So, it's election day.
The Old Man and me go off to the hall in the next village, clutching our voting cards. Quite busy really.
We go through the doors, and I see, in the lobby, a woman with a list, and a rosette not of our own voting colours.
She say: "Could I have your number please?"
I recognise her from the Group and start to smile....
The Old Man's hackles rise.
He growl and bite her head off:
"No. You can't. It's none of your business."
Smile aborted, I follow Shouting Old Man into the hall.
I say: "That's so-and-so. You've met her before. From the Group." (The Old Man's facial pattern recognition factor is nil.)
He reply: "She's not on a horse this time. How was I to know?"
I vote. And rejoin Old Man who has not left the hall yet, so I have to keep company with him past fellow Groupist.
Old Man apologise for not recognising her.
She say: "Quite alright. And you are right. You don't have to give me your number. It's just to check for our own party members...."
He start off again.
I shout "Goodbye" and march away.
I knew life in this Group was not going to work for me. The polite requests to bring the Old Man along to lunches and stuff. I say "No". They don't like taking "No" for answer. Now, one of them understand why I say "No".
Old Man is of course right about his rights. And very vocal in expressing them. It's very admirable. So it just be me that's a wimp, a creep AND a village outcast. Signed, sealed and delivered.