A reader wrote to ask about the only three people I don’t like that I mention in the list of unfascinating facts about me.
Now I don’t mean that I’ve loved everyone I’ve ever met, and want to garland them with homemade daisy-chains while hugging them and crooning "Imagine", but generally the people I meet are flawed but decent – as I hope I am. Here’s the three people whom I genuinely felt were a waste of oxygen, having no redeeming qualities at all:
- A guy who went out with an ex-girlfriend of mine, and beat her up regularly. This guy’s answer to anything was violence; look at him wrong – punch. Remain friendly with your ex – punch. He was nicknamed "Captain Caveman" because of his retarded evolution. Staggeringly, women loved him. Sylvia Plath, anyone?
- A woman I worked with in Thailand, who lied about everything, no matter how trivial. Her boyfriend told me that, a couple of years before, she’d told him that her brother had died of cancer and took him to see the grave. Afterwards, he discovered there had never been a brother – the surname on the grave was co-incidental. She’d lie about things she was bound to be discovered on; why? Desire to be centre of attention? Just plain deceitful? Schizophrenically oblivious to the difference between fact and fiction? I’d be fascinated to know, as long as I never had to meet the woman again.
- A guy who worked at an infant’s school in Bangkok who suddenly died of "pneumonia", which is Thai code for AIDs. I felt really bad about it – even thought I’d only met him twice. Then, one of his ex-colleagues told me that, after having been diagnosed, the guy would weekend in Pattaya (a famous bargirl beach resort near Bangkok) and pay unsuspecting bargirls extra for unprotected anal sex. He’d come back to Bangkok and tell his disgusted colleagues "Got another two of the bitches this weekend". No-one from the school attended the funeral.
Let’s hope this list doesn’t get added to in my next 37 years.