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Rock Maze
  • Writer's pictureNeil

Offensive Ur No?

How offensive can I be? I don’t think I’ve ever been particularly offensive but that’s only because I’ve moved with the times at least in what I say, unfortunately it’s probably not always what I think. I’m glad I’m not a celebrity because someone would find something completely innocent in the 80s that might even be illegal in the 2020s. I had a friend when I was at college, we must have been about 20. Occasionally, when in the student bar, we would hurl abuse at each other in the most offensive ways. People would back away until they realised it was all a wind up. No one was offended even though he was black and I am white and so were the insults. Imagine doing that now.

Back in the day when all towns and villages had an annual carnival and lorries were still used to build floats, Bugle had a torchlight carnival. The torches consisted of a stick, on top of which a tin can was screwed. The tin can was filled with rags soaked in paraffin and set alight. Very safe indeed. One year in St Austell, the local amateur operatic society were advertising their next show, Showboat. Show Boat is a musical with music by Jerome Kern and book and lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II. It is based on Edna Ferber's best-selling 1926 novel of the same name. The musical follows the lives of the performers, stagehands and dock workers on the Cotton Blossom, a Mississippi River show boat, over 40 years from 1887 to 1927. It’s themes include racial prejudice and tragic, enduring love. The musical contributed such classic songs as "Ol' Man River", "Make Believe", and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man". Obviously my brothers and I got into character. Would that be offensive now?

Here’s an observation that I made at about the same time. I had a weekend job, during the summer holidays, at Pentewan Sands Holiday Park. I was one of a small, crack team of “Camp Guides” our job was to book in the new arrivals then mount our trusty mopeds and guide them to their pitch. Almost all the campers were lovely people but like any job you meet your fair share of miserable gits. You could almost bet your bottom dollar that the most miserable ones were either Welsh or Mancunian. The poor souls were probably tired and teasy after a long drive or they had an unfortunately aggressive accent. (Teasy – is thought to come from the Cornish word 'tesek' meaning irritable and hot tempered).

I read something recently that children should be able to determine their own gender! WHAT? That’s just too weird. It works like this with most mammals and it’s there a willy? Ok there might be a hermaphrodite argument to be had but there’s always an exception. There could also be an intersex argument. Go ahead Google it. But these are the exceptions not the rule.

I watch the news, with an eyebrow raised. Well I don’t think we really get much news. A few blood and guts headlines and a minute or two of bias, xenophobic, diatribe. (Or is that the Daily Mail?). While watching these broadcasts I notice Priti Hopeless Patel metaphorically pushing men, women and children back into the sea, while farmers are ploughing perfectly good unpicked veg into the ground for lack of farm workers. What’s not adding up here?

While I’m thinking controversially I’ve also been pondering the plight of the hospitality industry, the daffodil producers and the lack of care workers. Why aren't there enough visas for the generally white Christian Lithuanians, Latvians, Polish et al. Too many of us seem to acquiesce to the idea that flimsy rubber boats full of people are effectively shoved back into the sea. I bet every single working age occupant would willingly pick veg, work in care homes, pick daffodils, work in hospitality, learn our language, integrate into our community and pay tax. Some are already doctors, nurses, accountants, lawyers. What’s the big deal? (Other than housing, especially in Cornwall). Is it their skin colour, their religion, their clothes or is it the gutter press? I know there’s no simple answer. But perhaps here’s the kernel of an idea.

Enough of all that moaning, where’s the fun in that. Talking about fun (it’s all relative) I think it might be fun to have coffee at AJ’s on Thursday at 10am. I seem a bit stable at the moment so I should be able to have a good old knees-up. Talking about knees up, there were some fitness exercises on the telly a few days ago, exercises that can be done from a seated position. This time last year I could work up a proper sweat on our treadmill, now my ears prick up when I hear of exercising in a chair.

I got a little melancholic this week. I weighed myself and have lost ½ a stone then when I realised that all this exhaustion and sleep is causing me to lose my strength. To me my arms look like they need to be re-inflated a bit. My body is definitely beginning to look a bit more decrepit.

Decrepit ur no I’m still trying to do something a bit interesting each day. Sometimes it may be having people around for coffee. Or trying to get out for no other reason than to get out. I’ve even been out BMX racing this week, you should see me go!

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