I saw someone the other day on the train and I had to double take. Okay, let’s be honest, I looked several times. I couldn’t help it.
It was a bloke. A bloke, who looked a bit different to you and I. He had a shaved head, had painted these huge thick unconvincing eyebrows on and had feminine clothing, which included a furry scarf. Yes, he wasn’t dressed the most manliest of ways but equally, with his many tattoos and large stature, he was kind of menacing in a femanine kind of way. I was very confused about it all to be honest.
But that wasn’t the eye-catching thing. The most eye-catching thing was his top lip which looked like he had recently had botox* injected. Just perhaps a bit too much botox* or it had reacted badly, because this thing was huge.
Now I like to write comedy and I like to tweet things, which I find amusing, sometimes even the odd photograph. Seeing something funny on my commute such as someone dressed strangely or a crazy haircut can seem like easy material to make a funny, completely out of touch with fashion, or a jealous hair-based rant about and hopefully cause a chuckle in one of my followers. I sat nearby and took out my phone to grab a sneaky picture. I looked across at him and was in a good place to grab a quick shot. I was trying to think of a funny tag line to add to it and within seconds it could be on line, on the web and people across the globe could have a good laugh at his lips.
But I didn’t take a picture. I put my phone away and I genuinely felt disappointed in myself.
On another day, maybe I’d have felt different. But, despite my incessant desire to make people laugh through tweets or writing this blog, I felt that if I were to do that, it wouldn’t be comedy, it would be a type of bullying.
Comedy is not Bullying.
He sat there on a full train and he knew people were looking at his face. His lips swelled to what almost looked like bursting point. I saw everyone glancing across at him, and I did the same because I truly haven’t seen anything like it before. Can I just clarify, I wasn’t staring, wide-eyed and pointing.
But if it had been some sort of burn, facial scarring or someone else with a disfigurement, would we have stared as much? Probably not. We’re British and overtly awkward at times, choosing to ignore and pretend it’s not there to hide our own embarrassment and insecurities. Also to try to not make the person with the disfigurement feel bad. So why treat this any different?
It played on my mind a little on the journey home as I sat watching other passengers completely entranced by his top lip. I couldn’t help but think that this probably felt different because it was done through vanity and perhaps it had backfired. So much vanity allows us to make fun when it goes wrong. Any kind of overly vain behaviour is frowned upon in our society. It’s just the way we are. No doubt, if one of Kim Kardashian’s buttocks suddenly exploded it would be all over the front of the papers, and the ceiling, and the walls, everywhere and it would also be all over the media for people to sneer at. Because of her vanity, the general consensus of the population would probably not be a general conveyance of sympathy but of laughter and glee at her misfortune. I think that modesty and class are much more admirable than getting a fat ass out on a front page for all to see in an attempt to break the Internet.
But then this presupposition might not be correct. I had assumed that this was a bad botox related incident and as much as it looked to be, the fact is that without asking him, I just didn’t know. This might be a bad reaction to a small amount of botox. It might not even be botox. Once, I had a bad reaction to cold sore cream and my lip swelled up albeit, nothing to these proportions.
And then we are presuming that this is something that went wrong. Who knows, maybe he’s happy with that? He’s definitely an individual in his appearance.
Basically, it’s none of my f*cking business and it is what it is.
I don’t know perhaps I’m being a hypocrite. But if I see someone wearing what looks like hairy leggings and a bright orange tank top or a trendy haircut that looks like someone has gotten into a fight with a hedge trimmer and lost, whatever I do, take a photo, tweet or write a post, they’re merely observations, a comment on human nature and it’s changing fashions along with my inability to follow what’s going on. But to do it with this physiological problem, felt to me, like a step too far.
I’ll still probably take photos, post online and rant about human nature and hopefully make many of you laugh but I guess I found a line I wouldn’t cross.
Not the usual light-hearted post today but, it’s not as if I write anything serious very often. Fear not my Grumpyans for the grumpy service shall resume, as normal, shortly.
*Since this post was first published, Mrs Grump has informed me that the stuff that goes in lips is not botox, it’s filler. So there you go. Now I know. To me, filler is something you use to repair cracks in walls before decorating. You can also get expanding foam to fill larger cracks. Maybe that explains it then, hence the swelling. Every day is a school day.