Friday, May 05, 2006

Pointing and Whispering

Why do people feel the need to shout at me in the street? It's not as if they have some sort of deep insight into the nature of humanity or a new discovery about the origins of the universe.
What they shout is 'You've got pink hair!'
Oh Good God! Do I really? When did that happen? How could I not have noticed?
They all seem to think that they're the greatest wit ever to have walked the earth, that no-one could possibly have said that before.
No. Lots of people have got there before you, you're not big and you're not clever.

I tend to just ignore them - they want a reaction and they're not going to get one. Last summer I was waiting for a bus when I saw two teenage boys walking towards me. They were pointing, whispering and giggling so I thought they'd say something. After a minute one of them came over to me and said 'excuse me, have you always had pink hair?', I lied and said yes. I assume that they must have had some oh-so-cunning joke planned for when I said no, because they just said 'oh, thanks' and skulked away, looking soooo disappointed. I almost felt sorry for them.

I love watching children's reactions, though. They're so honest and just say what they think, and that can be interesting. Often when I'm in a supermarket I'll hear a small child whispering (as loudly as only a child can) 'Mummy, look! That lady's got pink hair!' This is usually followed by frantic shushing by the mother and copious apologies, at which point I have to reassure them that 1) I really don't mind, and 2) I work with children so I'm used to it.

The best one I overheard was on a bus last autumn, when I had blue hair.
Child: Mummy?
Mother: Yes?
C: Look, that lady's got blue hair!
M: Yes. It's nice, isn't it?
C: But people don't have blue hair.
M: Well, that lady does.
*Child sits deep in thought for a minute*
C: Mummy?
M: Yes?
C: I think it's ridiclius!
Me: laughing as quietly as I could so that the mother wouldn't be any more embarrassed than she already was...


At 10:32 pm, Blogger Charybdis said...



At 8:18 pm, Blogger LaMa said...

Where do you have the pink hair....?

At 10:53 pm, Blogger Mouse said...

Use your imagination, LaMa...

At 11:43 pm, Blogger LaMa said...

Hmmm: have you seen that episode of 'Sex and the City' where Samantha desperately cries out to Carrie: "I am Bozo the Bush Clown!"....?

At 9:33 pm, Blogger Charybdis said...

I'll let you know if the carpet matches the drapes, LaMa. :-P

At 4:46 am, Anonymous accipiter said...

Hey! You've got pink hair!

(There, now I've got that out of my system)

I'll often have people say to me, "You're tall, aren't you?" To which I often reply, "No. You're just unusually short." The conversation sort of falls apart at that point. . .


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