As readers of my meaningless ramblings will know all too well, I am easily annoyed. There are many different irritating habits that grind away at me and there are many more practices that grind at me even further. First of all we have the well-documented live band volume in a bar that only has 3 customers in it. Then we have people who suffer from short-termism. People who talk with their mouths full of food are infuriating. People whose only talking point are themselves. People who forever click pen caps in meetings. Coffee slurpers, loud talkers, time wasters, snorers, people who talk in gangster, idiots, the Kardashians, damn them all. But the most irritating of them all, and this is not up for discussion, are clappers.
Clapping comes in 2 main forms. There is either a clap that shows appreciation or support to a particular entity, such as after a jolly good play or at Tony Blair being sent to The Hague for war crimes. Then there is the rhythmical clap, this is primarily used by drunken men during the sets of below-par hotel bands. The latter is today’s complaint.
Clapping by itself isn’t too bad when it is performed by normal, staid people. But when a lout who has consumed way more alcohol units than doctor’s recommend starts to do it – right next to you – you wonder if there is a fate worse. I never noticed this epidemic in London, or anywhere else in the world, but here in the UAE this is a crisis on a par with the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962 or the Great Depression of 1929. It’s a big one that needs urgent attention.
These perpetrators clap their hands together with such vigour that it remains a mystery as to how their bones have not been ground into a fine dust. The droning and repetition of such shockwaves vibrates your bar stool across the floor. By the time Hotel California has ended you find yourself sitting 60 yards away in the car park, with chronic tinnitus and a nervous twitch.
So, how can we counter these inconsiderate reprobates? Well, as luck would have it last night I was acoustically assaulted once more by a very drunk man who could clap louder than Concorde doing a Sonic Boom. The ear-bleeding experience allowed me to come up with a few different scenarios of what I could do to counter his attack.
The first scenario requires an empty glass. You will need impeccable timing as when his hands are at their furthest apart the glass must be placed betwixt them. Then, as the hands come together once more they will make contact with the glass, smashing it into tiny fragments and causing untold pain to the palms. No more clapping.
The second idea I had was slightly more risqué. You will need to carefully lure the assailant close to you and ask him to put his hands on the bar. Then, reach over for the massive knife that is used to cut lemon and lime slices and start remorselessly hacking away at his extremities. This should solve the problem.
Another possibility is to wait for the man to go the toilet. No its not what you think, you follow him and place yourself strategically so that you have to open a door for him, offer your hand to him for assistance. When he is in place standing on a large comedy X slam the door shut, hopefully this will render his hands useless.
Of course these images in my head last night were amusing, but in reality it would have been considered a social faux pas to have actually performed them. Although I genuinely toyed with the idea of the glass between the hands one. Who do these people think they are impressing? I promise you we all dislike you, stop ruining our evenings out and leave your clapping in the form of applause at the end. Ultimately all I could do without fear of being arrested was give the nuisance a dose of evil-eye. Sadly that didn’t work either as the inebriate smiled at me, walked over to me and then asked me to join in with him.
I’m no charlatan. It was at this point that I placed an empty glass between my own hands and as such am writing today’s blog with my nose…