No inspiration yesterday (Thursday), so a slight rework of something from quite early on in my blogging career.


I had a bit of a set-to on Wednesday, in a most unlikely venue. The public library. Not known as hotbeds of violence are they? Libraries? Not a place you go for a good scrap. Apparently you do if you live in Great Dunmow.

I was at my usual table, minding my own business, when, if this were a play, the stage directions would say ‘Enter Stout Party.’ I’ve had a run-in with this bloke before. He’s what is technically referred to as an old buffer. You’ve all heard of the term body language, I’m sure. His delivers a very clear message, and that is one of extreme disapproval. Of everything. His face and stance, if translated into English, would say ‘Harrumph.’

He shuffled towards me, and stood looking daggers.

‘I see you’re established in your office as usual?’ Lord of the Manor voice and demeanour is guaranteed to get my back up.

‘Yes, indeed I am. Is there a problem with that?’

He pointed at my laptop.

‘It’s taxpayers’ money paying for you to use that.’

I didn’t point out that it’s taxpayers’ money that pays for the ten public access workstations, but went about things a bit obliquely. I gestured around me.

‘See all those books? The ones you borrow? They’re paid for by the taxpayer too. And the bookshelves they sit on. And I might also point out that I’m a taxpayer too.’

‘It’s disgraceful.’

‘It is? Why is that?’

‘Where you’re sitting. I can’t get at the books behind you.’

‘If you need to get to the books, all you have to do is ask me politely, and I will move willingly and with good grace.’

‘I won’t ask you to move. I’ll get you moved. You’re very selfish.’

Well, I wasn’t having that.

‘I’m selfish? You’re entitled to your opinion of course. But so am I. You are a self-centred, ignorant, ill mannered, bullying oaf. I think I win on points.’

‘You’re in the wrong. You haven’t got a leg to stand on.’

Now since he had a walking stick, I was sore tempted to make a crack, but I didn’t. Eventually he harrumphed off.

Some people. Really.