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.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Poor teachers should be fearful of not getting pay rises or losing their job if they fail to perform, Steve Fairclough, headteacher of Abbotsholme School, suggested
voicesChris Sloggett explains why it has become an impossible career path
Arts and Entertainment
Chocolat author Joanne Harris has spoken about the financial struggles most authors face
Arts and Entertainment
Characters in the new series are based on real people, say its creators, unlike Arya and Clegane the Dog in ‘Game of Thrones’
tv'The Last Kingdom' is based on historical events
Arts and Entertainment
filmSir Ian McKellen will play retired detective in new film
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
'Molecular Man +1+1+1' by Jonathan Borofsky at Yorkshire Sculpture park
Glamour magazine hosts a yoga class with Yogalosophy author Mandy Ingber on June 10, 2013 in New York City.
newsFather Padraig O'Baoill said the exercise was 'unsavoury' in a weekly parish newsletter
people'She is unstoppable', says Jean Paul Gaultier at Paris show
Alexis Sanchez and apparently his barber Carlos Moles in Barcelona today
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager

£36000 - £38000 per annum: Charter Selection: Charter Selection are working wi...

Accounts Assistant, Hammersmith

£25000 per annum: Charter Selection: Exciting sports company with a strong bra...

Financial Accountant-IFRS-Gloucester-£300/day

£250 - £295 per day + competitive: Orgtel: Financial Accountant - IFRS - Glouc...

Technical Support Engineer - Central London - £30,000

£28000 - £30000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Support Engineer - Central London...

Day In a Page

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice
Hollywood targets Asian audiences as US films enjoy record-breaking run at Chinese box office

Hollywood targets Asian audiences

The world's second biggest movie market is fast becoming the Hollywood studios' most crucial
Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app - and my mum keeps trying to hook me up!'

Grindr founder Joel Simkhai: 'I've found love on my dating app'

Five years on from its launch and Grindr is the world's most popular dating app for gay men. Its founder Joel Simkhai answers his critics, describes his isolation as a child
Autocorrect has its uses but it can go rogue with embarrassing results - so is it time to ditch it?

Is it time to ditch autocorrect?

Matthew J X Malady persuaded friends to message manually instead, but failed to factor in fat fingers and drunk texting
10 best girls' summer dresses

Frock chick: 10 best girls' summer dresses

Get them ready for the holidays with these cool and pretty options 
Westminster’s dark secret: Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together

Westminster’s dark secret

Adultery, homosexuality, sadomasochism and abuse of children were all seemingly lumped together
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Dulce et decorum est - a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Dulce et decorum est: a life cut short for a poet whose work achieved immortality
Google tells popular music website to censor album cover art in 'sexually explicit content' ban

Naked censorship?

The strange case of Google, the music website and the nudity take-down requests
Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

Howzat! 8 best cricket bats

As England take on India at Trent Bridge, here is our pick of the high-performing bats to help you up your run-count this summer 
Brazil vs Germany World Cup 2014 comment: David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

David Luiz falls from leader figure to symbol of national humiliation

Captain appears to give up as shocking 7-1 World Cup semi-final defeat threatens ramifications in Brazil