Thursday 04 October 2012

People have different standards. And that’s not just an attempt to win an award for the most inane and obvious opening sentence in the history of the English language. As someone who privately judges everyone – and does his best to immediately override this – the standards I hold other people up to aren’t that high, I think. Perhaps they are. The following two conversations occurred on the short bus ride home after football tonight.

1. Freshers couple – boy deals well with girl ignorance of cockney rhyming slang

There was a couple at the bus stop as my friend Paul and I arrived at it smelling and sweaty post-football. They were clearly a freshers couple: they looked about 15 and couldn’t stop hugging each other, more accurately they were trying to hug each other MORE than they already were and they were already COMPLETELY hugging each other. Their arms almost seemed to say ‘I wish I had another arm because these two-armed hugs just don’t hug this bastard enough to convey just how much I want to hug them.’

They sat upstairs. As did we. The bus wasn’t very busy so we could hear them in between either of us saying stuff like “he’s a right moaning bastard, he doesn’t mind his elbow catching your fucking face but the moment you try to cripple him he complains it’s a foul.” They were going to Rusholme for a curry. The girl was asking how spicy a ‘ruby murray’ was. The lad said it depends which one you have. It very quickly became clear that she thought a ruby murray was a kind of curry,”Can I have a chicken madras and a ruby murray please – with one pilau rice and a garlic naan.”

The male dealt with it rather politely. A bit too politely in my book. Which made me think maybe they hadn’t….you know….*makes a circle with left thumb and forefinger and inserts right forefinger in and out of this hole*. He had a little chuckle about it but didn’t really make her feel too bad. I am almost sure that he let it go within minutes. I would still be making frequent references to it 15 years later if someone had said that to me. Eg:

Fucking Idiot: I think you’re having a heart-attack we’d better get you to a hospital
Me: Remember when you thought ruby murray was a kind of curry you fucking nob?

Is it even that bad? Basically this person wasn’t aware of a slang term. A slang term invented by cockneys who decided that the English language was too concise for them in its accepted format and that people using twice as many English words as they did now could mean something that it rhymed with, notable examples: Hungarian Grand Prix= brie, Kentucky Fried Chicken=kicking* and Mexican Jumping Bean=green.

It was a very popular piece of CRS though. My verdict is: guilty of idiocy.

*as in I gave that Hilary Duff a Kentucky Fried Chicken for looking at me like they do.
2. Girl not knowing what a pacifist was.
I don’t have as much background on this one. And I don’t remember exactly what was said. If I had to swear down in a court of law I could swear to these things:
  • Three (possibly four) females aged 16-20 got on the bus in Withington.
  • They were very excited about life (note: life had yet to crush them, firming up my estimation of their age. Deduction: sixth form students or possibly freshers).
  • They liked talking to the degree where they each read allowed anything from The Metro newspaper rather than not be speaking.
  • One of them read a quote out from someone who really liked guns but was a pacifist; another one didn’t know why this quote had been highlighted by the paper – and to a lesser extent her friend. A lesser extent because, as I said, she was reading everything.
  • At least two of them did know as they explained what one was.

Let’s say they were freshers. Pretty sure they were. Am I asking too much that someone entering higher education knows what pacifism is? Is it an overreaction to be a bit annoyed that two different undergraduate students didn’t understand basic Cockney Rhyming Slang and a term for opposition to violence? Well, maybe (just) maybe I am. However, these are my standards and I also find this second defendant guilty of being a bit of a fucking lemon.

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