I have a flaw.
Actually, I have many flaws but there is one in particular that sometimes annoys me but most of the time makes me feel truly alive and gives me a buzz unlike any other.
I am a bit of an anarchist.
The targets of my anarchist streak are those who have been granted a tiny bit of power and have tried to abuse it in order to control me.
A good way to illustrate this is the saga of “Dave versus the Night Club Bouncer”. Thankfully, I rarely visit such establishments these days but in the past I have many encounters with certain meatheads who have been given a little power and feel it necessary to abuse innocent people like me.
Okay , I’ve not always been innocent but at the start of the encounter I have usually been in a happy frame of mind and therefore tolerant of their power trip. It almost as if the fake tuxedo has turned them into an unreasonable henchman, whose ego has been inflated by a tiny bit of authority that they simply do not possess in their normal lives.
I can tolerate bouncers who are friendly and are genuinely there to stop trouble. What I hate and detest are those who, for some reason, do not like the look of me or cannot take any sarcastic banter from me when they question my suitability to enter their establishment.
A bouncer would, of course, beat the shit out of me if my behaviour were worthy of being forcibly removed from the premises; I have never let it get that far. My purpose has always been to point out to anybody in the vicinity (usually other punters waiting to get into the night club) how stupid the rules are and how the bouncer is in fact on a power trip, having been granted a miniscule amount of authority.
That’s really what my anarchist streak is fighting against – people who have been granted a small amount of power and abuse it in order to control me when they have no right to do so.
One bouncer, for example, once told me that I was overdressed.
Can you believe that?
How can you be overdressed for a shitty little night club?
This meatheaded moron was standing outside a nightclub dressed in a tuxedo and refused to allow me in because I was wearing a shirt and trousers instead of a T-shirt and jeans.
“Look, mate,” I said in a reasonable fashion. “I’ve just met my mates for a pint and on the spur of the moment we thought we’d pop to this club because we heard it was great. Come on – look at me? Do I look as if I’m going to cause trouble? I’ll just sit at the bar and chat with my friends.”
“You’re overdressed!” was his curt reply.
“Really? And why are you wearing a tuxedo? Aren’t you overdressed?”
“It’s not about me; I let in normal people. You are not normal; you are overdressed.”
“I tell you what – it’s the first time I’ve been refused entry because I’m overdressed. You’ve just let in three women wearing fantastic dresses and shoes but you won’t let me in because I have a shirt and trousers?”
“And you, my friend, are an idiot. Look at me. I’m a scrawny bespectacled spotty little kid who is more likely to run away from a fight than start one. What possible harm could I cause sitting in a dark corner with my mates?”
Once the meathead realised that other people in the queue were laughing at him, his reaction changed. The look on his face evolved from one of blind stupidity to an air of aggressive thuggery as he slowly realised that his power was being threatened by a clever little anarchistic geek wearing glasses.
The only way he could reinforce his power was to use violence. That way he could control the rest of the queue out of fear.
Fortunately for me, he was a moron and the synapses of his acorn brain were slow to realise this, giving me and my mates ample time to make ourselves scarce before he turned into a raging meathead.
It’s not just bouncers that rile me.
One encounter I had was with local councillor in a car park. I had gone on a shopping trip and parked my car in a “Pay and Display” car park. The idea is that you park your car and pay for a ticket in advance. I guessed that my shopping trip would last three hours so I purchased a ticket for that length of time.
I overestimated the time. I managed to buy what I needed in just under an hour.
I arrived back at my car just as another guy was parking next to me. I was in a generous mood and as the guy was about to buy his ticket, I said:
“Hi mate. Listen, I’ve still got two hours left on this ticket. You can have it for nothing. It will save you wasting your money.”
Unfortunately, I was overhead by a rather posh and pompous arse who marched over and intervened.
“Excuse me,” he bellowed at me in a voice reminiscent of a teacher I hated at school. “Do you realise that I am a councillor for this town? You cannot give away a ticket like that. “
He turned to the guy to whom I had offered the ticket. “You need to buy your OWN ticket.”
He turned back to me with a look of authority that soured my mood. I had been happy and now the anarchist inside rose up like a demon.
I was livid.
“Er – excuse me,” I said in a voice that I hadn’t heard since being an obnoxious little teenager. “I wasn’t talking to you.”
I turned back to the other guy. “Do you still want the ticket? It’s free.”
“DID YOU HEAR WHAT I SAID?” bellowed the pompous arse.
“Yes,” I replied. “Talk to somebody who gives a toss.”
The other guy considered his position and was slightly intimidated by this jumped up little Hitler.
“It’s okay; I’ll get a new ticket," he said with a smile.
“Thank you,” said the councillor, enjoying his victory.
I was enraged. I launched into a tirade about overpriced car parks and pocket dictators, questioning his authority and his opinion about his inflated authority.
“The whole point of having rules is to follow them,” he replied in a condescending voice. “If everybody flouts the rules then there will be total anarchy.”
“In this case, the rules are created by greedy idiots,” I said. “Being a councillor doesn’t give you the right to tell me what to do or try to quash my generosity. You have ruined the day for two people. “
I shook the ticket at him.
“Oh – and by the way, it doesn’t say “not transferrable”. So you're wrong. And rest assured that if this situation arises again I will GLADLY give my ticket away to whoever I bloody well want to."
I asked for his name but he refused to give it to me.
I left the car park with mixed emotions. I was angry that my good deed for the day had been ruined by a pompous idiot on a power trip, but I was delighted with myself for standing up to his dubious authority.
Although this councillor was undoubtedly a more intelligent man than your average meathead, he was the same at a basic primeval level, i.e. he had been given a little power and was trying to use it to control me.
In my opinion we should all allow the anarchist within us to breathe a little fresh air. I want everybody to join me and stand up to these petty minded fools who use the tiny bit of power they have been granted to enforce their will on the general public.
Say no to councillors.
Tell bouncers they are idiots.
Go into the “10 items or less” queue with 12 items.
Sneak sweets into cinemas who stipulate “only food bought in the cinema can be consumed”.
There is more to follow on this touchy subject but in the meantime I simply want to ask:
Who’s with me?