Photo by kindofadrag (Flickr; CC)
When I was in the first year at Downshall Junior School, I had this teacher who was slightly mental. He was really young – fresh out of teacher training college – a skinny, blonde lad who looked a bit like Stephen Hendry. Actually, he looked a lot like Stephen Hendry. Actually, what the fuck am I talking about here: he looked EXACTLY like Stephen Hendry, I bet his nana started cooing "Ooooh, look, it's our Stephen on the telly!" whenever the snooker was on.
So, the thing about this teacher is, he was very paranoid about paper clips – about us stealing his paper clips, to be precise. It was a bit like being taught by Jason Bourne. This man was SERIOUSLY paranoid.
He just constantly thought we were nicking paper clips; he was a man obsessed, basically, and what he would do to combat this problem was he would organize impromptu dawn raids on people's trays (Can you remember those tray things – with your name on the front and pencil case and handwriting book inside?) where he'd trawl through their tray hunting down these missing paper clips. We'd all stand around, jeering and sneering and evil stuff like that (you know what kids are like, Al-Qaeda-evil on a daily basis) and he'd hold up everything they had in their trays and get us to laugh at it – even their handwriting in their handwriting books.
And we'd just be cracking up, because children are evil.
Nobody ever stood up for anyone, of course. Too cowardly, I guess. Too grateful he didn't think you'd been siphoning off the Büroklämmer.
I can remember one fat girl really well – really fat and yellow and puffy, greasy hair in a long plait, thin, slimy strand of hair on her temples, thick glasses, kind of hamstery cheeks – sobbing afterwards. I put my hand on the sleeve of her thin, blue school pullover - remember those cheap, itchy V-neck ones – and she pushed it away, and put her head down flat on the table, and just kind of shook, violently and silently, for ages and ages.
So what I reckon is, that's why I don't really enjoy slagging people off when everybody else is. I think the knowledge of how truly and fundamentally cowardly I really am kind of mars my enjoyment of really ripping into people, no matter how ludicrously dickheadish their behaviour might be. Jordan. Paris Hilton. Heather Mills. Charlotte Roche, Alice Schwarzer, Angela Merkel in that sexy dress. Mario Barth. Schäuble. Chavs.
It's not that I don't slag these people off. It's just that I don't really enjoy it as much as I should.
But Justin Bieber. Leave him afuckinglone. Of course he knows what German is (although I must admit a niece of mine asked me if Berlin was in Germany on Facebook chat the other day, but still). Leave him alone. He thought that silly New Zealand interviewer was saying "Jew-man" and he was just trying to be diplomatic.
And besides, he's just a baby. Save your hate for the big boys.