Friday, January 02, 2015
I’ve finished work and am waiting for a bus.
Whilst waiting, I smile at the memory of an earlier conversation with one of my colleagues – a man almost half my age from Essex who fancied himself a Cockney (God knows how he found himself in the North of England – I believe a young lady was involved) – who had that day been educating me as to the phenomenon of being “Tobied RIGHT off”.
A “Toby” being a “Toby Jug” which is, of course, a “mug” – someone who has been taken for a fool or is not worthy of proper attention. If someone “Tobies-you off” they are fobbing you off - giving you the brush-off. They are treating you as a fool, unworthy of their time.
Such chatter is unusual in my neck of the woods and he’s amused me. Some weeks later we go our separate ways I am genuinely sorry to see the back of him, despite initially despising the cocky young buffoon.
Checking my watch I see my bus is due and begin to gather myself, noticing a homeless gentleman approaching. I sigh inwardly. I have about my person a bus-pass, no money and no valid life-advice.
He approaches me - straggly of hair and brandishing a dog on an actual bit of string.
Homeless Gentleman: I’m sorry to bother you sir, and I wouldn’t normally ask but could you spare…”
He pauses mid-sentence and looks me up-and-down.
HG: Do you know what? [contemptuously flicks his fingers at me] FUCK OFF.
The Homeless Gentleman swivels on his heel and strides-off with his chin in the air exuding an air of superiority.
My eyes and mouth are wide-open. I look down at myself. I’m wearing an ok suit and good shoes. I look around me. All nearby avert my gaze. I look after the Homeless Gentleman, striding-away like he has better things to do. I briefly consider chasing-after him and dragging him to a cash-machine.
I have just been MUGGED-RIGHT-OFF by a TRAMP!
My bus rattles-by and I miss it, so astounded am I by recent events. A person needs to take a good hard look in the mirror when even a gentleman who has NOWHERE to live, has NO FIXED INCOME and no means by which to WASH or do any of the things that HAVING A HOUSE usually involve will look you up-and-down and think:
“Nah. He’s beneath me. I wouldn’t even lower myself.”
I inform my young Pretend-Cockney Colleague of this incident the next day.
PCC: AAAaaaaah! You were Tobied-RIGHT off by a BEGGAR!! HOW BAD IS THAT!!!
It amuses him to the extent that he attempts to fist-bump me. I’ve no idea what he is doing and we stare at each other, him with his fist awkwardly held in mid-air.