Editor's Comment: December 2018
PUBLISHED: 10:35 16 November 2018 | UPDATED: 10:48 16 November 2018
Wikimedia Commons public domain
"'Flexitarians' can do one though, being alleged vegetarians who still can't resist the sizzling siren song of the bacon sandwich when no-one is looking." Editor Mike Lowe is attempting to seek reconciliation with those he has annoyed… well, sort of.
AS THIS is the season of goodwill to all men (and women) I have decided to seek reconciliation with all those people I may have upset or annoyed in these pages or on Twitter in the past 12 months. Or those I might upset in future. Or those I might upset if they could read my mind (which at times resembles a Bosch painting). It is a lengthy list, and by no means comprehensive.
So let’s start with the obvious targets. I would like to offer the hand of friendship to cyclists, even those who ride three abreast, those who wear headphones, and militant cyclists who bang on your car roof when you unavoidably sneak up on them as they’re riding three abreast while wearing headphones. Oh, and cyclists who write to me every time I mention cyclists.
Vegans. Bit of a touchy subject this one as they’re cock-a-hoop having just cost the editor of Waitrose magazine his job, so it’s best to be mates with the meat-dodgers at the moment. ‘Flexitarians’ can do one though, being alleged vegetarians who still can’t resist the sizzling siren song of the bacon sandwich when no-one is looking.
People who use terms like “woke”. I have no idea what they mean and it makes me feel rather old. File alongside grown-ups on skateboards or who ride adult scooters.
Universities where clapping is banned in case it frightens sensitive students. Universities where anything is banned. Universities that aren’t really universities.
Countryfile’s grim reaper, Tom Heap, the man who brings death and destruction to your previously peaceful Sunday evening.
Drivers who fill up at the pumps and then do a week’s shopping inside the garage while everyone else has to wait.
First Great Western, who continually sell me a reserved seat on a carriage which turns out not to exist. I suppose I should just be thankful that the train does... sometimes.
People who say “train station”. TV weather forecasters who refer to “useable” rain. Local radio traffic reporters who claim that “The M5 is coping well”. The M5 is is an inanimate object. It is 14 metres of tarmac incapable of human emotions. It cannot, under any circumstance, “cope”.
People who are riveted to their mobile phones while walking down the street, on the bus or on the train. People who take pictures of their food in restaurants.
Vloggers, bloggers and blaggers.
Chefs who serve food on anything other than a nice, simple, purpose-built plate. Chefs who have a “concept”. Chefs whose arrogance demands that they serve food when it suits them, rather than when the diner wants to eat it. Chefs who can’t be bothered to write a proper menu (lamb, greens, anchovy, 28). Chefs who serve a little tub of baked beans with a full English breakfast, almost apologetically as they know full well that it shouldn’t be there.
Restaurants where you can’t hear a word anyone is saying. Restaurants where the lighting is so bad you can’t read the menu. Restaurants with seating so uncomfortable that it could have been designed by the Spanish Inquisition. Restaurants where you’re told on the way in what time they want the table back. (Here, have it now, pal. I’m off.)
People who can’t use self-service tills in supermarkets. People who programme self-service tills in supermarkets. (I’m sorry a fly has alighted in my bagging area, but there’s no need for those flashing lights and sirens.)
Football clickbait, where the inside information comes from someone who knows the manager’s sister’s milkman’s cousin.
Megan Markel’s dysfunctional family.
People who don’t acknowledge you when you’ve stopped for them at a zebra crossing.
Sadly, I appear to have run out of space, so it only remains to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!
For more from Mike, follow him on Twitter! @cotslifeeditor