Veins and Paddy v Gerrards Cross
Setting: quiet residential road in Gerrards Cross - home of the rich, selfish, arrogant, inhuman, and rude. A quiet, sunny spring afternoon. Enter Paddy, SXV, and Harry from around a corner.
Paddy You guys stay here; I don't want them thinking I've brought an army to walk the dogs.
Exit Paddy through some sort of triple-fortified potcullis to collect the aforementioned hounds. Bored, SXV picks a stick, approximately three feet in length, from the gutter at his feet. After absentmindedly digging a small patch of greenery from a pock in the sidewalk, he carefully inserts the stick fully into the hedge behind him, presumably whence it came. Enter a Woman.
Woman I SAY! What are you doing here?
Ah, Gerrahds Crawss. RIGHTEOUS NOUVEAU RICHE OUTRAGE!
SXV Waiting for our friend; he's acquiring some dogs.
Woman Why are you putting that stick in my neighbour's hedge?
SXV(More confused than intimidated by the absuridty of the small, angry, middle-aged Woman. Smiling genially.) I thought it could do with more stick.
Woman Yes, well I'd appreciate it if you wouldn't ruin my neighbour's hedge!
SXV (With mild mock-guilt.) Well, if I thought it would ruin the hedge, I wouldn't have done it.
Woman (Pause for angular upple-middle suspicion and prejudice.) Where do you live?
SXV (Continually amazed at being treated like a truanting schoolboy; trying not to laugh.) Beaconsfield. (And not the rich bit, but she doesn't need to know that.)
Woman (Trying not to be mollified.) And you?
Harry Stoke Poges.
Woman Well, I suggest that you not ruin my neighbour's hedge.
SXV (Smiling broadly at her and carefully removing stick from hedge.) I do apologise.
Woman Well, if I see you here again, I shall have the Police down here!
Don't the Police have better things to do than apprehend hedge-augmenters?
SXV (No longer in control of my laughter.) Oh? Really? Well, thank you for letting me know!
Woman (Walking away.) Yes, I will let you know, and so will everybody else!
Woman Don't be so bloody cheeky!
Paddy returns with two dogs. He is approached by the Woman.
Woman (To the dogs.) Hello girls! (The dogs whimper and turn away to Paddy.) Patrick!
Paddy I'm sorry, do I know you?
Woman Do you know that young man? (Points to SXV, dissolved in laughter, and still wielding the offending stick, twenty yards away.)
Paddy Yes. Why?
Woman Would you tell him that he is a very rude person. He was ruining my neighbour's hedge. If I catch him at it again, I shall call the Police!
Paddy (In disgust.) Madam, you are showing your class.
Woman Is he your friend?
Paddy Of course. What of it?
Woman Well Patrick, I suggest you keep better company!
Paddy Madam, I will keep whichever company I choose. (Walks off without a second glance. The Woman leaves in a huff. Paddy approaches SXV and Harry.) Who the fuck was that?
One wonders if, had I been wearing my usual attire - black on black, often in suit-format - rather than the filthy old Lonsdale trainers, ripped, ill-fitting, Soldier '95 pattern combat trousers, and orange t-shirt with the slogan "Do you MIND? I'm trying to IGNORE you!" emblazoned on the front in comedic typeface, all of which were important elements of costume for the character I had just played in a student short film, her reaction would have been the same.
One wonders, furthermore, how her reaction would have differed had I falsely informed her that I lived, like her, in Gerrards Cross, or perhaps, say, Slough.