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Arsehole alert

Sometimes we all have to be the arsehole. Every dog has its day and every arsehole has his or hers too. Our inner arsehole. The dick. The mini-arsehole: not violent or malicious but honest and irritated. The one who has to say the stuff that no one is going to like or find amusing or thank us for. Like, “I am never going to like that proposal so I am saying a flat no,” and “I know what I’m doing, so if you continue to ignore me then we have a problem,” or “I’m not prepared to do this,” or “None of these ideas are workable,” or “I am finding this intolerably patronising,” or “I finished the wine. All the wine. None left. No more whine.”

If we are generally nice and funny and empathetic, we are all disproportionately frightened of being the arsehole. Proper arseholes have the courage of their arseholic convictions and just arse their way through the day being arseholes. But when you have to channel that, to be heard or seen or understood or recognised, it can feel as though you are about to ambush your unsuspecting public. So, we have stumbled upon a way to soften the blow without compromising the message. Flagging things up; letting people know what’s in the post. Like a kind of alarm system. It is very simple and very easy to deliver: when you are full-flow and about to hit the tough bit you just say, ‘Arsehole alert’ and then continue. You are acknowledging that something unexpectedly hardcore is about to come out of your mouth, while simultaneously committing to it. “I am about to be this person because I mean it. And, if you have a problem with it, talk to the arsehole because, just for a moment, Mrs Nice Guy has left the building.”

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