In among wrestling with my new website, scrounging any freelance I can muster, volunteering for an eclectic mix of York-based activities and working the odd shift at what is rapidly becoming my favourite ever pub (excellent staff, a boss grumpier than even I, two gorgeous lurchers that I get to schnarfle and gigs that have so far included the son of crazy conspiracist and ex sports reporter David Icke) I am attempting to continue my book.
As I have chosen to write a rather intricately plotted novel which necessitates rather a lot of research, it has been slow going up till now. Although I am approximately 5,000 times more productive and motivated than I was in my misspent youth, this is still not very.
And then I had a blinding flash of inspiration the other night.
I met someone who patronised me so thoroughly and with such a misplaced and gratuitous arrogance that he inspired me to write another book, alongside my Victorian opus (working title: Memento Mori). This could be something I just dash off as and when the mood strikes.
It's called 'Pricks I Have Met' and will feature a range of arsebandits and fucktards who have annoyed the hell out of me over the years. Some will inevitably be boys what I have dallied with, but most seem to come from the working environment. I have a story of one particular boss who even now I struggle to believe is an actual real person, such is his caricature-like arrogance, bullying, entitlement and generally knobbishness. He was like David Brent, if David Brent had been a) a real life person, b) a really nastyarse piece of work and c) not funny ever.
I'm hoping it will also help to vanquish the memory of some of these douche canoes from my brain. I am not a Zen type person, you see. I know that the best way to deal with people like this is to take the high road. I know this. I also know that rarely do there exist people with absolutely no redeeming characteristics and that every interaction is tainted by my own perception of the situation. I understand that there are many and varied occasions in which I was not blameless in either reacting to someone I dislike or even making a situation much worse due to my inability to shut my mouth when it is probably wisest, but I still maintain that some people are just arseholes.
If someone stands out for their particularly knobbish qualities within the sea of people I have met in my life, and they perpetuate their place on my hitlist of people I vehemently dislike by talking to me in a particular way then I tend to move them up onto the Prick List. This so far includes two ex boyfriends, one ex something (definitely not boyfriend but also definitely something), two ex bosses (really, really special people. REALLY special in the way that poison is special) and one or two ex friends. It's not very long, but it is a list that I tend to ruminate over. Not in an obsessive way, mind, just every now and again I get a rush of utter hate/scorn/contempt for one of them and then I tend to ruminate.
But back to the man who is contending for a place on this list, and most definitely makes it into my new book. While working a shift at the pub I was asked whether I was a student by said man. I laughed as I still find this rather hilarious as a question. I last studied in 1997 and there is no way I could afford to study again. On learning I'm a freelance writer, through the medium of flapping his massive ears while I was talking to someone else, he asked me how much I earn.
Funnily enough I didn't feel inclined to share this with a total stranger. He then informed me that he is also a writer. Oh, what a motherfucking SHOCKER. Everyone is a fecking writer. Or they're in a band. Or they make films. Does no one do anything uncreative around here? I gave my standard grimace that's almost an expression of interest and carried on stroking the dog. Because I don't give a shit what he does, see? It doesn't stop there though. Oh dear lord no. He then discovers that I sometimes write stuff for free and holy hell, then he decides to unleash a diatribe upon me, along the lines of me not knowing my worth and that I will always make nothing from my writing because I do stuff for free.
Er, what now?
It seems as if a complete stranger is making a lot of assumptions about me based on very little information. Can this be what is happening? Yes, yes it can.
He goes on: "I don't write a feature for less than £500. You will always be the person who writes for nothing because you don't value your skills."
While wondering why in fuck I am still in the same room as this twat I explained that I choose to write some things for free, whether for exposure or (as is more usual) as a favour to a friend. It's no big deal to me to help someone out with an email, CV, feature or whatever for nothing. What goes around, comes around. Well, sometimes. And even if it doesn't, that's OK.
And then he said this. "And that's why I earn £500 an article and YOU DON'T and NEVER WILL. Know your worth."
Oh, I know my worth you prick. I know my worth very well. And I definitely have the measure of yours.
He's going to feature in Chapter 3 - drunk pricks I have met while working in bars.
It's going to be good.