History Personal

Let’s face it, we’re all narrow-minded

I want to suggest something. That despite wishy-washy vegetarians seemingly being stationed at every corner, we are all flesh-maddened hunters at heart:  hunting behaviour is hardwired into the human brain.

This is not about mad stalkers or assassinations, or even Sarah Palin and her psychpathic obsession with making the moose extinct; it’s about something I see happening so often that it has to be more than learned behaviour or simple coincidence.

My theory is this: given the narrowest part of any footpath or passageway or thoroughfare, a person will stand there rather than somewhere where they won’t get in my bloody way!

Test it out for yourself. Look at the street outside. If there’s a lamppost or a litter bin or a mail box, people will unthinkingly stand by the one side that creates the least space for passers-by. Even if there is acres of space either side, or space to stand on the side opposite the passageway, the person in question will still stand exactly where it creates the biggest bottleneck.

And the person cannot make a personal appearance to clog up my life, they will leave a proxy. In other words, they will dump their trash bag, park their bags, chain their bike. The aim is to make getting past a pain in the arse.

This behaviour is everywhere, irrespective of colour or class or location. I’ve personally observed it in London, Paris and New York and many more places besides. It is truly international and multi cultural. That is why I believe it is a genetic thing.

And this is my theory. Somewhere, back in prehistory, our primitive ancestors discovered that to trap that mammoth or giant elk, you had to make it hard for the targeted beast to get away. That meant narrowing the escape route: that way you could force it past your hunting mates Ug and Wom, both armed with flint-tipped spears, so that they could get a good shot.

These days, there aren’t many giant elks in my high street. Come to that, not many mammoths either, even with the obesity epidemic.

But Ug’s and Wom’s descendants are everywhere, still narrowing that escape route.

I just wish they’d get out of the bloody way!