I wish people wouldn't talk to me about The Big Issue, I really do. People only ever say one of two things about the Big Issue, and both of them make my slap reflex get twitchy. Firstly there is the line taken the other day by a singularly witless and unlovely associate of mine, which went roughly as follows:
'... so I walk past, and they go 'Big Issue, love?' and I was like, 'No thank you', cause I always think its nicer to say 'no thank you', isn't it, cause some people just ignore them, you know? which is a bit rude, and they turn round and go 'well fuck you then', I mean well, with that kind of attitude, it's no wonder they're on the streets is it, really, I ask you."
If any of you have ever caught yourself saying or thinking anything along these lines, do me a favour and slap yourself in the back of your stupid head. I can't reach from here. If you are unclear as to why you are deserving of such, allow me to explain. First of all, I ask you to look back upon your own life, and reflect upon whatever experiences you may have had dealing with the Great British Public. You may work in a shop or a bar, you may have once upon a time briefly dabbled in telesales (it's OK, I won't judge you), I don't know, but surely all of you have at one time or another had some experience in that dark realm known as Customer-Facing Positions. As such, you will already know one very important thing about the Great British Public: that they are a shower of cunts. Seriously, an absolute bucket of fuck-knuckles. I once held down a job selling double-glazing for a grand total of two days, and by the end of it I was ready to start sending out anthrax parcels to random strangers. I'm sure you have all felt similarly. Now imagine having to deal with that frustration, indifference and abuse all day every day in order to scrape together even the smallest amount of money to get a bite to eat. Under such circumstances, it is hardly shocking that even the most personable Big Issue vendor might occasionally be less than perfectly civil. And anyway, what's the big deal? If there were homeless people on every street corner bullying and intimidating you into buying 'OK' magazine, I'd understand a bit of hostility, but the Big Issue is actually a pretty good read, you know. Everyone should buy it. It's the least you can do. Have you noticed how cold it's been lately?
The other thing that people say about the Big Issue, and this is even MORE irritating, is that it's actually a pretty good read, you know, and that you really should buy it, it's the least you can do. There is a certain kind of self-regarding liberal wankrag who will happily bleat on about it's intelligent and independent coverage of domestic social and political issues, and how it presents a perspective that represents a massive proportion of the population yet one that is almost always entirely absent from the mainstream media (broadly speaking: that of people who don't live in Islington), etc. etc. I hate this crap, and I hate the pissants who come out with it (so, yeah – me). Like I'm so fucking down with the cause, and I'm not just buying it out of guilt and desperately over-rationalising the fact that this £2 a week is the beginning and end of my constructive contribution to society. Cheap, sanctimonious pissant nonsense, with all the self-aware dignity of Smashie and Nicey talking about their contributions to 'Charidee'. I swear. As if I have ever personally ever lost so much as a minutes sleep fretting over the plight of the homeless. Let's be honest, I couldn't give less of a fuck. I hate the fucking bums.
Readers with an interest in the concept of 'karma' may be amused to hear that immediately after mentally composing the previous sentence at the bus stop, I was called upon to try and break up a fight between two homeless persons apparently intent on strangling each other, receiving for my troubles a big stick waved in the face and a faceful of surprisingly lucid and articulate verbal abuse. Nah, just kidding! It was only ‘fuck off’. So it's okay, you see. The fucking bums hate me, too.