16 annoying people on every high street

Yep, you know them… Grouchy Michael Hogan lists the space invaders blighting a town near you.

No, we do not want to know what you’re having for tea, Dom Joly. Photo by Fabio De Paola

The slow walker

When you’re in a hurry, you can guarantee a dawdler will block your path with their painfully tardy progress. Try to dodge round them and they drift to one side, cutting you up; say ‘excuse me’ and they’ll glare, like you’re the weirdo. Sometimes they stop dead in the middle of the pavement, causing you to rear-end them. Any politician who introduces slow and fast lanes for pedestrians gets our vote.

The distracted sales assistant

Don’t mind us. We’re just standing here, trying in vain to catch your eye so we can give you some money and help pay your wages. But you just carry on gossiping. It’s not like ‘assisting with sales’ is in your actual job title. Oh, hang on.

The beauty rep

Orange-faced and totally tactless, they march up to you in department stores, spraying perfume in your face without warning, then recommend products for ‘tired, ageing skin’. Gee, thanks. Now I feel like a million dollars and smell like a pants drawer.

The chugger

That’s charity muggers to you and me, who lull you into a false sense of security with their jovial patter, politely asking for ‘a minute of your time’, before making it more like ten minutes as they guilt-trip you into taking out ‘a small monthly direct debit’ to save an endangered species of fruit fly. It’s a philanthropic minefield out there.

The sleepwalker

Sorry, are we keeping you up? This yawning, bottom-scratching lazybones slouches to the shops in pyjama trousers, Ugg boots and a hoodie with a logo proclaiming ‘Not a morning person’. No s***, Sherlock.

The brolly basher

The second there’s a spot of rain, up go the enormous golfing umbrellas, nearly taking your eye out. As long as your hair doesn’t get damp, love, my facial wounds are of no concern.

The cashpoint ponderer

Don’t mind the long, foot-shuffling queue forming behind you, buddy. You check your balance, have a think, then press the buttons painstakingly slowly. Just when we think you’ve finished, fumble another card out from your wallet and start the whole process again. No rush. All the time in the world…

The pushchair pest

Sure, parents are allowed to shop too. But do they have to do it with such massive prams, like they’re manoeuvring a 4×4 up and down the aisles? Sometimes two abreast, hogging the entire pavement, with extra kids trailing on buggy boards and scooters? It’s like a pint-sized, tantrum-prone traffic jam.

The ungrateful door git

People who don’t say thanks when you hold a shop door open for them? Monsters!

The sickly vaper

You’re walking along, minding your own olfactory business, when you’re suddenly enveloped in a billowing cloud of e-cigarette smoke – usually in some vile infantilised flavour such as ‘bubblegum’, ‘apple butter’ or ‘cookies ’n’ cream’. Nauseating.

The phone talker

They have no volume control and no shame as they yap loudly about some work tedium or what they ate for breakfast. ‘Hello? Can you hear me now? That’s better. You’ve gone again. Hello?’ Shut. The Hell. Up. You’re not even fully convinced there’s anyone on the other end. Almost as bad: the hands-free mumbler who you think is talking to you but instead just looks insane.

The litter lout

How often we’ve fantasised about running after antisocial litterbugs and ramming their rubbish down their throats. They drop coffee cups and let food wrappers fall to the floor. They spit out gum and throw cigarette butts out of car windows. Take it home with you or bin it, you morons!

The selfie poser

Doing it for the ’Gram, are we, babes? We bet you’ll get loads of likes for that trout pout on the bus or that peace-sign outside TK Maxx. Now kindly get out of my way, you cut price Kim Kardashian.

The cat-caller

‘I wasn’t going to look at you twice but now you’ve shouted “Cheer up love, it might never happen” from a white van, I’m definitely going to have sex with you immediately,’ said literally nobody ever.

The sinister security guard

He might be loitering by the door of Tesco Metro today but tomorrow he could be a Hollywood action star. That’s probably why he’s trying to look hard and moody. Stand down, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, we’re not going to nick anything.

The shouty market stallholder

He waits until you’re just walking past before bellowing something in your ear about ‘beautiful tomatoes’ or ‘everything’s a pound’. Mate, you’re in a suburban precinct, not Albert Square. Stop perforating our eardrums with your racket.