From the mists of time comes a tale oft told…
In the short time I have been amongst you (five minutes if you count my dashing off for a pee when I arrived) I have learnt a great deal of your ways (your hygenie really is some of the worse I have ever seen, and I’ve spent time in the Filth Pits with the Not-so-Sanctus, More-Unsanitary Jack) and come to realise a fundamental truth about all of us, by which I mean all of you.
You see, you’re not like me.
Many of you are bound to be fainting with relief (or due to the stench) on this matter, and I blame you not. Being unlike me is probably a good thing; being unlike the person next to you is equally beneficial. Oh, you wear the same stained uniform (one which you dare not let your partner wash because they’ll ask that awkward question about the white mark on the left leg), you belong to the same clubs, read the same magazines and jointly worry about the opposite sex (in marathon drinking sessions). Fact is, if I were to look upon you from up on high, and I do, then I might well think of you as homogenous. Undifferentiated midgets, even.
But I know there is difference amongst you.
Which leads me on to the second point, which is the greater of the two and has less import to your egos. You see, just like there are differences amongst you there is also a quality of sameness that isn’t just the shared presence of noses, ears and the ever important left leg (without or without aforementioned stain).
Differences can be aggravating when you note them; well-loved films that suddenly get released in new versions often cause conniption fits, as can the presence of new radio series based on old books which were themselves the result of new radio series at at earlier stage of television’s development. It seems that you either need to be unnoticeably different or very noticeably different to be appreicated. Just being different seems not good enough.
Ah, commonsense truisms, you are thinking… And you are right. Can I offer a solution? No… But I now understand the ‘Why?’ of it all.
Minor differences are celebrated because they allow enough differentiation to make life distinguishable. Two friends, no matter how sexy their miniskirts, cannot wear the same (by which I mean highly similar) pink Ralph Lauren polo-shirt. It would cause trouble, misidentification and possibly the destruction of teenage sexual misadventure.
Major differences, the most uncommon, I am somewhat apprehensively pleased to say, are good because as long as they occur infrequently amongst the population then people find them interesting, amusing or charming rather than offensive and problematic. I can be brash, bombastic and overly open and honest and liked because of it for the sheer fact that virtually no one else is willing to be me.
I think people must think that being me is awkward or embaressing. And thank the gods above and below, because I’d hate to think that you wanted to be me. I have enough trouble with myself without all of you interferring.
Although it would improve your sanitary conditions, so you might want to consider it, you filthy beasts.
Oh, and if someone could remove this codpiece from my forehead I’d pay good money for the service.