If I Ruled the World

OK, so after my last post I’m glad to see we’re all in agreement: I get to rule the world. I promise to be a fair and benevolent ruler, and to only occasionally be totally freaking irrational and despotic, but there’s just one thing: can I start next week?

Because this week, I’m too busy dying.

Yes, on Sunday morning I woke up feeling like I had a bunch of really sharp knives in my throat. As knife-swallowing hadn’t been part of Saturday night’s entertainment, I quickly deduced that I was getting the cold, and this was Very Bad News because, as anyone who knows me will testify, I don’t get normal colds. No, I get them worse than everyone else. Worse than you, for sure. My head colds are more like mini bouts of pneumonia, which is why I’ve been feeling very sorry for myself over the last few days. Sadly, the “illness” wasn’t bad enough to stop me working, but it did stop me going to the gym so, you know, every cloud, silver lining and all that.

Anyway, your responses to my post about Word Domination reminded me of a few other things I want to ban, kicking off with a suggestion from Anne-Marie:

Public spitters – BANNED

I mean, WHY? Why do people feel the need to do this? Just last month, for instance, I was standing at the ATM getting some cash to pay for my haircut on account of the Hammer House of Hairdressing Horrors not actually accepting debit or credit cards, and… DIGRESSION! DIGRESSION! INCOMING!…

Shops that don’t accept plastic – BANNED

Seriously, this shows you just how much of a backwater we live in: THERE ARE STORES THAT DON’T ACCEPT PLASTIC. Which totally boggles my mind, because really, I am like the Queen, and by that I don’t mean I’m in my 80s and mother to some toffs, but that I don’t carry cash. Ever. Because… actually, I don’t really know why. I think it’s because I hate it when I have to take out £10 just to buy something that costs £2, and I end up with a whole bunch of change that will burn a hole in my pocket, and then I’ll walk around thinking, “OMG, I must find something that costs £8 and buy it! Because I CAN!” Basically, if I have cash, I WILL spend it, so I just use plastic all the time. (Yes, I am one of those people who uses a debit card for small amounts. I expect lots of you will want to ban me for that, so let me just remind you that I RULE THE WORLD, not you, mwahaha!.)

So, anyway, I’m standing there getting my cash out of the ATM, when suddenly a car pulls up next to me and a man in a tracksuit gets out.

(Men in tracksuits – BANNED!)

Now, this gave me some cause for concern anyway because I felt sure he would come and stand in line behind me, and would stand as close behind me as he could possibly get, breathing down my neck and looking on with interest as I typed in my PIN. I felt sure he would do this because EVERYONE DOES THIS IN LINE FOR THE ATM. Seriously, they do, don’t they? And in the line for everything else too, come to think of it. They do it to me, anyway. Time and time again, there I’ll be, standing there minding my own business when I suddenly become aware of warm breath on the back of my neck, I turn round and – yup – there’s a pensioner stuck to my back.

People who stand too close to you at the ATM, and in other places too, but mostly at the ATM – BANNED

I don’t know why it’s normally pensioners that do this. Maybe because pensioners have a reduced awareness of the concept of “personal space” or something? (“Ooh, when I were a lass we didn’t have no newfangled ‘personal space’, young ‘un! In fact, there were 35 of us all living in a shoebox and it didn’t do me no harm! Aaar!”) (I have no idea why I made my fictional pensioner say “aaar” there, by the way. Maybe a pirate pensioner?)

Anyway, pensioners tend to be the biggest culprits when it comes to personal space-invading but other people do it too, which is why I experienced a prickle of fear as I saw Tracksuit Man approach the ATM. Remember where I live, folks. The Buckfast bottles, the locals howling at the moon – I’m pretty sure “mugging a girl at the ATM” wouldn’t be too much of a stretch for some of these people, especially given that most ATMs round here make that handy “BEEP! BEEP!” sound when your cash is ready, which, really, they’d be as well just replacing with a recording of someone shouting, “ATTENTION ALL MUGGERS! CASH STICKING OUT OF HOLE IN WALL HERE! VULNERABLE WEAKLING STANDING IN FRONT OF IT! NOW’S YOUR CHANCE!”

ATMs that make loud noises when your cash is ready – BANNED

Where was I? Oh yeah, so Tracksuit man gets out of his car, walks towards me, positions himself just a few centimeters away from my back, and then…

…makes a disgusting “hawking” noise (gag!) and spits a mouthful of… frothy phlegm… onto the pavement. Right next to my shoe. AAARRGH! Gag, gah, gag!

I seriously almost threw up. Once I’d brought the gagging impulse under control, though, I’m afraid to say I took my life in both hands, turned around and shot the idiot in the head.

Whoops, sorry, no, that was how the scenario played out in my own head. In real life, I just shot him with one of my Death Ray stares. Which was dangerous because remember where we live, people. If real life was anything like my imagination, though, that glare would have incinerated Tracksuit Man where he stood. All that would’ve been left of him would’ve been a football top, a pair of “trackie” bottoms and some expensive trainers. That I would’ve… spat on. Because, actually? Sometimes two wrongs DO make a right. And sometimes I would like to go round the houses of all the people who spit on the street, and spit on their floors. The fact that I can’t actually spit (Seriously. I can’t spit. I did try, out of curiosity, and I have no idea how they manage to get that much phlegm out of their systems. How do they do it? ) would clearly be An Issue here, but I’d find a way around it. Maybe I’d just let Rubin pee on their washing machines, instead.

Yes, it’s a strange kind of justice that will operate in the world with me as Supreme Ruler, but I totally think it will work, no?

So yes, basically the entire point of this entry was for me to give my wholehearted approval to the suggestion that people who spit in the street be BANNED. Clearly that annoys me much more than I had realised, maybe because the scenario above is actually all too common, and I seem to see men doing this ALL THE FREAKING TIME.

Also banned: bloggers who start out with the intention of writing a couple of simple paragraphs, and end up writing long, whiny rants filled with multiple digressions. Because seriously, what is WRONG with those people?

P.S. I write a weekly diary which goes out every Friday to my subscribers. Sign up below to get on the list...

books by Amber Eve
  • Lolling at my desk. Especially at the pirate pensioners (though perhaps you're in training for Talk like a Pirate Day on the 19th? And did anyone else go on from pirate pensioners to space invaders and come up with space pirates while reading those two paragraphs?)

    I digress. I meant to leave a comment saying I can't spit either. Not that I would want to, but on those rare occasions when I DO want to, such as when a small black fly flies into my mouth on my way home (yesterday), I find myself with dribble running down my face, because I simply can't make spit travel. Does this mean I have weak


    September 2, 2008
  • Glad to see you've banned spitting. I actually looked for one of those old "No Spitting" signs that were about during the whole Spanish Flu thing (I've seen pictures…) and found some reproductions on Ebay.Also, I am one of those people who uses their debit cards all the time. I am slightly annoyed at myself when it's for something like $3.50…but as I have to have my bills all facing the same direction and neatly folded, it takes longer with real money.

    September 2, 2008
  • Oh yes, stores that don't take plastic must be banned. I also never carry cash. I feel stupid handing over my card for £1.50, but who wants all that change rattling around in their purse?!

    Could you also ban people who stop smack bang in the middle of supermarket aisles completely unaware of the fact that people might be walking behind them, and people who turn their trolleys sideways, taking up the whole aisle and have the nerve to look annoyed when you ask if you can get by?!

    September 2, 2008
  • I actually knew of someone who got a hepatitis of some sort due to a large amount of people spitting on the floor of the grocery store where she worked–THE FLOOR–and by reaching down and retrieving things all day she contracted this. If that doesn't make you want to vomit, I don't know what will.

    Whenever I catch someone spitting, I always make a point to suddenly talk about the plague very loudly to whomever I'm walking with. Seriously people. We have the education about these things. Now we just have to all agree on implementing that knowledge!

    September 2, 2008
  • Spitting. Ugh. Definitely a good thing to ban. What about talking ATMs that announce when your money is ready?

    September 3, 2008
  • I know that stores get charged a fee when we use plastic, but no one carries cash anymore! It is a pain! TAKE MY


    September 3, 2008
  • Spitters are FERAL. Blergh! (Nice use of 'trackie', btw! 'Feral' also seems to be distinctly Australian)

    September 3, 2008
  • I have NEVER understood the public spitting thing. Like your own saliva is so gross that you can't just keep it in until you get to a trash can? Or maybe a toilet?

    And I laughed about your pirate pensioner- you never know when those 'arrrr's are gonna pop up!!

    September 3, 2008
  • The BF and I went to a nicish restaurant a couple of years ago (it wasn't uber fancy, but it did have cloth napkins). Some dude sitting across from us was hocking loogies on the floor! He was actually shooting out snot and phlegm. And he was there with his wife/girlfriend and their DAUGHTER. Which means that he managed to *breed.*

    Can he have a retroactive banning?

    September 3, 2008
  • Amber-This is my first time commenting but I have been reading a while. I love your blog!

    I was wondering-might it be possible to ban people from coming to your work cubicle and just standing? I realize that some people get bored but it's very frustrating for those of us who are trying to work (or read blogs!! hehe).

    Oh as well as husbands that try and sabotage weight loss. Why do they want you to eat a burger if you are on Weight Watchers? Makes no sense.

    I think you will be a grand ruler of the world.

    September 3, 2008
  • You crack me up.

    September 4, 2008
  • Hoshi


    I’m adding People Who Can’t Direct Their Anger Towards Its Source to the list, if I may, and also Hypocrites. (And no, I’m not pointing any fingers here.)

    November 6, 2009
  • I HATE TO SEE/HEAR SPITTING PEOPLE IN THE STREET. SO DISGUSTING!!!!! Glad I’ve got that out of my system. For now

    June 5, 2014