Anxiety and Fear of Strangers…

women s daisy dukes
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I’ve been saving this up for you. Just in case you thought you were a tad unhinged, I think I’ve now overtaken you and reached the top of the class in that department.  (Nb Photo with lassie above is not me … even I wouldn’t clean the car in heels …)

A glorious day in Scotland, and it was not raining, in fact the weather was positively tropical. Everyone still wears their coats though, after all, it’s common knowledge for the Glaswegians that if it’s not raining, it’s about to and if you’ve not got your coat, you’d be well advised to nick someone’s else’s.

By now I think you will have understood that ‘The Car’ is my husbands true love (along with Jaffa Cakes, women with long legs and beating me at Scrabble). With time on my hands, I figured that an outing to the car jet wash was the order of the day.

I must confess that being somewhat mean with money (the old fear of dying broke with 5 children from 5 fathers in a studio flat in the darkest depths of some God-forsaken city surrounded by beer cans and cigarette butts regularly rears its ugly head) …. moving onwards and away from that particular thought … this forces me to not be frivolous with the old notes and to generally get out the bucket and sponge and wash the car myself. However, a moment of madness and a simple trip to the car jet wash ensued. Or so I thought….

My money is in the machine. I’m not wasting a penny. The timer is going. I sense urgency to get the darn car clean; I have only eight minutes to complete my task and the clock’s ticking … they don’t call it a pressure washer for nothing. What started out as a blast of water that ricocheted off the car onto my face, was quickly replaced by bubbles. A lot of bubbles, with force.

The hose is stuck under a tyre; I’m flicking it away, it’s caught on the stumpy aerial on top of the car, I’m flicking it away again … every flick comes with a drenching of white bubbly car detergent all over yours truly. Eyes stinging and streaming, I look as though I’ve entered a wet t-shirt competition for the over 60’s – it’s really not a good look. Perhaps wearing a coat would have been a good idea.

Suddenly the hose is snatched from my hands by a huge Scottish man who barks at me in a language I can only assume is native to the farthest part of The Outer Hebrides …. I comprehend nothing. I snatch it back …. However, I am now not alone in being covered in bubbles.

His eyes are narrowing and yet he once again lurches towards me to grab said hose with more of the guttural, phlegm-inducing sounds which I can only assume are more words …. ahhh but I’m quick off the mark here! I can see Angelina Jolie in myself as I swiftly dodge his swipe and point my brush at his face, bubbles exploding over his huge chest and now bubble-splattered hairy face.. God he’s enormous. “Go away!” I squeak. He responded with words that my brain couldn’t register, except for two, “help” and “mad”. He shakes his head in bewilderment at me, bubbles flying from his beard.

Dear God, he was trying to help me. Another squeak, “Oh … Bugger!” Back-tracking required with speed.

“Um, gosh, thanks awfully. But um, I rather enjoy this …. see?” When in fear, the frightfully British accent lurches forward overtaking all normal speech. The thought of a burly Scot vigorously rubbing the paint off my husbands pride and joy was too terrifying to contemplate, so I now spend the next two and a half minutes pretending to simply adore washing cars as I rub and squirt and spray with gusto and all the time gibbering and thanking him profusely for his offer. He looks baffled, bewildered and somewhat wet.

At long last, the timer rings and the furious noise and force of water diminishes, and I am left standing in relative silence opposite a mammoth soggy Scot with bubbles in his beard and a now flaccid hose which rather halfheartedly gives a final and rather pathetic little spurt of water before dribbling onto the ground. “Sorry.” I mutter and hand it to him, whilst ineffectively wiping at his bubble-soaked jacket. I wisely leave the beard alone as I make out another two words, “Focking nootter …”

“Yes, you’re quite right … awfully sorry.” It’s the Noel Coward accent again, but I’m in the car pronto and making a hasty exit.

Sometimes you know, even if people look scary, they’re as kind and soft as … well, they’re just not. Think I’ll stick to the bucket and sponge in future – infinitely safer.

Katie x

Do you ever judge people wrongly? Do you ever act like a complete fruitcake?

25 thoughts on “Anxiety and Fear of Strangers…”

  1. This is hilarious as always Katie. I love your writing.

    I think we all make those judgements. I associate big muscular guys with aggression, and assume pretty girls are empty-headed. I do try not to. In my defence – this was universally true in the town I grew up in!

    But I also see this from the other side – even my wife says I radiate go away vibes. But people who actually take the trouble to push through that see my sense of humour and (I hope) kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I reckon we make judgements because back in caveman times we had to work out pretty smartish if the big pussy cat at the cave door wanted a stroke or was in fact a rather hungry sabre toothed tiger. That’s my theory anyway! And, for what it’s worth, I love your sense of humour and I know that you’re kind. X

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Awesome! I totally do that too, my accent seems to get extra posh when I’m scared, nervous or uneasy?!?! Could completely see you dancing around like washing cars is your greatest passion in life. Good stuff. S xx

    Liked by 1 person

  3. That was so funny and I’m glad you are able to laugh at it now and hope you could pretty swiftly after your cool sharp (well sharp anyway) exit from the scene of the farce. Why DOES one turn into Celia Johnson on these occasions? So bluddy inappropriate and yet seemingly inescapable!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh Celia Johnson – Brief Encounter wasn’t she? … fantastic film. I love the old black and white ones. Apparently I get even worse if I don’t understand an accent “I beg your pardon, could you repeat that please?” Rather clipped and I can’t seem to help it. My husband just falls about and says I sound like the Queen. Yup, bluddy marvellous! X

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Your husband sounds as ‘amusing’ as mine 😂 Here in Massive Chewsets no-one understands a word I say. And I’m so stubborn I know I am getting more and more Downton Abbey because I refuse to succumb to a transatlantic twang. 😉 xx

        Liked by 1 person

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