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A disorderly and miscalculated life.

Byline: DAVID KILVINGTON

HAVE you ever been in the company of someone that most would describe as nice? No, not boring but nice, nothing more to offer other than nice? Kindness, gentleness, passion, courtesy, tolerance - all laudable virtues I see the value of. But there's nothing more likely to get on my pip than having to spend time with anyone nice: while I watch covetously, a friend being outrageously entertained by some irascible monster woofing down too much wine and leering at everyone else's wives before launching into a remarkably detailed account of an encounter that he had I AM HEARTILY REASSURED, AS I LOOK MY THAT I MANAGED TO WEED OUT ALL ,,,, THE NICE ONES, WE ARE RELATIVELY YOUNG some years previously in the back of a Hillman Imp... I swear it is all that I can do to stop myself from jumping up and down on the spot.

Nice: (from the Latin nescius, ignorant) and all too often for appearances. For who (other than me) is going to be horrible to you.

But even more I hate those vampiric types that like to empathise and make a display of their nice caring nature; you must have witnessed the scene; someone is upset about... whatever. The vampires flock, quick not to miss out on the opportunity to listen empathetically to some simpleton bleating. It's reminiscent of some twilight self-help group put to music. But words are so very cheap; yes, politeness costs nothing. Indeed, it's actions that take effort, deeds that cost, and this is where you will find that the oh-so-nice friend has some other appointment across town; and it's your splenetic misanthrope that will end up driving your red-eyed casualty down to the urology clinic, even if it is just so that they can laugh over it at some later date.

AT FRIENDS, HAVE Maybe this is why you find that most old people you meet aren't that nice - it's because nearly all the nice ones were walloped over the back of the head with OF an empty bottle some time around 1977.

AND STILL I am heartily reassured, as I look at my friends, that I have managed to weed out all of the nice ones; and we are still relatively young. Twenty years from now, those that have managed to retain their liberty and still know their own name without having to check the label sewn into their vests will be even more scoffing.

Niceness is such an overrated virtue, so if you ever see me at some jamboree and think that you might toddle your nice self over because you saw me helping some dear old bird across the road, and you want to tell me what a gracious fellow I must be, ask yourself - did that dear old bird really want to be taken across the road?
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Wales On Sunday (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Feb 6, 2011
Words:474
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