Jo Brand's week

Living south of the Thames with the ever-attendant cliche about the unwillingness of cab drivers to make that journey, I get quite tense if I think the driver is going to launch into a racist monologue, which again, cliche as it is, many do. So what a joy the other day to meet a cabbie who launched into an anti-racist diatribe. It was like hearing Pamela Anderson appeal to women to grow old gracefully. Incidentally, a friend of mine was talking to a little boy recently about his favourite "ladies" on television. Asked to pick two, he listed me and Pamela Anderson (in that order, I might add). So watch it, Pam. I might put my cossie on and blow you off the beach.

Something is definitely going a bit wrong. Each gender seems to be selecting the worst characteristics of the other's behaviour. Men seem to be getting more obsessed with fashion and appearance, whereas quite a big percentage of women said recently they would use violence to get what they wanted. How about if women started letting themselves go a bit in the looks department and men tried a bit of calm reasoning instead of constantly facing up to each other like Tweedledum and Tweedledee?

In Channel 4's Battered Britain series this week, three violent incidents captured on CCTV were analysed with help from the battered, the batterer and various relatives. Alcohol was a factor in all of them and so were blokes, although I was a bit perturbed to see the mother of one of the fighters appeared to think the whole thing was a huge joke and her boy was just a bit of a lad.

I suppose it's not completely fair of women to blame men for violence. After all, we have a very big hand in bringing them up. Next Christmas, I'm going to buy my nephews an Acas handbook each instead of the macho stuff they usually get. That should stop them talking to me once and for all.

It fascinates me how little time it takes for violence to ignite. Two incidents took place over the weekend which demonstrated to me how many people are on the brink of exploding much of the time. The first happened in a pub where I was having a drink with about eight friends.

A very drunk bloke plonked himself down uninvited at our table and proceeded to stare at us, until he was joined by two not so drunk friends, one of whom insisted I got them a drink because I obviously get free drinks from every pub I go into. (I don't. If I did, I'd be face down in the gutter 24 hours a day.)

A friend who tried to intervene on my behalf was told to shut up, at which point he selected a word with which to address Mr Thirsty guaranteed to wind him up. It did. Violence was prevented by diverting the antagonist away from constantly repeating, "What did you call me?" and on to something else. Suffice to say, though, he was as welcome at our table as a Ryvita with cottage cheese on.

The second incident, at a party, involved a man who demanded my home address so he could send me a CD. Not happy with my agent's address, he got very angry and launched into a tirade about how he was better than me and everyone in the room, etc. Having been asked to go away by a friend of ours, he turned, and pushed another friend out of the way with the words, "Get out of my effing way." This person didn't want to get out of "the effing way" and pushed back, sending Mr Better Than Anyone Else sprawling. He came up kicking and punching from a heap of broken glasses and was hauled out of the room by the people he was with.

Funny how both incidents involved drunken blokes.

So Brandon Lee/Brian MacKinnon won't be getting into medical school because he is too old. But I'd positively encourage medical schools not to take students until they are older, because, for all the intelligence some medical students may have, they certainly do not have the maturity or social skills that getting a bit older gives you.

Having performed at medical school balls, I often ended the evening wishing I had a scalpel. The anatomy knowledge of the vast majority only appeared to extend to bits I was invited to get out for them.

It's very worrying when you have to suffer humiliating gynaecological examinations attended by sniggering medical students practising their bedside technique. Once, with my legs in stirrups and a 12-year-old peering under the sheet, I was regaled with, "Haven't I met you somewhere before?"

All I could think of to say was, "It depends on which end you're talking about."

A female news reporter tested some earrings this week which are supposed to make you lose weight. She reckoned they hurt so much, she stopped thinking about food. Well, it's certainly an innovative approach. All those poor 70,000 people who have bought some could just have poked themselves in the ear with a pin.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Planning Administrator

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are currently looking to rec...

Recruitment Genius: Media & Advertising Sales Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This national business publishi...

Recruitment Genius: IT Service Desk Manager

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A great opportunity to join a p...

Recruitment Genius: Quantity Surveyor / Assistant Quantity Surveyor

£23698 - £30978 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This not-for-profit company man...

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones