What's new with Janey
22 September 2006

Old People Who Shout in the Street…

Today in Glasgow the weather was really weirdly hot, I mean full on sunshine, warm breezes and sweaty backs as you walked through the humid city streets. It was weird. It is mid-September, this is Scotland.
I sat outside in a street café and could feel some strange African-like breeze pick up napkins on my table and flop them onto my knee with a warm draught.
Yet the weather man says- Hurricane!
I must tell you what happened when I actually sat down at the café table.

The place was busy as I said- the weather was unseasonably hot, I approached one table where a younger guy in a blue tee shirt sat alone, he was facing an elderly man in a white shirt, but the elderly man was at an opposite table with an elderly guy in a bright red shirt.

I spoke to the younger guy as I held my coffee and sandwich on a tray “Excuse me can I join you at this table?” There really was nowhere else to sit.

The younger guy nodded and indicated to the empty seat beside him and carried on chatting to the elderly gentleman.

Just as I put the coffee on the table the elderly man in white shouted loud enough for the whole outside café area to hear “No you cannot” and laughed very loudly at his ‘apparently funny’ comment.

I simply smiled and said “Actually I wasn’t talking to you, this isn’t your table” as I sat down and placed my bag on the floor. The younger guy looked uncomfortable as the elderly man was being very loud.

“Oh she is very tough, I would watch her!” the old attention seeking white shirted interrupter added and laughed (yet again) at his ‘funny comment’. “I bet she could make your tea go cold with a stare, tough woman at the table” he added and laughed again.

“Really…you call me tough? I would thought being assertive is what I am, but I suppose you would never confound stereotypes and any woman who speaks out must be very scary, well thanks for that” I stared at him full on and went back to stirring my coffee. I then completely ignored him and started flicking through my newspaper.

He was not to be ignored, he was clearly one of those old men who had to have EVRYONE listen to his fucked up Victorian opinion.
He then took a big breath and shouted “I wouldn’t like to come home to you with an opened pay packet!” (Followed by his annoying loud guffaw) people around us started to look uncomfortable.

I merely flicked another page and said without looking at him “I don’t need a man to bring home money to me as I make my own cash, and even if you brought home all the money Bill Gates owned, I would still fake my own death to get away from you”

This enraged Mr Misogyny “I see you are not wearing a wedding ring, that’s because there isn’t a man alive who would be stupid enough to marry you”
By this point he had stopped being ‘Jovial Old Scottish Bloke’ and had turned into angry old man who hates any woman who talks back.

I didn’t even look at him, I simply plugged in my horribly expensive outside-noise -reducing earphones, switched on my IPod and listened to 50 Cent blast into my ear canals. I could see the old man getting red and angry, pointing, shifting in his seat, ranting and banging his fist on the metal table that rocked his tea all over the surface.
Still 50 Cent rapped my brain senseless.

Eventually I pulled out the earphones and caught him practically screaming at me
“Women like you are the reason kids today are beating pensioners”
I lifted my head and spoke “Obviously not enough” and smiled to myself.

He then stood up and said “I despise women like you, you are destroying the very fabric of Scottish Society, you think the world owes you a living, I bet you have robbed lots of very good men of a job with your lesbian militant ways, women like you were put in mental institutions when I was a young man” The people at the nearest tables started whispering and gasping loudly at his outburst.

At this I burst out laughing and looked at around at the horrified looks on the coffee drinking Glaswegians who were shocked at the transformation of happy old man to angry Hitler bloke.

I looked at him, leaned over and said “Listen old man, I have been married 26 years, raised a daughter, and been self employed since I was 17, in fact I gave more men more jobs than you have ever lost. I have never had to justify myself to any man as to why I have every right to have a voice, so I don’t see why I have to start now. Sit on your old arse and stop making a big show of yourself, you are frightening people around you and I am listening to some sexy black gangster rap, why don’t you go home and shout at your wife?”

“My wife died four years ago” he said with a degree of glee at the thought of shaming me in front of people.
“What did she die of…boredom?” I answered “She must be really proud of you, standing there shouting at a woman sitting alone, calling her a lesbian and making assumptions about her life when you know nothing about me”

He then stood up; he looked at me and went really red.
He looked around at people wanting their support, at that point a man with bright red hair and a smart suit leaned over holding a piece of paper and a pen and he said to me “You are Janey Godley, I loved your book, it was such an inspiration to me, can I have your autograph?” I was stunned, I thought yet another bloke was about to hurl abuse at me.

I thanked the suited man and quickly signed my name, I held it to him and he then spoke to the elderly man and said “You really should be ashamed of yourself standing there shouting at this woman, she wrote a book about her life, she was abused as a child and she is now being abused as an adult, you really should mind your attitude”

I watched the old man stand there, not really dealing with the situation and I actually felt really sorry for him. Old guys like him have set attitudes that are ingrained into them since childhood and it must be hard to shake them off and to have a woman answer you back in public must be the biggest insult of all time, then again the old bastard started it….so I smiled as he stumbled through the tables muttering to himself.

This just goes to prove that warm weather in Glasgow in September makes people fucking crazy, before tonight there will no doubt be seven murders….hopefully none of them by me.

So as I write this, I look out of the window and the trees are blowing all over the street, the wind is howling and that promised hurricane is checking into Glasgow.
I don’t like strange weather cycles, it makes me scared and snappy._