Barry the road-sweeper is a paranoid bully who flips between aggressive friendliness, passive aggressive whining and irrational shouting. I was nice to him at first, so he thinks I should stay that way, but I don’t like the way he tries to intimidate people and have started avoiding him. Mostly he deals with this by standing outside whichever garden I’m working in and singing and dancing around. Occasionally shouting cryptic messages over the hedge, things like,
‘You never know where you are with women, do you?’ or ‘It could have been a nice day today, could’ve been!’ He doesn’t actually say these things to me or anyone else, he just shouts them to the sky as if a god were taking his side.
Aside from saying a friendly, ‘Hello, how you doing?’ I don’t take any notice. If I’m walking down the bit of street he’s sweeping, he leaps around in front of me waving his broom and singing, so I give him a polite smile and walk past.
Today he tried to get others on his side in this war I’m refusing to have. Apparently he walked up to Mike and told him,
‘I’m gonna mess with her, you’ll see. She thinks she’s got the better of me. But today I’ve started sweeping on the North side first, before the South side. She won’t know where I am! That’ll teach her.’
He’s so caught up in his paranoia and self-importance he not only thinks I know what order he sweeps the streets in (I’m on the other side of the hedge doing my job, I haven’t a clue), he thinks I care. Hopefully now he believes he’s got that small victory, he’ll lay off a bit.