Thursday, November 18, 2004

Confederacy of Dunces

Working out here in the Boondocks is frequently like working in a foreign country. I may only be 30 minutes away from the centre of London, but I am well and truly embedded in another world.

And I do try. I often find a small wedge to lever my way into stray conversations in a misguided attempt to get even mildly involved with my “colleagues”. But, most of the time, I end up wishing I hadn’t bothered.

When I was younger, I used to ratchet down hard on my vocabulary, and tamp down the urge to use all the words at my disposal from the reservoir of language sloshing away neglected in the murky waters of my brain pan. I used to find that it helped to keep me anonymous, subsumed into the hive mind, and it made me “one of the gang”.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been concerned with inclusiveness and fitting in. I really don’t give a shit what most people think of me. Take me or leave me. In the immortal words of Popeye the Sailor Man: “I yam what I yam, and that’s all I yam”. I can’t be arsed to pretend that I am stupider than I actually am. Fuck that.

An unusual side-effect of this, is that They all like to use me as a talking dictionary, asking for spellings of not-obscure words like “gesture” and “definitely”. And for some reason, there is a misconception around here that “prepare” is spelt “prepair”.

Here are just a few of the choice nuggets from the provincial fuckheads in recent days:

One of the office scumbags took a picture of his girlfriend’s tits with his mobile phone, and then showed it around the office. Classy guy. I’m sure the aforementioned girlfriend would be thrilled to know that her pixelated breasts were being used for in-house entertainment.

Another one decided to give a play-by-play of the Abi Titmuss and Paris Hilton home movies that he watched one-handed whilst eating his dinner on Friday evening.

The same person delights in deliberately mispronouncing my name. Have no doubt that I will shortly stick a straightened paper clip right into the soft meat of his left eyeball.

They all find themselves endlessly amusing (which they aren’t), and from what I can gather, it appears that They live on a steady diet of prime time television most evenings of the week, tirelessly quoting from bad shitcoms and reality TV shows.

Oh, and I’ve started slapping people down over the racial epithets. They don’t seem to understand. They just gawp and mumble, “Well, what are we supposed to call them then?”

I was starting to come around to thinking that working here for a year or so would be a good time to recharge and relax, a bit of fallow time before my inevitable return to a London Life. A vaguely decent salary, a more sedate life, and the ability to go home in the evenings at a reasonable time to chill with my wife and play with my daughter. But I am starved for intelligent interaction in this backward-ass place.

I’m Not a Moron….Get Me Out of Here!

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