For more than a decade I have taken refuge from the land of my birth, to settle here in this sceptred isle of Albion. It is a lovely and mild place, filled with great natural beauty and, for the most part, amiable and intelligent denizens who comport themselves with restraint and dignity.
But an unwary traveller may find themselves, through no demerit of their own character other than poor fortune, face to face with one of the more unseemly species of the island of Grand Britannia. I myself have encountered many local specimens that can only be characterised as, well … arseholes.
I urge you to take note of my experiences and observations, which have been gained at great cost. It is for you and your benefit that I have created, compiled and categorised this comprehensive compendium and catalogue of English Arseholes. If you decide, as I have, to forsake your homeland and venture upon a journey here, you may now do so forewarned and prepared.
This vexatious character is more pest than pestilence, but is to be avoided nonetheless. He entices passers-by with his easy smile and approachable demeanour. But be warned, he seeks not your companionship, but rather your billfold. Walk briskly around him and do not make eye contact, and you should be able to continue with your day, unmolested.
At some point in your trip, you may have need of a livery. Your coachman should be well-versed in all the local by-ways and highways and your journey should be without incident. Except if you make the mistake of engaging in unnecessary discourse with your driver. If you do, expect a vulgar dissertation on how “this country isn’t what it used to be,” and how “I’ve got nothing against foreigners, but we haven’t any more room.” Your best strategem: pretend not to understand English and keep your head firmly planted in a copy of local news-sheet “the Daily Mail” and do not engage.
Mr John Lewis runs a fine establishment, with many consumer wares of very high quality. But shopping there comes with a risk, as this is the capital and sacred homeland of a breed of scoundrel so unpleasant, that any encounter with them may ruin your entire expedition. I speak of course of the “John Lewis Bitches.” These are ladies with a high degree of entitlement, coupled with an innate competitiveness and an utter disregard for the feelings of others. God forbid you don’t exit the lift quickly enough to suit the pleasure of one of these harpies…. or heaven help you if you witness one of these shrews as they are told a desired item is out of stock by some poor hapless shopgirl. Their venom knows no bounds, and their sense of privilege no limits. Unfortunately, I must beseech you to avoid John Lewis’s shoppes, as well as Mr Waitrose’s grocery stores, and additionally, any place that sells throw cushions or housewares.
Violent bounders who speak an indecipherable dialect. They inhabit high-rise tenements, and prowl their neighbourhoods in small packs. Stay well clear.
As in Transylvania, travels by night are only to be done as a last resort. If you should find yourself pondering the convenience of taking an evening-only omnibus, known locally as a “night bus,” I counsel you to look elsewhere instead. For on the upstairs level of this vehicle, there dwells drunken knaves of the worst variety. Whilst you are likely to reach your destination on a “night bus,” you will do so only after encountering vomit, shouting, singing and all manners of ill-bred drunken shenanigans should you choose not to heed my warning. I wonder if reaching any destination is worth that cost.
Insufferable bores who maintain a high standard of conformity as a bizarre method of asserting their individuality, these are to be found primarily in coffee shops and taverns in the East End of London, but their presence blights other cities as well. Beards, tattoos, and colourful footwear are their hallmarks. I implore you to use your own shoes to carry you out of their presence.
Speaking of insufferable, you perchance may encounter bicyclists in England, who propel themselves over pavements and pathways without regard to personal space nor personal safety. Like pigeons, they often travel in packs, and also resemble vermin in their demeanour and personal hygiene. A quick lash with a sturdy stick is all you need to keep these bounders at bay.
As a wayfarer, you may express some sympathies for other fellow travellers. I salute your gentility and intrepidness. But you must be aware that some tourists do not share your perspicacity and wisdom. Some are bleedin’ nuisances, who have the temerity to walk side by side, taking up the entire pavement, preventing citizens from going about their daily business in good order. They congregate in gormless, gawking packs, preventing passage through multiple chokepoints in any English city. Nudge, push or thrust them out of your way, if you must. They may bellow at you in some foreign tongue. Let them. They are inconsequential blighters.
A very common nuisance, to be found in every village, hamlet and metropolis, there is a type of English person who is very keen to share their knowledge with you, or to present themselves to you in a manner officious and offensive. Pictured is one Mr George Galloway, a pedant and know-it-all who is admittedly a bit clever, but so noxious and pernicious as to be universally reviled. There are many like him, keen to deliver upon you a lecture, or share with you information as useless as it is unwanted. Should you be unfortunate enough to make such a person’s acquaintance, I advise you to strike them down with your walking stick. You will be doing a favour for all humankind.
The final profile in this curious compendium of English arseholes concentrates on people who are not English at all. Believe it or not, there exists a subset of people who traverse the globe to settle in England, and then proceed, not to count their good graces on having found a new homeland that has accepted them, but rather instead proceed to criticise their newfound domicile. Protests, critiques and other brickbats cast upon their country makes them seem rather ungrateful, don’t you think? Arseholes.