I am.

Today I doubt will be as relaxing. Well the first bit will be. I have hired my Twitter friend Rachel (@well_armed_lamb if you are a tweeter. She is very funny too and worth following) to be my guide around Newcastle for a day. As yet we haven’t discussed a rate of pay but I have some chewing gum and banter so hopefully that’ll be enough. But then after that, I return to the Hyena where my evening will be spent trying to work out why hen dos are hen dos, yet stag dos, despite their behaviour, are not called cock dos. I will also not be asking anyone if their seat is spare.

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