You're Not A Wacky 'Character'. You're A Twat

Everybody knows at least one. Be it the bloke who vomits out of the taxi window, or the girl who apparently made 'that video'.
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Everybody knows at least one. Be it the bloke who vomits out of the taxi window, or the girl who apparently made 'that video'.

Oh, get a life

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In my humble opinion, nothing is more irritating than people who are referred to by other people as ‘a character’. For example;

“Oh, we went for a drink with Brian last night”

“Brian? Which one’s Brian?”

“Oh you know, Brian. Brian Brian”

“Saying his name twice with a high-pitched inflection doesn’t help, and also makes it start to sound weird. I don’t know him”

“You do! Brian! He’s such a character”

The minute I hear that, my brain thinks ‘cunt. Brian is a cunt’. ‘He’s a character’; what does that even mean? The giant ants in ‘Them’ were characters, but I wouldn’t necessarily want to go down to the Rosette for a griddle steak with them. Turns out that Brian is the kind of ‘character’ who likes to do amusing things with his cock in public places. Normally he’d be branded either a nonce or a sex pest, but it would seem that dangling your disappointing penis in other people’s drinks when they’re not looking and booming ‘sausage!’ is entirely acceptable. It’s not. I’d have left the first time he patted his chubby gunt - the ‘balcony over his playroom’ - and likened his pathetic shrews cock to a baby’s arm holding an orange.

As far as I can see, the world is divided into two kinds of ‘character’; the irritating and the truly mental. Living in a small seaside resort whose historical claim to fame is that it’s inhabitants are affectionately known as ‘ringarses’ - on account of the fact they shit in buckets -, you can’t walk more than fifty yards without coming across an absolute lunatic.

I have no problem with these people because I suppose they genuinely are characters; they just don’t care, or they can’t help their behaviour. There’s no attempt to make themselves more interesting by adopting faux ‘wacky’ behaviour to promote a talking point. Take my old work colleague Katy, for example. A perfectly normal, middle-class girl in her early twenties. Give her a drink; window licker.

The hair band that always slipped over one eye like a pirate with Spina Bifida was bearable, but I couldn’t cope with the weird little goblin dance which involved playing ‘peepo’ and skipping across the dance floor like a spastic. ‘Oh look at Katy, isn’t she a character?’; no, no she isn’t. She’s a fatuous wanker with deluded presumptions of her own physical attributes and a severe complex about her father fucking a much younger woman and leaving her mother.

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I wouldn’t call her a character, per se. A character indicates a rounded three dimensional person created within some kind of media; Rocky, for example. James Bond. The Famous Five. I wouldn’t read a book or watch a film where I want to punch the protagonist harder and harder in the ovaries until they burst, so why should I be subjected to Katy behaving like a massive bender and forgive her as ‘quirky’? Quirky usually means straightforwardly annoying, or trying too hard to be different and sidelining into annoying. I only started to warm to her when, on a birthday night out, she fell face first in her dinner and wandered about for the rest of the night smelling of vomit and lamb chops, but she never won me over. The gravy did improve the coverage of her shaky fake tan though.

The closest I’ve ever come to a character in the real sense of the word is a little old lady who used to live next to me. Jeanie was a Geordie gypsy with no teeth, no conversation apart from ‘fuck’ and ‘pissbag’ and a taste for cruising the local cul-de-sacs for young cock. It was predominantly the role of the Neighbourhood Watch to keep her away from the cock, although frankly there was a distinct feeling of ‘oh, fuck that’; as previously mentioned she didn’t have a tooth in her head, so it seemed cruel to deny the male population of her octogenarian gums. Plus she had rheumy eyes, so there was always a source of free lube.

If I ever tried to address the issue with her - like the time she told my then-boyfriend that she was a classically trained flautist, then asked if she could play his pink oboe - she flashed her little teeth and unwaveringly told me to ‘fuck right off’. She also used to throw dog shit at my clean washing and stand outside the Town Hall with a placard saying ‘White Elephant’ on one side and ‘The Mayor Gave Me Aids’ on the other. I miss her.

So please, please don’t ever tell me that I simply must meet your friend because he/she is a ‘character’; I’ll just spend the night at the bar guarding my drink and occasionally smelling it suspiciously. But then, will my unwillingness to join in make me a victim of my own bitterness and horribly black aura? ‘Oh you must meet Dina, she’s so miserable and abusive, SUCH a character’. Oh, fuck off.