Surely Not Me?
Is it possible to be prejudiced, intolerant of other groups, or even xenophobic but not know it?
Bob is about to discover something about his personality he didn’t know existed.
The Scene is Set
Bob has been awoken suddenly by a noise from the street below.
So he dashes over to the window and parts the curtains slightly to look.
His wife, Mo, is also awake and opens one eye…
Mo: What’s up, Bob?
Bob: I’m just watching these two thugs.
Mo: How do you know they’re thugs?
Bob: I can tell.
Mo: Oh? How can you tell?
Bob: They’re foreigners.
Mo: Foreigners? Being a bit racist, a bit stereotyping, aren’t we?
Bob: It’s obvious, Mo!
Mo: Obvious? How’s it obvious?
Bob: No one from Wigan is that thin. He’s got to be foreign.
Mo: Like from where?
Bob: I don’t know. From Bolton… or St Helens… or Liverpool. Or, heaven forbid, from Warrington.
Mo: Bob, you’re so prejudiced.
Bob: It’s that other guy I’m most suspicious of.
Mo: Go on…
Bob: No one from Wigan is that short.
Mo: You’ve really lost it now, Bob. We’ll have the Height Relations Board after us if they hear us. Let me switch off Alexa just in case.
Bob: No. Look at him, Mo. Just the way he walks. You can tell. He’s from one of those poor countries.
Mo: Like where?
Bob: I don’t know. Those places where all the refugees come from.
Bob: Yep. Them lot who can’t speyk proper, but sneak over the border into our beloved England.
Mo: From where?
Bob: From places like Wales. And Scotland. And them who get ‘ere from across the ocean, in them rubber dinghy things. From distant shores like… like the Isle of Man.
Mo: Come back to bed, Luv.
Bob: No. Come and look at this, Mo.
[Mo gets up and peers through the window]
Bob: What now, Mo?
Mo: That’s Fred and Ivy from next door. Put your glasses on.
Bob: Oh? Nice couple, they are. Would never hurt a fly. Wonder why I thought that about them.
Mo: Yes. Fred and Ivy are great people. Scousers.
Bob: [shocked] Scousers? SCOUSERS!? I didn’t know that about them.
Mo: What do you mean?
Bob: I mean… Scousers. I mean… bringing their foreign religions over to Wigan. I mean… They don’t even speyk proper.
Mo: And you do?
Bob: Aye. Wigan born and bred. And buttered. I am, me. [pauses to think] You know what, Mo…
Bob: If you hadn’t told me that, I’d have sworn they were Wiganers.
Mo: Oh? Why?
Bob: ‘Cos they’re nice people. [pauses to reflect] Perhaps I misjudge people, sometimes,
Mo: I think so, too, Bob. Come back to bed.
Bob: Mo! Look! They’ve gone back inside. It’s 3 am. They were out for no reason. I told you they were up to no good.
Mo: Up to no good?
Bob: Yeah. Waking us up at this unearthly hour.
Mo: Well I’ll let you tell them tomorrow morning.
Bob: Tell them what, Mo?
Mo: Tell them that they shouldn’t have been allowed to sail from Liverpool along the canal in their little rubber dinghy and disembark at Wigan Pier, 31 years ago. That being so thin and short is not allowed in our town. And that they live next to an intolerant racist nosey-parker.
[Bob trots round to his side of the bed]
Bob: I’m not listening to that rubbish. There’s no need to talk to anyone. It’s a good job I’m so accepting of foreigners. Goodnight, Mo.
Listen to Bob and Mo
If you enjoyed that, have a listen on the podcast.
You’ll love the voices. Yep, yours truly playing both Bob and Mo.