The other night, I was standing with some friends outside the Brisbane Arts Theatre, when we fell victim to a common scenario - being yelled at incoherently from a passing vehicle.
There we were, enjoying a pleasant chat, when we heard "I LOVE YOU!" hurtled in our direction by a young man in a car full of young men. Of course, with the Doppler effect, it had a curious lilt to it.
"...I lovE You"
I responded with a jauntily yelled "Thanks!", then questioned my rather self-entitled assumption that it was aimed at me in the first place. The Wah agreed that they actually aimed the compliment at him, because he was bending over to lock the theatre gate at the time.
Not 30 seconds later, we heard a horn toot and turned to see a cab making its way up Petrie Terrace, full to bursting with a gaggle of young girls. Two of them, clutching cigarettes, dangled out of the front and rear left side windows, and delighted our ears with the following melodious example of high-speed wit:
Being the top amateur sleuths that we are, we determined that both carloads of aural assailants were as sloshed as Ipswich during the floods. Although we gave extra props to the girls for getting the cabbie onside enough to toot his horn at us.
Due to the theatre's location up the road from a notorious party precinct and cab rank, this is not an uncommon event. For some reason, people standing on a footpath seems to be like cat nip for drunk people. They are simple overtaken with the intense desire to holler - generally invective - at innocent bystanders, simply for existing.
Now I don't want to take away their fun. I just want to NAME this practice.
Frankly, using the phrase "yelling drunkenly at random strangers from a moving vehicle" gets tiring to say.
"Hooning" means driving fast and recklessly, so it doesn't really suit. "Drunken abuse" is technically correct, but there's a whole other school of random yellings, the kind that often isn't insulting to its recepients, just mystifying.
So the call to arms is to invent or re-purpose a word to succinctly express this particular type of heckling.
The winning entry will have the honour of having their word pass into the GirlClumsy lexicon, and I hope, into wider use.
I will also shout them a DOUBLE PASS to come and see ImproMafia's upcoming production of Agatha Holmes, a murder mystery comedy playing at the Brisbane Arts Theatre from 4 to 13 August. That way, you can stand outside the theatre and experience this joyful part of inner-city life for yourself!