Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Pathetic and hapless

It’s a look I resort to all too often, and not just to myself when something mildly upsetting has happened. That’s because this little expression’s emotional range is deeper than you think, coming in handy as a hello substitute. It was particularly adaptive in this regard during a recent euro-fam break in the other Bretagne there in France. Here, you don’t know whether the almost-community of the camping and caravan resort implies an inclusiveness requiring greetings to everyone you see, regardless of whether you've made acquaintance. Or that could apply to those staying down the same allée as you. Or those just opposite and up and down.

Wherever, it offered a welcome universality in blanket ungreetings that fall way down on the social etiquette counter. Just right for the ‘English at play’, in Austin’s accurate words. With French men and women when you were walking along the marshy swamps just before the atlantic coast beaches, full bonjours were tossed and shared, if not with an exchange of appreciation, then at least with effort. With the upper working and lower middle cultural aberrations from the british isles however, I remind myself you’re only a man u or a barca top away from a massive disagreement.

What the nonce does this sappy look say? Redolent of a reluctance to engage as well as little more than a pathetic self-conciliation, great for in exchanging with blokes that may erroneously feel like me they’ve been enormously put on what with the all the kids and bags and shit. Trouble is some of the ‘guys’ had frustrating levels of energy that my bloated self could not match. Sometimes plain mutual ignorance is preferable, but this does the job if eye-crossing is inevitable. With real friends it also comes in handy as a kind of sarcastic flabbergast in the style of morris digesting some of the day today's news items.

A pity that it doesn’t offer much greeting at all, more an obvious unwillingness to evade visual and verbal contact. More pseudo-emotional drivel can be found across pages of national newspapers, particularly at the weekend.
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