Xtin and I were talking yesterday about a certain kind of person: the one who comes up to you, upon little or no acquaintance, and starts telling you what they know about x, or their theories about x, and not only presume that you're horribly interested in what they have to say, but generally fail to listen/show any interest in what you have to say. That is a recipe for excrutiation.
This kind of sounding-board personality includes pretty much all the crazies I met while working in a second-hand bookshop, years ago (trapped! trapped! I hate retail for this very reason!), who'd demonstrate an astonishing inability to recognise or react to any signs of my frustration and growing anger.
I remember one memorable exchange between one such chap and the bookshop owner.
"Ah. Ah. I see you're wearing a CND badge. Well, I think there should be nuclear war. Limited nuclear war. Clear the earth so we can start again."
"You're stupid. Fuck off out of my shop, and don't come back"
Xtin met one of these people yesterday. I know I am coming across as vastly misanthropic, but oh, to hell with it. I mean, unreliable narrator and all that. Anyway. I was talking to a chap dumping manure (horse, I hasten to add) at the farm where I fly the gos. Xtin was hanging back near the gate. And I turn around, and she is standing with a woman dressed in bright purple, celery leaves flopping out of her bike basket. The woman has been telling Xtin that she knows all about falconry, which she clearly doesn't, and Xtin has already given up talking, and is approaching critical mass, in a rigid, shoulders-tensed, teeth-gritting stance. And the goshawk takes one look at Mrs Purple and is utterly terrified. Bate, bate, bate, bate, bate. Mrs Purple then tries to talk to me. It's like treading on the edge of a bit of quicksand. Back up! Back up! I mutter and disappear rapidly up the farm track, followed by Xtin, who takes about half an hour to decompress.
Note: it seems that no matter how tame your goshawk, it will take enormous fright at certain individuals. There is nothing you can do about this except remove yourself from the scene.
There might be a lesson in that.