There are many kinds of people in the world. Slow ones, happy ones, misanthropes, puckish people, salt-of-the-earth, dull people, scared people... but I am discovering very quickly that there are a new breed of people squeezing their way up the creation chain.
These are called, for want of a better word, the uncomfortable people.
By this, I don't mean that they are unbearably bony, all angles and elbows and knobbly knee joints sticking into your soft and tender flesh. Nor do I mean to suggest they are all rolls of slippery fat, rippling and undulating with microcosmic seismic activity when you try to get comfy in close proximity.
I simply mean that their sole conversation is geared around making the recipient as uncomfortable as possible.
For example. You are in a pub, and the person next to suddenly turns to you and says: "I don't shave my legs often but every now and then I shave my *****".
It's enough to put you off your chilli flavour crinkle cut Real McCoys.
Or again, you are sitting in a group of people, and a girl turns to you in front of everyone, including her boyfriend, and asks: "Would you find my boyfriend sexy?"
How do you reply? Upon which horn of the dilemma should you willingly impale yourself?
If you say: "Not in a million years toots, he's got the face that a back end of the bus would disown. In fact, I've seen better busses in Thailand than that physog"... well you may make her feel like you're not a threat at all to her love life, but that's the end of the friendship with her fella.
If you say: "Of course, he's such a nice guy, really cool and trendy...."
You just can't win.
Sarcasm then has to come into play. And I hate being sarcastic. It's so mean and cutting and unnecessary. I especially hate sarcasm when adults employ it around young people. Kids ask questions, its how they learn about life. And it's really unfair that an adult should fob them off with a smart alec answer.
But around uncomfortable people, I have to become sarcastic. I have to speak in italics.
"Oh yeah, well, he's the office stud don't you know? Everybody fancies him, even the office cleaner."
And then you get a reputation for being sarcastic. For being bitter and twisted. Well I think I was already twisted. But bitter? I suppose there is a possibility of that happening - I already have a cat, I live on my own and I am single. And almost 30. OH MY GOSH - I am, I am a bitter and twisted spinster. I hate the world and the world hates me. And I don't care. Really.