James Complains – About A Shouty Man

Friday’s post signalled an end to my Blogging 101 days. Technically there were some follow-up tasks to do on the weekend, but I’d already decided the course was over, so there was no going back. However the final task did lead me to contemplate what regular features I might run on this blog, and the suggestion that generated the most overwhelming enthusiasm was a feature entitled James Complains, where I complain about stuff.

I’ve bowed to peer pressure and this is the first entry into that particular series.

Now I have a notion why people think this would be a good idea. I do have something of a sarcastic edge to my writing at times (or all of the time) and I imagine the ideal scenario would be this:

I begin a diatribe about an aspect of society familiar to us all, I point out some fairly obvious failings about the ‘thing’ in question and then I get lots of responses in my comments like :

“This is so true, lol.”

“LMAO, this always happens to me…”

Etc etc.

The post goes viral and I become an overnight internet sensation and I never have to work again.

Obviously, no-one wants that more than me.

Indeed there may come a day, when office workers click share and snigger in unison at one of my rants.

There may yet come a day when families bond over the clichés and truisms made slightly humorous by my clever play on the English language.

There may indeed come a day when I finally write something that has mass appeal.

But it is not this day.

This day I write about a shouty man.

Sorry went a bit Aragorn in Lord of the Rings there.


But the point is, this post isn’t going to go viral. But it is a valid complaint about something that actually happened to me about an hour ago.

So what happened was, I was walking along the Kings Road in Reading town centre when a man walking in the other direction, seemingly apropos of nothing, started shouting really loudly.

I mean really loudly.

I can’t really convey how loud he was on these pages. All I can do, which I will do in a moment, is write what he shouted in block capitals to convey a sense of loudness. But it won’t do it justice. He was loud. I mean he was LOUD (see? Block capitals convey nothing. I could try something else. How about, this?)

He was


He was so loud that he made me jump. He was so loud, in fact, that he triggered my ‘fight or flight’ instinct. I sized him up ready to either run away, or punch him in the face. But I didn’t want to do either of those things. So I was forced to listen to the actual words coming out of his stupid loud mouth. This is what he said:


Now I’m annoyed that he shouted so loudly that I had to at least consider whether cowardice or violence was the best solution. But I’m even more annoyed that I had to listen to the words. Because inevitably I pondered the words.

And truthfully I overthought the whole thing.

At face value, it seems as if he has seen a third party walking behind me, a third party who is in Reading for the same reasons as ‘shouty man’, and both ‘shouty man’ and ‘third party’ have had difficulties parking. ‘Shouty man’ is seemingly travelling with someone called Leslie.

That’s probably all fairly accurate. But it’s left me with lots of questions. The most pressing being, who is Leslie? Leslie is a name that tells you very little. You can’t even surmise whether Leslie is a man or a woman.

We do know that Leslie is more of a worrier than ‘shouty man’. But is Leslie someone who worries excessively, or was Leslie right to worry in this instance? We can surmise that as ‘shouty man’ is now out of his car, that he has found a space, but was it ‘up there’ as he reassured Leslie, or did it take them a lot longer to find a space? Where is Leslie now? He or she is not with ‘shouty man’. Is Leslie still in the car, keeping watch for traffic wardens as ‘shouty man’ has stopped illegally? Is ‘shouty man’ telling ‘third party’ that he hasn’t found a space, that he was as over-confident as he is shouty and there was no space to be found ‘up there’?

And I’ll never know the answers to any of these questions, because ‘shouty man’ decided to stop shouting and instead to talk at a normal volume as soon as I’d walked past him.

I just hope Leslie is ok.

  2 comments for “James Complains – About A Shouty Man

  1. June 28, 2015 at 9:00 pm

    I’m sure dyslexic me is okay. (Bonus points if you get this.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • June 29, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      I get it – very good…


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