The most cardinal of Deadly Sins – the deliberate generation of boredom – is an often overlooked yet corrosive vice which can be found throughout society. The classic and most dangerous bore is, in my experience at any rate, the man who is socially maladjusted but simultaneously, obsessed with himself. He will have rigid views about society at large, economics, women and golf. He will rarely have any sense of humour and have few friends. The subjects about which he considers himself to be expert will spill easily from his mouth because they are opinions which have at some or another been delivered with style by people he admires or believes to be relevant. He will repeat their opinions or beliefs because by doing so, he is able to claim their opinions as his own.
Bores drop names because they enjoy basking in reflected glory which is why they are often married to interesting women who they privately defame to anyone who is prepared to listen. If a bore does manage to become a genuine source of interest, you can be assured that for an extended period of time, you may have the story relayed to you many, many times. In fact you will hear about it every time you meet the bastard and once you have become the plaything of a bore, you will find that you are contaminated and that he will consider you to be his property. He will seek you out so that he can bore you again; he will drop names of well known men with Christian names like Willy or Charlie or Dicky. This is because by referring to someone in such a way with a ‘Y’ on the end suggests a close relationship. The more popular and well known the people whose names he drops, the more savagely he will deal with them. He will have no conscience about spreading rumours or slandering his relations, friends and business associates. The closer he is to them, the more fierce will be his attacks.
Many bores are also snobs. They love nothing better than the chance to relate details of a social or even medical disaster which has driven an acquaintance into despair or depression. For instance if a close friend has a problem with alcohol or is caught out in some compromising sexual indiscretion, you can be sure that a bore will disseminate the details so that they become common knowledge overnight. It might seem that I am simply describing a gossip or a common social sadist, which I suppose is true in a way. But when a bore collars you in a bar, his priority will be to keep you under his control while he sets about driving you into mental despair by repeating something he’s told you many times before. He may start by flattering you before proceeding into a description, in vivid detail, of someone’s marital breakdown or suffering during a traffic jam on the M11. His skill will be to keep you under his control and to make it difficult for you to easily break away. You will have the option of telling him to fuck off, but you may feel that by creating a confrontation in this way, you will expose yourself to his calumny. It is understandable that some of us are concerned about what such men may say about us behind our backs.
Some bores start a conversation with words like, ‘at the risk of boring you,’ or ‘I may have told you this before, but…..’ They may also have the ability to make themselves unavoidable by always turning up when you don’t want them anywhere near you. The worst are bores who you discover too late are sitting close to you at a dinner. It happened to me recently; a man monopolising a conversation for almost two hours; a penetrating voice with just enough urgency in it; names of once well known men falling from his lips and archaic details of some long forgotten accounting misdemeanour in the city while the eyes of everyone within earshot glazed over.
What can you do? Well, there are solutions. The most effective I find is to ask the fucker for a loan. Otherwise, a non sequitur sometimes does the business. For instance, ‘my Father always used to say, ‘never kick a fresh turd on a hot day,’ or, ‘Never play leapfrog with a Unicorn,’ or even, Lord Desart said ‘Remember, Mother Hubbard was old, alone and a widow – a friendless, old, solitary widow. Yet did she despair? Did she sit down and weep or read a novel, or wring her hands? No! She went to the cupboard.’
I’m sorry if this is boring.