You have to watch out you don’t start turning into a crank. Being in the media, I’ve spent too much of my life listening to, dealing with and being at the mercy of, cranks so it would be a cruel irony if I became one myself.
There was a drone buzzing around outside my window the other day. I ignored it initially, but as it kept coming around it struck me that I didn’t know who was operating this drone or from where. It could have been one of the local kids playing with his new toy, or some kind of weirdo filming me, or the Chinese or Russian governments gathering kompromat. It seems weird that anyone can fly a drone wherever they want these days.
It’s bad enough that everyone has a camera in their hand all the time, but now whenever I’m out walking or going for a swim there’s always some dude there (and trust me, it’s always dudes) flying a camera over me, probably filming all of us changing into our togs or slyly picking our noses or whatever.
Then again, you don’t even need to have a drone to spy on people nowadays. I was in a “discussion” with a prospective home insurer about the state of the roof of my house recently and they came back with a question that made it clear they had either flown a drone over my house or had a look on Google Maps. I went onto Google myself to get some perspective on the roof, and I was reminded that you can basically nose around your whole neighbourhood and check out the state of everyone’s back garden if you’re so inclined.
By the way, being a crank, I got my insurance elsewhere once the spying came into the frame.
I was just moving on from that when one of the kids got a package from a relative in England and we had to pay VAT, customs duties and fees on a modest gift. How would half of Ireland have clothed themselves in the 1970s if they had to pay customs and VAT on the packages of snazzy, only slightly worn kids clothes from ‘Amurica’, the cool baseball jackets and so forth that came home from cousins done well who pitied the hicks left behind?
But that minor gripe was put out of my head when I ordered a pizza from Deliveroo that never came. I had made such a big deal about treating the kids for some combination of desirable behaviours, and instead we were making them oven chips two hours later and ten minutes before bedtime, all of us deranged from hunger.
The worse part was the woman from Deliveroo, who basically had no answer for me. The pizzas had left the pizzeria I knew, but this woman was basically like: “You can have a refund, I have no idea where they went.” I asked her if she thought there was any chance they might arrive or should I make other arrangements. “You probably should,” she told me eventually. I was firm but polite as I basically pointed out that while I knew it wasn’t her fault, her company’s only job as such was to get the food from the pizza place to me and to let me know if and when it would come, and they had pretty much fallen down on all that.
Obviously I felt bad afterwards. The weird thing is it didn’t seem like this was that unusual. So are delivery people just giving up? Do they just decide they’ve had enough, and they’ll just disappear with the food as a kind of severance bonus? Of course I felt bad for the delivery person too. God knows what their story was. This is the thing about being a crank. A crank usually doesn’t enjoy being a crank.
I’m trying to be tolerant of dogs too, but a guy strolling down Grafton Street in Dublin the other day with two dogs – a breed that should have been not only on leashes but muzzled – off the leash and wandering through crowds of tourists, nearly tipped me over the edge.
I’m a bit sour on some dogs since an over-exuberant but quite large puppy that should have been on a leash jumped up repeatedly on my younger child, and kept jumping even after I picked her up. I know people love their dogs and I have nothing against them, but maybe remember that not everyone loves your dog, and that some people process the world differently.
That incident made it difficult for me to get my kid out of the house for ages, and still now it makes life difficult nearly every day – holidays, going anywhere, or just plain walking to a school. It’s a miracle she hasn’t jumped out in front of a car she can get so freaked out.
We nearly had an actual tragedy on holidays when she leapt onto a wall that had a massive drop at the other side. And that’s a kid who largely liked dogs before.
Anyway, you have to just move on. Because being a crank is like that saying: drinking poison and expecting other people to get sick. I must say I feel much better now for having got all those things off my chest. I have a longer list but, you will be glad to see, we’ve run out of space for today.