I think I have had it with people. People are not the solution, people are the problem.
I drove to Swansea and back last week, through a torrent, with visibility so bad I could barely see the end of my bonnet. This is normal for Wales. One local said that this was nothing and I should see it when it rains! That was the funniest thing about the trip which was marred by the presence on the roads of what I can only describe as normal drivers.
Abnormally, and uniquely, I drove at what could be called a safe-ish speed. I took the advice of the illuminated signs that said "50". I think that means that you should not drive at more than 50 miles an hour. Every other road user interpreted this sign as meaning that you should not drive at less than that.
In between the signs that said "50" were even more violently illuminated ones that said "Poor driving conditions". When I saw the first of these, I thought how ridiculous it was to point out that fact as it was obvious to any non-blind driver that the conditions were in fact poor. It turns out that even with neon reminders that you could barely see through the storm, and painted signs on the tarmac that said "SLOW", everyone else on the road did not think that not being able to see where they were going should in any way stem the speed they were driving at.
Travelling at 50 in the slow lane, practically every car in the country drove right up behind me, so close that I could not see their lights, and tail gated me in a mad fury because they would have to pull out to go past, rather than have me drive at the speed they wanted to go at.
This is now so normal that it should be listed as acceptable behaviour in the Highway Code, in the way that the illegal becomes tolerated when enough citizens do it.
In some towns, the local councils are trying to reduce the death rate on the roads by bringing in residential areas of 20 miles an hour. If you have ever driven in one of these at 20mph, you will know that you are the only person who apparently understands what that sign means. Perhaps some people think it is a guess-your-age display, or a clock that only tells minutes after the hour. Absolutely no-one at all drives at 20 or less, in a 20 or less zone. Attempts to do that will cause the people behind you to have a purple raging fit that you could see from space.
The reason for all this is that people are jerks and they are especially, doubly jerks when they get behind the wheel.
They are also jerks when they are not driving. People are jerks when they are prevented from doing what they want, when they want. It used to be that only a two year old had a hissy fit when they were stymied in any way, now it is adults.
Tell someone politely that their music is too loud, or they are parking across your driveway and you can't get out, or they pushed in the queue, or their feet are on the back of your seat in the cinema, or they are talking on the phone in the theatre, or that perhaps a gallery is not a place to wheel round a screaming baby and the response you get is like a lesson in infantilism that even Jeremy Kyle would shrink from putting on screen.
The most common response is for them to start screaming about their rights. "I can do what I want!" they will shout when asked if they wouldn't mind not serenading the entire neighbourhood with Whitney Houston at rock concert volume at three in the morning. "It's my flat, it's my right!" they will scream as they start flailing their arms round like a demented threshing machine. And then they will call the police on you because you have questioned them.
I would call that a symptom of a mental illness, some sort of sociopathy, but if everyone is like that it is not an illness, it is normal.
I am aware that this feeling is a function of age and that really old people are known for this attitude. The reason for that is not that old people are crotchety, it is that they have had the opportunity to witness other people over a long period of time and have come to the inescapable conclusion that the human race is one giant flaming ass.
I am not very old yet but in order to save time later I have decided that I have had it with people. I think that I would like to buy a yurt and live on a remote Welsh hill where there is no chance of contact with any of them. I will buy a dog and live in perfect harmony with nature and in absolute peace with my surroundings. Nature may get loud once in a while, nature may place impediments in the way of one's pleasure but it is not doing so out of selfish and inconsiderate reasons, so it gets a pass. Nature is not an ass.
Living on a hill in a yurt has its attractions but of course I will need to feed my dog, so some sort of trading post should be available where I could swap my skills as a weaver for dog food (note to self: must develop skills as a weaver).
Come to think of it, I will need food for myself as well, so perhaps I will need a large shop that also stocks groceries for humans. And clothes, because I will be needing those. It should also have paraffin, newspapers, lighters and perhaps a coffee machine for when I can't go on without a flat white. Actually, what I will need is a department store that sells everything with an excellent food hall.
Then I will need a cinema, for when the new Star Wars film comes out, and a satellite TV installer for whiling away the days 'till that happens. And a generator of some sort and a generator repair man. I will need roads too, and all that is necessary to upkeep them. I will miss art, so perhaps a few galleries would be good and I would like a trip to the theatre every now and then.
Eating out once in a while might be nice, so a few restaurants will be needed, and a few more that do delivery.
All in, I think that I could lead a life of total solitude if I surrounded myself with only eight to nine million people tops.