This evening I’d like to talk shit with you all.

It’s interesting that many of the people most eager to brand those they disapprove of as “racist” have never been victims of real racism in their lives. I am wary of using the word. Since I left the town I grew up in (and escaped the clutches of one college tutor), my ethnic status has done me no harm at all; it has probably been an advantage. This is one reason why I find it particularly annoying to have to listen to women who have used their sex to get ahead (or get more flexible employment terms) in middle-class, public-sector workplaces complain of “sexism” holding them back. On one occasion a well paid female colleague moaned loudly about the on-average 10-percent-plus lower salaries of women at our institution. I pointed out that I was one of two coloured people working in the (large) building who weren’t scrubbing the toilets and asked her if she’d ever heard me moaning about “racist” hiring policies. She shut up.

In about 2 000 posts here I’ve used the word around a dozen times myself—that is not quoting or parodying someone else. Today I’m not going to use the word directly, but describe a phenomenon I’ve noticed and ask you what you think is going on and whether I am right to consider a particular explanation for it.

On the corner of my street, like many others in Britain, there is a shop run by south Asians. This being Brighton, the male proprietor addresses me as “Handsome”, but otherwise it’s pretty much like any other dawn-till-evening newsagent. It sells all the main dailies and monthlies—plus alcohol, groceries, sugary snacks, and sandwiches with curried potato in them.

About one-in-three mornings I go there I notice that leading up to the entrance there is a trail of large dog turds. I’ve thought of several possible reasons for this:

  • The owners of the shop have a dog and lead him outside the door of their own establishment to relieve himself.
  • This is the point in his daily walk that the dog of an inconsiderate local usually feels the need to empty his canine bowels.
  • The owner of the dog responsible has a particular personal grudge against the people running the shop—perhaps Rover was barred from entering one day when his master was in a hurry.
  • The owner of the dog has a general ethnic grudge against the people running the shop and uses his dog to express it.

What do you lot think?