Monday, May 8, 2017

When Your Privacy Is Invaded

Simply put, people have got to start behaving and learn to respect personal space and to stop encroaching. Many years ago, on a Sunday at that – not that it would have made a difference had it not been a Sunday, I was on an empty London bus - save for Driver.

When we got to Mile End bus stop, which is outside a Jehovah’s Witness church, Bible Bashing Jajja boarded. As she pays her fare, she heaps Driver words of religious wisdom then starts her journey down the aisle to find a seat.

She had freedom of choice. She could have sat on any of the empty seats but nedda, she made a beeline to sit next to me and that was cause for concern. Had she been some young fit female with a nubile body, I would have welcomed the invasion of privacy - except, she wasn’t that. She was Bible Bashing Jajja who had difficulty walking and worse, her skin hung off her body the way the skin ghastly hangs off the nose of a yet to be slaughtered Christmas lunch turkey.

Of course, I swung her ‘the look’. And she retorted by swinging me her look that read: “Don’t you dare open your mouth. Sit there and listen to what I have to say.” And with that, out came the Bible and the more she read out the passage, she more she whipped herself into some sort of freaky frenzy that was punctuated with chants of praise the lord.

When I got to my stop, rather than head straight home as I had planned, a detour to the nearest ale house beckoned to have more than a couple of shots of ‘the striding man’ while berating myself for allowing my personal space to be invaded.

Godfrey and Tom are loaded. They are nice chaps but they are invaders of personal space. I am cool about shaking hands as a greeting or concluding a deal. Two quick shakes suffice. There is no need to take it beyond that – except, Tom and Godfrey do. They go on even when it’s quite evident that your grip has relaxed and thus signalling the end of the handshake. But there is more. Having already invaded your privacy by not letting go after two handshakes, they then entwine their fingers into yours and want to walk with you. So not cool!

If you do manage to untangle your fingers from theirs, they won’t leave it be. Once again their hands will come searching for yours. The only way to get yourself out of that quagmire is to make sure your hands are full.

I was in The Fox and Hounds, a pub near the Bank of England shortly before Stockbroker descended in for his obligatory liquid lunch. In the basement are the men’s toilets with close to twelve urinals and six cubicles.

When I walked in there was nobody there that, I had the freedom of choice to pick whatever urinal that I wanted to pee into. Urinal six from the door looked good and ten seconds after I unzipped, the door opens and in walks Stockbroker.

Should I pause a while and let you figure out what happened next? Dude walked up to urinal seven to do his thing. Really, of all urinals he could have picked, he decides to use the one right next to me?! Obviously there was a just need to glare at him which I did. But he didn’t reciprocate like Bible Bashing Jajja did, so I had no recourse but utter an ‘hmm’ of disgust at the invasion of my privacy.

And what’s the deal with people who come and press up against you in the ATM queue?          


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