About Me

My photo
London, United Kingdom
Holly Searle is a writer who was born in Westminster in the middle of London. She shares her birthday with Jarvis Cocker and David Seaman and like Jarvis Cocker she wears glasses but has nothing whatsoever in common with David Seaman. She is fascinated by words, people and their stories, and regularly spends hours fantasising about being offered a weekly column. She has a degree in Film and Television which she gained from Brunel University in 1997. She has been blessed with two quite remarkable children whom she adores. She enjoys the company of her friends and the circus that is life. Long Walk to Forever by Kurt Vonnegut is her favourite short story. She is the author of the published children's tale The Story of Balan Singh, and is currently working on her first book.

Sunday, 2 June 2013

Oom Pah Pah By Holly Searle




There's a little ditty
They're singing in the city.............

I have noticed of late, a rather alarming stream of repetitive responses that I am hearing from men, whilst I am engaged in a simple and innocent exchange with them.

And it goes like this.

I will just be being friendly, having a plain and simple conversation with them, and nothing more, I promise you. And all of a sudden, out of the blue, they will say something along the lines of "Yes, I know, my wife/girlfriend/partner likes that too."

I didn't really think anything about it at first, but then, when it happened again, and again, and again, I mentioned it in passing to a female colleague that I work with, (as these exchanges invariably appeared to be happening at there), and she laughed and said she knew just what I was referring to.

But then it happened to me one evening while I was out with some friends. I was just being chatty with a chap who was part of the group, but someone whom I had never met before. I wasn't flirting, I was just being friendly.

When he suddenly did it as well.

So, I began to think, why do all of these men feel the need to verbally signifying their relationship status?

Whilst I may be single, I don't own a badge or a t-shirt that clarifys this. Neither do I have a tattoo on my forehead that blatantly points this out, believe me, I know, as I have checked. I don't carry a butterfly net either, one in which I intend to capture any unwittingly off guard males.

It's a funny one.

I want to say to them, "Look, I realise that you have a wife/girlfriend/partner, as you are far too clean and well kept, to lead me to think otherwise."

I want to explain to them that they are not displaying that Havishamesque air of someone who has not bothered to look after themselves, since they were jilted at the alter.

I want to say, "Look, I was just being friendly, I have not other ulterior motive, other than that."

I think that that, might make them think on. But now, because I have made a mental note of these exchanges, as soon as one crops up, it kills the conversation entirely. And the whole purpose of the innocent friendly non-sexual exchange between two human beings, simply becomes redundant.

However, I have started to think on, and have come to the conclusion that what is actually going on here is the following.

Maybe the man in question, is just a happy well kept chap, who has found his mate. In his brain he has long since lost the thread of the banter that would have once been a necessary part of his primitive discourse, and one that he would have had to relied upon, in order to find a one.

Fair play. I understand that.

Maybe, what these men are really saying is "Look, I have covered this already, and I am finding the fact that I am having a conversation with a rather pleasant woman, that I have no intention of whisking away, a little uncomfortable. It is confusing me, so I am going to have to put a stop to it right now, before my brain overheats, by telling you that I am taken."

I think that is probably it.

I really do.

It is the way, I think, that they find of distraction themselves from what they think is going on, as opposed to what they then translate in their brains, to be the on the spot actuality of what the situation is.

And as I can quite clearly see what they are doing, it all just puts me in mind of that rather lovely sequence in the musical version of Oliver where Nancy sings that rather wonderful song Oom Pah Pah.

She starts this tantalising tavern sing-along in order to create a diversion, so that she can get Oliver out of the place, to prevent Bill from involving him in a preplanned nefarious activity.

But, despite all of her table boarding, skirt shaking, cartwheel spinning attempts, Bill sees exactly what she is up to.

Well, I guess I am Bill.

Men, I appreciate your good fortune, I really do. But please, I implore you, just go with the flow with what is really happening, and not what you feel your repressed primitive nature is telling you it thinks is happening.

For if you do not, innocent friendly women everywhere, might just start shouting an unpreventable tourettic "Bullseye!" in an Oliver Reed Voice, every time you mention you have a wife/girlfriend/or partner.

They all suppose what they want to suppose
When they hear...oom-pah-pah!!

Men, you have been warned.


No comments: