Rosie Hore: Week 5
It’s fine to be rude to ROSIE, but only once you know her.
If there’s one thing you can rely on your friends for, it’s to mercilessly rip the piss at every opportunity.
What other people might be saying behind your back, your friends will be saying to your face and then laughing, raucously, at your expense. True mates will never let you forget a dodgy haircut, or an awkward drunken mistake. Whatever embarrassing thing you’ve done or said, don’t ever make the mistake of thinking you’re going to get away with it.
Among my friends, I seem to be the target of a disproportionate number of these jokes. Mainly, if I’m honest, it’s because I deserve it. The derision comes from all angles. Perhaps I’ve got confused that morning about the current ruling on the leggings-as-trousers debate. Perhaps I’ve lied about being a regular at Chicken Cottage to impress a boy famed for his love of the fry, only to be found out the following morning as a greasy fraud. Or perhaps it’s just the simple fact that I have a surname which, even after 3 years, has lost none of its hilarity.
Sometimes, however, the bullying is entirely baffling. I can be the source of amusement for hours without a trace of guilt for the alleged crime. I just sit there and take it as the allegations come thick and fast. But bullying is the prerogative of friendship, and a sign of affection, I hope.
However baffled I am at this onslaught, I’m sure it’s nothing compared to the bafflement of a newcomer entering a conversation in which a group of alleged friends are laying into someone for a seemingly random character failing or physical flaw. Surely this fragile flower can’t deserve such humiliation, they must be thinking. Surely she never actually did that. Freshers and foreigners are particularly confused by this – aren’t you supposed to be nice to your friends?
But, rules are rules, and the newcomer eventually attempts a foray into the conversation. As a baby tiger taking its first steps into the world, he might test the waters with a tentative Hore joke. It’ll be much, much, tamer than everything that’s come before. But the group goes suddenly silent. The newbie has overstepped the line. He hasn’t realised that there are strict entry requirements for the game du jour called ‘let’s destroy Rosie’s self-esteem’.
At this point, I go all Janis on them. Only Janis is allowed to say that Damian is too gay to function. And only my friends are allowed to say that I’m too ginger to ever truly be happy. The baby tiger goes slinking back into the forest, tail between his legs. And the law of the jungle returns to normal: you better be nice to me, but only until I like you.