Following the joyful inauguration of the 46th U.S. President, Joe Biden, hundreds and thousands of overlayed images of Bernie Sanders started appearing everywhere, ridiculing the mittens he was wearing at the ceremony. It touched a nerve with me. For goodness sake, he is seventy-nine, it was 4C and blowing a howling bloody gale, but I’m guessing his hands were warmer than anybody else’s. So, to whoever started circulating these memes, back off! You’re not so funny!
Fortunately, Mr Sanders, took the mittens memes in good heart and whacked them on to sweatshirts and sold them, donating all proceeds to Meals on Wheels Vermont. So, er, if you’re hoping to buy one, I think they’ve sold out for the second time.
In my early thirties, I wrote a humorous account of life, the world and the universe, as I saw it. It stretched to about 50,000 words, and – surprise, surprise – I called the first draft Life, According to Me. I sent it to my first writing guru who, for the purposes of this post, I will call Juno.
Juno was the first person who ever expressed any real interest in my writing. Older, wiser and extremely well-read she would, without fail, laboriously handwrite a critique for every piece of writing I sent her.
In Life, According to Me, I started each chapter with a quote by someone worldly-wise, but for one particular chapter, I started with one of my own.
Ah wor born I’ Yorkshire
I am very proud of my Yorkshire roots, so the last thing I would want to do is offend or insult, but Juno felt – at the time, and we are going back a few decades – that such a comment might be offensive to somebody, and I did bang on for a paragraph or two in Yorkshire parlance. A mild example, but avoiding offending certain groups of people when writing in a humorous vein, is always at the forefront of my mind.
Of course, if you are in the public eye, you can expect to be the target of ridicule from time to time, but anybody who shelves out cruel humour on a public platform should be ashamed of themselves.
I read about Davina McCall and that dress today. A troll, called Sue Bazley decided to spew her sour grapes venom all over Twitter.
‘Old over sun-kissed woman should cover up … stunning dress but not for the wrinkly crinkly… demure for the mature,’
Get over yourself, Sue Bazley! If I looked that good in a dress like that at fifty-three, I would be wearing it. I flew over to Twitter, but by the time I got there, you’d been struck-off. I was furious because I wanted to troll you myself. I mean, it’s only fair that you should have a flavour of what it’s like to be at the butt end of cruel humour. Still, I’m glad you backed off, because, you’re so not funny.