Eavesdropping is necessarily a snide pastime.
I don’t think I’ve ever eavesdropped on a single conversation and come away thinking, “Ooh, they’re lovely people – I wish they were in my friend’s network so I could get to know them better”.
Generally I come away shaking my head, sneering, laughing and quite often disgusted at the small minded, bigoted, malapropism-rich outpourings of my fellow man.
Of course, I’m quite willing to accept that maybe I am just a big snob per se and congenitally live in contempt of my fellow humans.
But that in no way invalidates my claim that eavesdropping inevitably positions those being eavesdropped upon well beneath the moral hobnailed boots of those doing the eavesdropping. It’s just human nature.
This being the case, I was walking quite innocently back to work after my lunchbreak yesterday afternoon when I stopped at a pedestrian crossing. While I waited for the lights to change in my favour two other pedestrians approached the lights behind me and waited at my back. Two young teenage girls, the ubiquitous mobile phone held out in their hands like a Ghostbuster PKE metre and their overly glossed lips pulled into pouts big enough to form the south facing wall of a bouncy castle.
“Fockin’ gaffa tape. Fockin’ gaffa tape. Bastard. I mean, look, that’s what he wants me to get. Fockin’ gaffa tape. Can you believe it? Bastard. Fockin’ gaffa tape.”
And on and on and on. Those same few phrases repeated over and over while the orator’s companion laughed like a drain and no doubt was as familiar with the gutter as one.
I actually began counting how many times this delightful young lady swore. I got to 15 before the green man finally appeared and rescued me.
As I sped away I could still hear, “Fockin’ gaffa tape, fockin’ gaffa tape, bastard” singeing the air like hastily deposited nuclear waste and I found myself wondering whether anyone on this planet can ever find such constant expletive incontinence attractive. Or even think it adult or mature?
I mean I am right in thinking that someone who effs and blinds every second word is chromosome deficient, aren’t I? Their emotional / intellectual development has somehow stalled at the ‘bike shed badinage’ stage and they’re forever stuck with the mentality of a 15 year old where they think that heavy use of the eff word automatically bestows upon them the heady mantle of ‘Adult’.
I instantly found myself dismissing this pair as a couple of foul-mouthed, uncouth, thick as shit, nob chompers who will end up working in McDonalds and exorcising their dissatisfaction with life by wiping malicious bogeys onto the underside of all the bread buns.
Which isn’t fair. They might actually make it to Burger King.
They might actually be intelligent. They might even be nice girls. From good homes. With a staunch moral view of the world and an acceptance letter from Oxford.
But I don’t think so.
We are how we talk. Our voice and choice of words express our personalities and our aspirations. I’m not talking about accents here. I’m talking about what we say rather than how we say it. To choose to swear so prolifically and so (deliberately) loudly speaks volumes about a mindset that has not only normalised aggressive displays of behaviour but has also promoted them as being the most efficient way to navigate modern society.
And that is deeply, deeply saddening and possibly speaks volumes about the rest of us.
Or it could just be that a potty mouth is a habit that people fall into when young and like all nasty habits needs a jolly good kick to get it broken.
Believe you me, I was tempted.