Truth told I'm a very conscientious fella - almost to a fault. That might be a surprise for people who can't tell the difference between being opinionated (which I am) to beeing rude or ill-mannered (which I'm not), but it's true.
If I'm at a party, for example, I'm the one who gets worried about pissing off the host's neighbours, I'm the one who helps tidy the place up at the end of the night and I'm the one who makes the effort to chat to the guest who looks a bit lost because they don't know anyone.
When I'm out with my friends I'm the one who tries to keep everything organised and I'm the one who 'escorts' the casualties home or to hospital (which has happened twice!). I freak if I think I've stiffed anyone on a round of drink, and I get stressed if I've invited someone out to something and they don't seem to be enjoying themselves. I'm also ALWAYS on time. I'm as punctual as a German train.
Despite the fact that the favour has never been returned, I've always been very conscious of keeping the telly or the stereo turned down so as not to disturb sleeping housemates. I always close doors to keep heat in, and I always close doors quietly if someone's in bed. If I'm on the train or a plane and the person beside me falls asleep, I'll sit there bursting for a whizz, or something, rather than wake them up, for as long as I can manage. Also you'll never hear me blaring down a mobile phone from half a bus or train carriage away, or dicking around with ring tones. Indeed my phone beeps once when I get a text, it doesn't sound like a bomb is about to go off.
I feel awful guilty if I offend someone even though I dislike people who are easily offended and get pissed off at them for making me feel guilty. Stupid things I said years and years ago pop into my head to haunt me every now and then to rack me with a mixture of embarrassment and guilt. Embarrassment is the one emotion I hate feeling more than any other.
Lastly, and maybe most importantly, I never act the dick in public and piss off every stranger within earshot, which is the point of this post.
On Friday going to Newcastle I was stuck sitting in among a group of 30-something Cork lads on the plane. From the moment they sat down they started acting the bollox. One tosser thought it was only hilarious to interrupt the stewardess' announcements by repeatedly shouting 'bing-bong' at the top of his voice. Another prick kept pressing the call button above his friends' heads. Yet another tried chatting up one of the stewardesses and she looked so disgusted I thought she might throw up.
The crew stopped serving alcohol as soon as they realised they were dealing with a bunch of knuckle-draggers. Eventually the pilot threatened to have the police meet the plane in Newcastle and that seemed to shut them up. However one of them still managed to put on a (bad) mockney accent for everyone he passed as he was walking into the teminal after we landed.
If they had been kids it would have been bad enough, but these guys were older than me! I've come across their type loads of times before - lads who've probably married younger versions of their mothers; girls they've been going out with since they were 17 or something. They've gotten a visa off 'the woman' and seem to have concluded that having 'a bit of craic with the lads' means acting like a total fucking cretin at every given opportunity. These are the sort of blokes who still think stories about how much they've drunk, and the subsequent ill-effects or fights, are hysterical despite the fact they're old enough to have teenage kids (God help us).
To be honest if I had been offered a plane crash there and then that wiped every one of the fuckers out, yet let me off with a couple of busted limbs, I might well have taken it. Twats.