At al­most ev­ery turn, peo­ple abuse me

In­stead of apol­o­gis­ing, they have the cheek to counter-at­tack

Life & Style Weekend - - STUFF - with Greg Bray

FOLKS, ac­cord­ing to the an­cient philoso­pher Ha­gar the Hor­ri­ble, ‘Friends come and go, but an en­emy is for life’.

Well, over the years I’ve col­lected a num­ber of mates, ca­sual ac­quain­tances and well-wish­ers, along with sev­eral peo­ple who clap like me­chan­i­cal toy mon­keys when­ever I fall flat on my face.

Tra­di­tion­ally, this group was made up of ex-girl­friends, un­sport­ing sport­ing op­po­nents, and ir­ri­ta­ble old trades­men who loathed cheeky ap­pren­tices.

For­tu­nately, time, for­give­ness, in­juries and old age re­solved most of those vendet­tas.

Th­ese days most of my en­e­mies ap­pear to be com­plete strangers.

Peo­ple who abuse me for point­ing out some­thing they’ve done to me that they wouldn’t tol­er­ate any­one else do­ing to them, e.g. cut­ting ahead of me in a long queue, wak­ing me up with loud mu­sic, let­ting their dog jump on me at the beach, run­ning me off the road, etc.

In­stead of apol­o­gis­ing, or ac­cept­ing any blame what­so­ever, no mat­ter how in­con­sid­er­ate, rude or wrong they might have been, they have the ut­ter cheek to in­stantly counter-at­tack when called out (aka Do­ing a Trump). It’s al­most im­pos­si­ble to avoid th­ese clowns lately, but they are giv­ing me a chance to test-drive some fairly cre­ative in­sults I keep up my sleeve for just such oc­ca­sions.

Mean­while, closer to home, I’ve found the fastest way to flush out po­ten­tial two-faced ri­vals on ‘Team You’ is to do one of the fol­low­ing:

Easy op­tions: Lend out your mower, or money, and ex­pect it back.

Ex­press a po­lit­i­cal view­point.

Dan­gle toi­let paper out the back of your pants and see who tells you.

Slightly harder: Earn a pay rise. Get pro­moted. Win Lotto. Be­come se­ri­ously ill then see who vis­its you (you may be sur­prised at who doesn’t).

Fi­nally, if all else fails, just be your­self – this is guar­an­teed to in­fu­ri­ate some­one sooner or later.

Sadly, each year, I add more names to my ‘Peo­ple I Will Never, Ever, Trust Again (and this time I re­ally mean it!)’ list.

But, un­like Ha­gar the Hor­ri­ble, I won’t be keep­ing those names on file for the rest of my life; just theirs.

Th­ese days most of my en­e­mies ap­pear to be com­plete strangers.

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