My old housemate Alex told me once that he was queueing in the shop of the petrol station across the road and the guy in front of him asked for a lighter, upon which the hapless assistant carelessly picked up a pink lighter - not deliberately, I think, it was just the first one his hand landed on - thus triggering an enraged tirade along the lines of "ARE YOU SAYING IM A BATTY-BOY?!?!?"Ooh, one that goes back a while to when I was living in London. I nipped into the Costcutter (I think it is) on Dalston Lane and asked for a lighter, a simple enough transaction that led to a bizarre exchange, when he said "What colour?" and I said "I don't care" and then he kinda smiled cunningly and said "What, even pink?" and I said "Yes, I really don't mind what colour" and then he sort of took a pink lighter in slow-motion and passed it towards me really slowly, calling my bluff but giving me a chance to shout "No! Not the pink one" and I'm just sort of muttering under my breath "Gimme the fucking lighter you twat" and eventually, to his consternation, I took the lighter and then as I left he was sort of going "Aha I tricked you into buying a pink lighter".
So in London there is a definite thing about pink lighters and masculinity, and I've realized here that whenever I buy a lighter even in the cafe below my flat rub my little old ladies, they ask what colour. I can't imagine they care but I'm realizing that people they sell to obviously do care, and so that's why they are always mildly relieved that I'm so simple to deal with.
Has the world gone even more mad than before or was this always there and I just never noticed?
I mentioned having heard that... but is it true? Surely not... surely.The most simultaneously hilarious and depressing example of this sort of thing I've heard of is men going around all day with a shitty arsehole because either wiping your arse properly after you've done a shit or washing it properly in the shower counts as 'ass-play' and is therefore 'gay.'
Think you just never noticed. My early-to-mid teen boy peer group regularly pronounced things 'gay', including yoghurt, having an earring in the right ear (or was it the left? can't remember), wearing all black, having too-long hair, having too-short shorts, smoking Silk Cut (or any type of menthol cig), skincare, holding a girl's hand in public, etc. Sound ludicrous but they took it deathly seriously - anyone pulling out a pink lighter would have been a target. Even saying "Gays don't bother me" meant you were suspect.