Ask Holly: Why can’t people just shut up?

Dear Holly,

I was in the library when I was disturbed by a group of mothers and babies who were loudly singing nursery rhymes and doing inane actions. At one point, they were proclaiming ‘if you’re happy and you know it clap, your hands’ and all the little bastards started clapping. At that point I simply had to intervene and remind them in a stern tone that a library is a place for silence and this is the way it has always been and that they must show some respect. Is it just me or has the world gone to pot?

J Bercow


Dear John,

You’d make a good teacher, because they are also obsessed by rules and love shouting at people. You need to be careful though, because your pompous authoritarian ways make you a prime candidate for ridicule. As soon as your back is turned someone will be quietly fashioning an anatomically correct willy out of blue tack to stick on your chair when you are not looking and if you were wondering why people snigger when you enter the room, you might also want to check your back for Post-It notes with similarly graphic representations of the male genitalia.

Hope that helps!