New Rules for the General Public:
1. We’re not friends, we’ve never met, but there you are, hairy charity mugger, asking me about my day and how I’m doing, like we’re tight buds. Leave me alone and GET LOST. Do I look like I have a welcoming face? I have a COMPLETE BASTARD FACE and I’m wearing black, I haven’t bathed or shaved for a while, and I have a natural glower. Do not approach me or engage in conversation unless you have prior permission. And get off your fucking bicycle when you’re talking to me. What is a charity mugger doing with a bicycle anyway?
2. Do not talk to my daughter. I really do not like that one little bit, and I’m feeling panicky if you do, like you’re about to abduct her, or something. Don’t ask her “Are you off on an adventure with Daddy, mate?”. We’re shopping, you hipster fuck. If it was an adventure, she’d be wearing her adventure hat.
3. Don’t address her as “mate”. DO NOT attempt to shake her hand in a friendly way. If you do, I demand that you stay exactly there for 40 minutes while I go home, fetch my big fuck-off Norwegian machete (I got it as an awesome wedding present; I knew it would come in handy!), come back and chop your fucking arm off at the elbow. Got that? Back away from my kid, motherfucker.
4. Do. Not. EVER. Call. Me. “Dude”. EVER. I hate being called ‘Dude’ by anyone over the age of 16, and particularly dislike being called it by you. Do not say “Have a good day, dude!”, and then ride off on your fucking bicycle. Come back here and give me some satisfaction. Do I look like a “dude” to you? Did I ask to be called “dude”? Do you have my consent?
Note to all, and especially you who is bothering me right now: Never fucking DARE to call me “dude”. Do it, and I will instantly hate you. Fucking prick, the IMPERTINENCE of you! I swear to God, I would happily spend years building a time machine, at the expense of my life, marriage, and sanity, so that I can go back in time and kill the first person to use the word so that it does not evolve into common usage. I HATE* that bastard Americanised word and everyone who uses it in my presence is a fucking BELLEND. If I could prevent cheerful, polite, friendly people such as yourself from polluting my day with such foetid, twatmungous phrases, I would be the happiest man on this wretched, miserable, crappy planet.
In other news, and possibly related, I’ve reached the end of my first week of being an all-day, every-day, stay-at-home Daddy, and it has been brilliant! Not stressful in any way at all!
*When I was very young, I read somewhere (I can’t remember where) that a “dude” was a phrase from the good ol’ cowboy days meaning someone who is inexperienced, naive, stupid, or foolish. A “greenhorn”. Hence, I have taken it very literally every since and it gives me an instinctive feeling of annoyance when I am addressed by someone in that way.
I’m also annoyed that it is an Americanisation that has been appropriated since the mid-80s by British teenagers with skateboards, and people who work in media industries. And as such, I’m less annoyed when an American addresses it to me. See also: “Buddy”.