Don’t Call Me ‘Mate’

4 Apr

‘He’s English. From Kent, I think. I’m not sure he’s a very nice man, though, cos when your sister was out here Matt passed him on the road and said ‘hello mate’ to him, and he got the arse, didn’t like being called mate, told Matt not to call him mate, said he wasn’t his mate. He really didn’t like being called mate! So if you do see him, I wouldn’t call him mate.’

That was my mum describing her middle-aged next door neighbour to me the first time I’d walked past his gated off property. As she told the story, the little pair of hands that reside inside my head rubbed themselves gleefully together. The first time I saw him I was gonna call him mate. It goes without saying, doesn’t it? I mean, come on. Well that was two months ago. I never saw the bloke! Until this afternoon, that is, when I was walking down the dirt path that constitutes the road here, on my way out, and he happened to be out collecting his post from the outside box.

Before I tell you about our encounter earlier this afternoon, I’ll just tell you a couple of other quick things about this guy. His house is the ‘big one’ in the area, the luxury pad, you know. It is mostly hidden from view by the huge fencing and walls he has had put up around the land, which have been painted black, he has a massive electric gate, and unlike every other household within a 10-mile radius, he doesn’t have any dogs. This is dog country out here. Everyone’s got dogs. They serve two purposes, that of pet, and that of guard dog. But this bloke doesn’t like dogs. Instead, his ‘fortress’ is protected by a thousand and one different security cameras, whose images are monitored 24-hours a day by some bloke in an office somewhere. If you believe all the massive stickers the guy’s got plastered over his gate and fences, that is. If you look through the gaps in the fence, you can see his grandiose patio and inviting-looking swimming pool. A few times I’ve glimpsed him through the gaps as I’ve been walking past, sitting poolside on a luxury sun lounger, in his Ferarri baseball cap, sipping a cocktail that Del Boy would send back for being too colourful, with his English ‘lady friend’ on a lounger next to him, reading what I can only imagine is the Daily Mail. Just blocking out the world. Erecting barriers.

The road I'm currently staying on. And that first house on the right is this bloke's house.

The road I’m currently staying on. And that first house on the right is this bloke’s house. I was gonna take a picture of all the security signs and stuff, but figured with that amount of security, he’d probably see me doing it. So I didn’t.

So yea, anyway, I was walking down the road past his house just as he was taking his post from the box.

‘Hello mate,’ I said, and he said ‘Don’t call me mate, I’m not your mate,’ quite snidely, leaning against his gate. But I was ready for him, I had prepared, And so I said ‘Well, mate, you see the thing is this, I believe in a society where we are all equal, every single person, regardless, a world without hierarchy, without arse licking, without superiority complexed little men, and in this world everyone is my mate, even if you are not my mate, you are still my mate. That’s just how it is.’ And he said, coldly ‘Yea, but you are not my mate, though.’ So I said ‘I know that, mate, but that makes you my mate. Technically.’ And he said ‘Well technically no it doesn’t.’ And I said ‘Well, technically it does, actually.’ And he said ‘How does that even work? You haven’t thought this idea through at all, have you?’ And I said ‘Yea I have, actually.’ And he said ‘I don’t think you have. It makes no sense. So I’m not your mate, you acknowledge that fact, but then I am your mate, simply because I am not your mate? You’ve just made all that up on the spot. It’s bullshit. You’re talking shit! Aren’t you? Say it! Say you’re talking shit!’ And I said ‘No.’ And he said ‘Yes.’ And I said ‘Nuh uh,’ whilst shaking my head. And he said ‘Uh hum,’ whilst nodding his head. And I said ‘No, actually!’ And he said ‘Yes, I think so. Actually.’ And then I said ‘Well you know what Thought thought, don’t you? Thought thought he had a car, but he only had the horn.’ And he said ‘What?’ And I said ‘Thought thought he had a car, but he only had the horn.’ And he said ‘What does that even mean?’ And I said ‘Don’t pretend like you don’t know!’ And he said ‘No, really, I don’t.’ And I said ‘Look, mate, I’m a busy man, places to go, people to see, I haven’t got all day to stand around chatting with you about what Thought thought. Mate, you need to grow up.’ And he said ‘Don’t call me mate, I’m not your mate.’ And I said ‘I’m not gonna go over all of this again, mate.’ And he said ‘I want you off of my property immediately, out of my sight, gone, or I’m going to release the hounds.’ And I said ‘You’re lying. You haven’t got any hounds to release. You haven’t got any dogs at all, have you? You detest dogs. Even though dogs are fucking cool. And besides, I’m not even on your property. See? I’m standing just outside your gate.’ And his face was all red, and his neck was all veiny, and he shouted ‘Why don’t you fuck off, you little prick?’ And I said ‘Okay mate, you only had to ask. See ya later.’ And I carried on up the road, to the sound of the man’s electric gate slowly closing behind me.

Nah, not really. I still haven’t actually seen the guy. All of that dialogue just then, that was all just made up on the spot just now. By me. I don’t know why I would waste my time inventing such a pointless yarn either. Complete fucking waste of time.

If and when I do eventually cross paths with the neighbour, whether or not I greet him as mate will depend entirely on what mood I’m in at that moment. Mischievous mood or compliant mood. Obviously it’s gonna be fucking mischievous mood.

The little house that I'm temporarily calling home.

The little house that I’m temporarily calling home.

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4 Responses to “Don’t Call Me ‘Mate’”

  1. ChasingWaterfalls April 4, 2014 at 9:18 pm #

    I believed you! Fab story, I hope you see him! Imagine if you said “Alright mate” then he said “Alright mate” back and you could say “You’re not meant to say that, I wrote a story about you and everything” Then he could say “Ah thanks mate” Then you can be mates and live happily ever after. Then maybe you could both get a dog 🙂

    • Kris Mole April 5, 2014 at 5:35 pm #

      That is the dream, Claire, that is the dream………

  2. myothervoices April 5, 2014 at 2:38 pm #

    really good opening paragraph – great voice

    • Kris Mole April 5, 2014 at 5:36 pm #

      Thank you

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