Friday, 28 February 2014
I'm too fastidious. A typical white-collar worker, bourgeois neat-freak, afraid of disturbing the pristine features of my sanitised existence.
The thought of working on a farm, say, sloshing through mud and manure and bog every day, fills me with horror. Likewise working on a hospital ward, mopping up all the messy excretions of the human body. Or cleaning out sewers or dealing with oil spills.
Mucky domestic chores are okay. That's muck on a manageable scale, something I can handle without too much cringing. But serious, everywhere-you-look levels of muck - I avoid it at all costs.
Friends and loved ones are exempt of course. Whether it's hangover vomit or the effects of serious illness, dealing with mess goes without saying, be it psychological, emotional or physical.
Country dwellers must laugh at dainty townies like myself, as they routinely splatter themselves with muck and slime and think nothing of it. The sight of besuited government ministers delicately wading through the floods in their brand-new wellies must have amused them greatly.
At boarding school I played rugby and by the end of a game I was often plastered with mud from head to toe. Which wasn't too bad as I looked forward to a hot shower and leaving all my filthy clothes with the laundry service (no, we didn't even wash our own clothes - spoilt brats or what?). But if I could find a good excuse not to play, I jumped at it.
So - no muck please, I'm far too squeamish.