As a nation, the British recourse to irony as a reflex reaction to any social situation can be both a source of national pride and irritation. It is also a weak point when it comes to those odd occasions when you are confronted directly, though this weekend I discovered that, even then, it has its place.
I was walking to my local supermarket, when I noticed outside was a galley of evangelical Christians performing "street healing", vocally and enthusiastically drumming up business outside the store in a very un-British fashion. It was friendly and harmless, but no less irritating for all that, and I prepared to run the gauntlet of unwanted attention familiar to all who have to confront "charity muggers" on London's streets every day.
Except I had forgotten I was wearing my T-shirt from The Onion, America's finest satirical news source (http://www.theonion.com/); a gentle mocking of a familiar U.S. bumper sticker, it reads "Are your cats old enough to learn about Jesus?" Our would-be healer stopped in mid-approach and was genuinely puzzled - not really knowing what to do. I could see him mentally calculating whether I was serious or not - and considering a level of proselytising beyond even his own comfort zone. I passed through without comment or molestation into the store.
Now, if I can devise a similar device that has the same effect on the charity-backed guns-for-hire that block my path every day en route to work, I may yet die a rich man.
Check you’ve got the latest version of FishBarrel ready for the Nightingale Collaboration’s next campaign - The Nightingale Collaboration will shortly be launching a new and exciting campaign that you can help out with – but you’ll need to make sure that: - ...
5 years ago