Thursday, June 10, 2010

Boxing vs Not Boxing; Scrotes


I used to think I was bi-polar, with a lot of terrible mood swings, from Ecstasy to despair. But since I curbed the worst of my lifestyle excesses, I'm just up most of the time. In a constant state of restless activity. I find it hard to settle. I'm typing this on only two hours sleep as I leapt out of bed full of the joys of summer this morning. That sort of thing. Not working means I'm full of energy and despite all the swimming and cycling I do, I just can't burn it off.

So at midnight last night I drank a bottle of stout and decided I wanted another one. But none there were. I went out to the garage and jumped on the pushbike and cycled the few miles into town.

I went into Donegans pub. As I suspected might be the case, the bar staff were already stacking chairs and wiping down the tables. There were a few scattered groups in the place but no-one interesting looking or friendly looking or drunk enough looking to talk to. So I sat at the bar and silently drained one pint of stout and then headed down the street.

At this point I'll describe what I'm wearing, as is becoming traditional for this blog. It was what I like to think of as my 1970s British Open golfer look. My black felt beret/cabby hat. My tight grey acrylic V-neck pullover (£5.50 from ASDA.) Beneath this, my lovely brown and white shirt, expertly hand sewn for me by the dearest of ex-wives on her sewing machine. I chose the fabric from the 'Spotlight' fabric shop in Melbourne. It has a big Harry Hill-style collar sticking out. Then there was my green, lightweight utility trouser, with its many zips and pockets. Finally, my tan M & S shoes.

A little eccentric for Bangor, perhaps, but hardly the full George Melly, as seen above.



Anyway, I'm walking down the street past Piccola Pizza at the bottom of High Street when I realise two fellas are smirking and eyeballing me. When I'm about fifteen feet away one shouts 'Hey Bummer!' Not too loud, but obviously intended for me to hear (see, I told you everyone thinks I'm gay!)



Hyped up more by my restless nature than the two beers, I spin round on my heels. "Come here and say that to my face," I call back steadily. I eye them up. Both in their early twenties? One is about five foot five, with short blond hair. He can't face me; can't even look at me. He walks back into the doorway of the pizza shop. The other is about five foot ten, average build, dark fuzzy 'boom microphone' hair.

Now me, I'm six feet two. Tall, yeah? But these days I am rather built too. I cycle about fifty miles a week, sometimes a lot more. After a year in the gym, I have given this up to concentrate on my swimming. I usually do an hour of breaststroke six days a week. So I am a bit more Ricky Hatton than Derek Hatton. Or Thesunhasgothis Hatton.

So. "Come down here!" i say forcefully to the taller fella. "I want to talk to you!" he eventually walks towards me and stops about five feet away. He's not a total spide (chav to our English viewers, or shell-suited bogan to our Aussie ones.) He's more like a scruffy indie kid. Disappointing.

Now, I'm not really an aggressive person. The last time I was in a proper fight was when I took on tha police and lost in 1991 and got the shit beat out of me (you can read the full gory details of that incident here.) I get surly and nasty when I drink whiskey, but only verbally so; someday, someone is going to kick the shit out of my unpleasant, aggressive whiskied-up self and I'll fully deserve it. So I'm not exactly a lover but not really a fighter either.

So I say to the bloke 'Why did you shout that at me?'

He replies, 'I was just talking to my mate,' with a dozy grin. yeah, bullshit.

'Oh that's OK then' I reply aggressively. 'No problem. It was nice seeing you. I hope we meet again soon.'

"Er...yeah..." he says. He turns to walk away. Then I call 'YOU FUCKING ARSEHOLE.'

And I turn to walk away. He waits until I'm a distance away before he calls back 'What did you say,' but weakly. I just keep walking. He doesn't say anything else and I know he won't follow me, cos I'll lay one on him. I turn back when I reach my bike parked up at the pier but he's nowhere to be seen.

Now I could have just kept walking. There were plenty of reasons to do so:

- When I initially passed them I saw they had two wine bottles in the pizza shop doorway. Nasty weapons, potentially.

-There were two of them and one of me.

- Although I'm not a street fighting man, if I had opened up with my fists I could have done them a lot of damage; and if the cops had seen that it would be me lifted, not them.

-They could have had a knife. I'm a father, even if I'm not doing a great job of this at the moment, and I wouldn't want to leave my daughter bereft over pettiness.

So maybe I should have just walked on & turned the other cheek, like the bloke in the first few verses of 'The Coward of the County.' But then I'd have spent the night in a seething rage, like the time those kids hit me with a Big Mac flung from a car window, ruining a promising night out in a splatted mess of tomato sauce and gherkin.

And then my resentment would have built up and next time I would have done something truly violent. Like the bloke in the last verse of 'Coward of the County.' Or the Michael Douglas character in 'Falling Down.' A lifetime of bubbling resentment might cause a man to become blackhearted.

But I hate homophobia and the like. I hate assholes. I hate people being assholes to me, in my earshot. Sigh. Sometimes you gotta fight back, yeah? A mans gotta do what a mans gotta do.

But an eye for an eye and the whole world goes blind.

Beating someone up doesn't change anything much.

yeah? no?


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