There are a few things in the world that rub me up the wrong way, and I’m all too happy to pull people up on them or simply rant about them for whole minutes on end. But there are other things that annoy me in a different way; a way that just leaves me feeling a bit disappointed, annoyed or even saddened – rather than the usual ‘bleeding-from-the-eyes fury’. Flicking through The Greatest Newspaper In The World*, The Metro, I glanced at a story that referred to someone as “weird”. That’s it. That’s what annoyed me. That’s what disappoints me with the world today. That’s what gets me mad enough to point it out but not full of enough furious bile to actually get red-faced with rage about it.
(As an aside, the bloke who has just got off the train stank of horrible, stale sweat. I often wonder if I smell like that and don’t realise.)
I have been called ‘weird’, ‘odd’ or ‘off-the-wall’** a fair few times through my life and every time it’s irked me in a strange way. I think it’s a mixture, first of annoyance that someone feels the need to point out they don’t think I conform to the behavioural criteria that they have set up for everyone else in the world***. And second, it’s actually pride that I have made such a mark on someone that they don’t just think I’m exactly the same as everyone else. Though the second feeling tends to erode as I realise they mean it in a distinctly negative, bemused fashion. Sigh.****
What does it even mean? It’s fleeting bullshit judgement based on what societal norms dictate are acceptable and ‘normal’ for the day in question. If all of a sudden it’s considered cool to make multiple goose-based comments throughout the day then I’ll suddenly be the raddest dude this side of the California Games skater. If next week The Queen states that for all people to be considered ‘normal’ they must take a massive interest in the inner workings of a Japanese software development company, I will be Captain Normal. If the month after our Lord And Saviour David Cameron says people who keep giving personality traits military ranks are to be considered the Best People Alive, I… well, I won’t listen. As he’s a prick.
For now, though, I remain the person a lot of people will react to with confusion, curtness and even – sometimes – anger. Though I’m nowhere near as weird as my mate Mike. He’s well weird. Weirdo.
*Massive, massive lie. It is a shitrag that relies on Twitter and Facebook for ‘news’ more than even The Grauniad does. And that’s saying something.
** Genuinely, I have. Someone in real life actually referred to me as ‘off-the-wall’. I responded “what, like a shit Spider-Man?” It remains one of my finest responses.
*** Informed, of course, by everyday society.
**** I should point out that I’m not actually weird in any particularly eccentric way. I’m rather boring, actually. I just say things sometimes***** that people deign abnormal.