Saturday, 10 August 2013
“A woman?! Doing WORK?!” 10.08.13
OK kids. I always knew that living
on the Sto
Plains in Lincolnshire was a bit like time travelling. However, I didn’t realise that I was
travelling to a time when it was so unusual for people of the female persuasion
to be carrying out any kind of manual labour that any such event would be
treated as a form of street theatre. I
didn’t know that there would be an audience which would feel compelled to not
only observe, but also to participate in my carrying-ons. Clearly, I was wrong, as last week has proven
this to be definitely the case.
To cut a long story short, I had a hedge to grub up in preparation for a fencing job. Now, I have recently acquired an external conscience who is trying to encourage me to swear less, smile more, and avoid ripping people’s heads off and bathing in their still-warm blood. As a consequence, I kept my inside voice inside. It wasn’t easy, but I managed it. However, a body’s gotta vent or burst. Therefore, dear neighbours and passers-by, this is what I wanted to say about what you had to say:
1. “Women can’t do that.” Oh, shit. Oh, dear lord, what have I done! Lemme rummage in my knickers a second... NO! All is safe and normal therein! Still not grown a pee-pee, thanks be to Darwin, and, look, still doing the work! Either your assertion is wrong, or I’ve got a surprise coming up. I’ll keep checking regularly now that you’ve mentioned the issue, fear not. Thank you for your concern.
2. “Where is the man of the house?!” In the dungeon. With gaffer tape over his mouth. And, you know what, I got room for two and I bet your eyes look real pretty when you cry.
Variant two: “Is there no man in the house?!” Well, sir, there was one, but I had to sacrifice him to my god Cthulhu. No, Kthul-hloo. You know, Lovecraft? No, he’s NOT a porn author… Ok, Justin Bieber, how’s that for a manageable reference. Yes, I sacrificed him to Justin Bieber.
3. “Don’t you have a chainsaw/stillsaw/JCB/rocket launcher to do that?” Well, yes sir, now that you mention it, I’ve got one right here in my back pocket. The reason I have been busting my ass for the last four hours doing something by hand that I could have done in about five minutes using technology is that I am a complete cretin. Thank you for pointing that out to me. I’ll go and kill myself now.
Variant two: “You WANT a chainsaw to do that!” No, sir, what I want right now is a Glock. Move along.
4. “What are you doing here!” Erm, lemme get my heart rate back to normal, cos this brought back flashbacks of been a kid back in the city… But no, you’re not the police. You’re not even security. You’re, actually, absolutely not any sort of authority. Nor somebody I… have… ever… seen before? Hey, why we’re exchanging questions, how about you tell me who the hell YOU are, first? Cos then I might know exactly why I’m supposed to be telling you my business.
5. “Are you still here?” No, I’m a figment of your imagination. You, sir, are a sick man. SICK!
6. “Are you winning?” No, I’m grubbing up a hedge. I thought that was pretty obvious.
7. <<Stand. And stare. And keep staring. And keep staring some more. Continue until no longer funny.>> Ok now, you might have had a minor stroke and be temporarily incapable of independent movement, in which case I feel sorry for you. However, if you’re just staring at me cos the sight of me digging a hole is the most riveting thing in your sorry life, please just go away and put yourself out of your misery, because there is no helping you.
8. Any permutation and commutation of “you’ve missed a bit”, “is that straight?”, “you don’t want to do it like that”, and so on and so forth. Seriously. I’ve got responses for you, but they’re so rude I can’t even write them on here.
Why on earth do you feel the need to comment about my work? What are you seeking? Is your life entirely bereft of human connection? Are you craving the excitement of angering a stranger? Are you just an incredible tool?
9. “…should have done better in school...” Well, yeah, I clearly should have done, because I tried showing the hedge my MSc certificate and I got no reaction. It didn’t spontaneously dematerialise or nothing. Mother told me to finish my PhD, but did I listen? And now I’m paying the consequences. Not even the local vegetation respects me. I’m such a failure.
10. “Hmmmm… You’re all DIRTY.” In a very suggestive tone. Now, first and foremost, if that line has ever managed to get anyone laid, EVER, in the entire history of humankind, I’m going to apply to change my species by deed poll. I know I’m wired slightly oddly, but I tend to be drawn towards people who are nice to me, pay me compliments for instance, not point out temporary flaws in my hygiene standards. Secondly, sir, the Good Lord has seen fit to bless you with external genitalia, and me with this here sledgehammer. Do not make me get up and hurt you.
But the star prize still remains with my all-time favourite:
“This is not a job for little girls.” Well, that’s alright then, given that I stopped being a little girl about
twenty-two years ago. However, as you are a WOMAN saying this, go
and wash your mouth. While you’re doing
that, think really hard about what you’ve just said. After you’ve done that, go and hand back your
right to vote, cos clearly the suffragettes worked in vain to help your sorry