Alone until she dies, Bessie Bighead, hired help, born in
the workhouse, smelling of the cowshed, snores bass and
gruff on a couch of straw in a loft in Salt Lake Farm and
picks a posy of daisies in Sunday Meadow to put on the grave
of Gomer Owen who kissed her once by the pig-sty when she
wasn’t looking and never kissed her again although she was
looking all the time.
Dylan Thomas “Under Milk Wood”
Gossip can be a killer, it can ruin careers and wreck livelihoods, but people persist, and they persist. And they trust and believe. Writing yesterday about the stories I have heard bout myself, I was reminded of a conversation I had at a party, with a man younger than me, he started out praising me for all the women I was supposed to have shagged. Somewhat surprised I encouraged him to list. His list was very extensive, and it had many names on it, which I had most definitely not. It was mostly wrong. What does one do? If you deny it, it isn’t believed; if you ignore it is seen as a verification.
Nobody else really knows what goes on between two people. And the reporting of the events may vary. If a woman makes herself available and you don’t take them up on their offer it can go badly, and some people will make false claims. They may want to be associated with you or they may not. Some women do make notch on the bed post claims. And once you have something of a reputation, either as a man or a woman, it tends to get overblown. I know that, over the years, I have had many more “offers” than I have taken. A woman spurned etc. The whole area is a bit of a minefield. Many carry agendas, sometimes these are vindictive.
Once a rumour or rumours get started, the snowball effect takes hold. The rumours grow and get larger, they are impossible to stop particularly when you are absent. A while back I had an interest in collective nouns. What is the collective noun for a group of academics? A gossip of academics. This collective noun applies to pretty much any group of people; we could have a gossip of bankers, a gossip of models.
Yah this gossip shit…it can ruin.