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Relentless cameraderie

December 15, 2009

I think it was Beavis (or was it Butthead?) who said, “things have to suck so you know what’s cool”.

Being hit in the face, that sucks. But when they stop hitting you in the face – isn’t that cool?

I’ve been sat in the office for eight hours now, on a Monday evening, and during those eight hours have been subjected to a relentless aural assault in the form of what sounds like a constantly ringing burglar alarm but is actually a broken extractor fan. It’s like some sort of psychological torture.

It brings me around to another, less distressing, form of warfare.

At the Florence and the Machine gig I went to recently, someone in front of us in the crowd had a social problem.

The term ‘social problem’ was one coined in my first year of high school by our German teacher, to refer to a certain boy in my class who had flatulence issues. Every lesson he’d be sent to stand in the middle of the playing field with his hands on his head until his ‘social problem’ was temporarily resolved. During a dull language lesson aged eleven this sort of thing was a welcome and hilarious break. During a brilliant and long-awaited concert, it was more of a concern…

I’d quite like to thank that man (I’m presuming, perhaps wrongly, that it was male) and his collapsing bowels for making my evening, though. After a good half hour of stifled mirth, mingled with hand-over-nose choking (and a certain degree of thank god it’s not me) whenever the culprit dropped a new dirty bomb, a man in front of us turned around and started offering pocket tissues soaked in Olbas Oil to the row of audience behind him. Eventually, we were surrounded by an entire row of erstwhile strangers, clutching oil-infused tissues to their noses and laughing. I feel almost sorry for whoever was responsible for the stench (although I suspect they were most likely secretly quite proud of themselves) as it was quite obvious what the butt (huhuhuhuh) of the joke was.

The situation was turned into a test of endurance in which ingenuity prevailed – having to breathe someone’s odious gaseous expulsions sucked, but the camaraderie it sparked was admittedly pretty cool. Memorable. Identity-affirming.

The alarm is still going off.

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