A right thorough dressing down.

Screen Shot 2015-12-08 at 8.51.29 amYesterday I tripped over a pile of shoes at the back door.

“Oh for fuck sake…..” I said out loud. I was just about to expel a dialogue of despair at the men folk who live here when I noticed my purple runners were among the pile. I removed them, and relocated them into my cupboard before returning to the scene to commence my outraged state.


One by one they ambled in, gave me the stink eye, and extracted their footwear.

I was supremely satisfied. I had delivered a right thorough telling off with immediate results.

I think the art of being told off is being lost in our ever-increasing, politically correct, litigious society. Gone are the days when you see old people chasing young-uns off the lawn with a garden hose. People are very good at picking up their dog shit, which used to be the (rightfully so) most evil landline you could come across. But I feel that there is a time and a place for a good old-fashioned telling off. From recent memory, I have delivered two.

I watched, as a group of teenaged girls left a whole heap of rubbish at a park nearby.

“Oi!” I yelled “You are not going to leave all of that rubbish there are you?”

Or to the lads who whizzed past me on their bikes a few weeks back….

“Where are your helmets? It is illegal you know!”

All of this went down in front of Horatio, who was suitably mortified at me.

But I don’t care *snaps fingers, juts hip out, puts on sassy pants* because I am a modern-day vigilante on the streets. Teenagers do not scare me.

I recall the time, however, when I was in year 5 and my friend Penny had gotten into a scrap with a girl called Linda. Linda’s mother was not having a bar of it, and after school some serious shit went down in the playground which involved Linda’s mother screaming so loud, that bits of spittle were landing on Penny’s face, her mum Carol found out and it was on for young and old.

That was dramatic.

But closer to home, just last week even, I was the target for a solid telling off.

I had just checked in with Mrs. Ryan, onto our international flight. I am not very good with passports, as anyone who knows me will tell you. Anyway, we went through customs and security and found ourselves blinded and excited by the bright lights that is Duty Free Shopping. I needed some perfume, found my favourite and then lined up to purchase it.

“Can I see your boarding pass?” the lady asked me.

“Why yes of course!” I replied. I rumbled through my bag to find it. It was not there.

“Can I have my passport and boarding pass?” I asked my sister, who told me that I hadn’t given it back to her….

You know that feeling that you get, where time kind of stands still, and things start to get a little fuzzy and you think you are going to die? That? That feeling that people are talking to you in slow motion as you dump the entire contents of your carry on bag onto the floor and rifle through it like a crazy person?

Mrs Ryan had a moment of sensibility and suggested we went back to the security line that we had just come from. We rushed to get there. I went up to the child  man who had supervised my screening.

“Excusemebuthaveyoufoundapassport?” I blurted out.

He looked at me and stopped all proceedings.

“Yes.” he replied

“OH THANK FUCK” I thought but said “Can I please have it?”

The child man stood up to his highest height, which would have been about 5 foot and held his hand up in a stop motion.

“Ladies…” he said in his heavy Lebanese accent, before delivering me the most solid telling off that I have had in like forever….

“You must be patient when going through security. I know that you are all very excited and everything, but right now at this point, you do not have any identification. We have no idea who you are…..”

Mrs Ryan raised her hand “I know who she is…” she offered up before being shot down with a stare.

The berating continued. I had to ignore my instinct which was to grab the dude by the scruff of his neck and lift him up to my eye line and hiss “Just give me my fucking passport ok…”

But I couldn’t do it as he had all the power in his tiny little hands. So I left it, as he continued to lecture me on my stupid, stupid ways. Eventually, and only after I agreed to be less excited and more cautious, did he tell me to go over to this other desk to get it back.

Security man – 1. Me – 0.

I am not often the target of a right thorough dressing down, and truth me told, it wasn’t something I enjoyed. But no one is immune to it. Did you see Leigh Sales slap down old Mal last night? Twas poetry.

“I ask the questions!” 

When it comes to a thorough dressing down, do you have a story to share?

Are you a giver or a receiver? Or perhaps you are both?