You know its going to be an interesting blog when I start with a disclaimer. It’s actually just a cheap device to try to lend a sense of drama to the occasion, but I’m hoping it will work. So, in the interests of your safety, and mine, please read on.
DISCLAIMER: “The following tale, although based upon real events, is a fictional one. Names have been changed to protect the
guilty innocent, characters do not represent real people, and locations are approximate but fictional. Any criminal activity or breach of rules and regulations contained herein is probably made up waffle and is definitely not anything I may have done myself in the past, then changed the details on, ok?? Are we all clear on that last bit?? Good. Social Assassin PLC accept no liability for any real life events which may bear a resemblance to the following narrative. Although if someone sees a way of making money out of it, we’re prepared to talk. . . . . Otherwise, we definitely had nothing to do with it, we were never there, we don’t even know that guy, OK? … OK???? Right. That’ll probably cover your ass – that’ll be £1500 and a bottle of Scotch, cheers.” – Some lawyers, today.
Right, they seemed to know what they were doing, so here we go :-
Once upon a time, in a land far far away on an island, a fictional man was sat watching fictional television in his fictional house. It was fictional Q.I., a fictional quiz programme hosted by the sublime fictional Steven Fry, who the fictional man particularly admired. He was safe and warm in front of a hot fire while outside it was dark and icy cold in the fierce winds coming in off the coast. Suddenly, his reverie is disturbed by the shrill ringing of the phone, which upon answering he discovers is his friend Charles, who is concerned that he is being watched by a large group of CHAV’s. You all have Chav’s, wherever you are and whatever you call them. They are the disrespectful youth element, the wannabe ‘gangsters’, the slightly menacing weekend warriors who patrol their street corners and park benches like packs of excitable hyena. Frustrated, but wanting to allay his friend’s fears, and since he is close by, our un-named protagonist ventures out into the freezing night in search of Charles.
Charles is in a bus station. On a wall about ten yards from him are a pack of slavering slack-jawed Luddites about seven or eight in number. They have been drinking cider, of the variety normally reserved for tramps and stripping paint, and are loud and confrontational. Our man has seen this all before though, from school bullies when he was fat through teenage torments and a job in a physically violent environment, and he was long past the point where such things concerned him, and he ignored them and walked past to collect Charles. Charles is a frail character, with a heart of gold but a spine of custard, and he looks close to soiling himself. After a brief conversation, they turn to retrace their steps, and as they move to pass the group one of them swings with almost Neanderthal grace down from the wall and into their path.
“Come to get yer f@?ckiin girlfriend have you mate?” the verbose youth asks.
Ignoring his comment and guiding his friend by on the other side, the man continues past intending to follow the first rule of confrontation – if at all possible, simply walk away and avoid it. There is nothing wrong with simply dodging the argument. But Ape-boy has other ideas. Plucking the man’s sleeve as he walks past, he demands to know,
“Oi Grandad? You fu@?>ng deaf or what? I asked if that’s your girlfriend!”
Annoyed, but not showing it, the man quite gently replies
“Please don’t grab hold of me. I’ve simply come to meet my friend, and now we’re going. Goodnight.”
The primate looks confused. A quick assessment puts him in his early twenties, track suit trousers and trainers with a ridiculously large tongue hung out, hooded sweatshirt with the hood pulled deep over his heavily-stubbled face, all crowned with a New York City baseball cap, either a holiday souvenir or a tribute to a place he has never been, and knows nothing of. Either way, the man does not care. He has seen his type, and is not interested. He turns, and they walk off.
A few paces on they are treated to the sight of an empty cider bottle sailing past their head, smashing a few feet away from them. The man’s companion hesitates, but a firm hand in the back keeps him walking, glancing nervously behind them. He suddenly cries out and ducks, and the man has one of those Hollywood matrix-slow-motion moments, but it’s almost as though he accepts the inevitability of what is about to happen, and he does not move. And then the bottle smashes across the back of his head.
“F@;!ing bullseye, mate, f?*!ing bullseye!!! Hahahaha!!! Bang on!! Hahahaha!! Walk away from me will ya, ya c@*! – showed you, dinni?? Hahahaha”
The celebration of the planet of the apes erupts. The social chimps are having a tea-party, hollering with laughter and punching the air in celebration of their leaders skill and wit, while other late-night bus passengers look more intently into newspapers, or suddenly become REALLY interested in the timetable. But the man simply lets a glance of anger slip, then slams the door on his anger and, brushing his shoulder off, walks off again. King of the Swingers spots this, mid-chestbeating, and sends the insults after out duo as they make their way off.
“Yeah, that’s right geezer, f@?k off why don’cher?? Too fu@?!ng ‘ard for ya, is it?? Yeah, innit!! Coward!! Yellow!! Running off with yer little bitch are ya, ya ?*!t??”
“Yeah, that’s it, run away ya coward. Run home to mommy and tell her how her big man ran away crying like a baby!!”
The Neanderthal turns to his watching peer group and crowing in delight, says
“See girls, that’s what a real man is. A real man fights for what he wants. Don’t end up with a faggot like that, get yerself a real man !!!”
The man stops. Motioning for Charles to stay where he is, he turns slowly and with measured paces makes his way across to where the gloating youth stands. Coming to mere inches away, the man looks the drunken youth in the eye and asks him quietly
“Are you sure that what you’ve just displayed here makes you a man??? If I were to ask you now are you a man or a boy, what would you say??
“I’m a man alright mate”, replies the Chav-king, “More man than you’ll ever know!!!”
“I’m SO glad that’s what you think, the man replies.
And then, fast as lightning, the man lashes out, catching his tormentor full in the face with a sweet right that makes a sound like a baseball hitting the bat’s sweet spot and which drops him like the proverbial sack of wet shit to the floor, leaving him sat there with a bloody nose and tears streaming down his face, wearing a look of dumb shock. Suddenly, our drunk couldn’t look more like a spoilt little child crying in a tantrum.
“The first lesson of being a man,” our protagonist says, still in his quiet voice, “is that a man is prepared to deal with the consequences of his actions. It would appear that you are far from ready for the consequences of yours …. boy.”
And then one of the monkey troupe calls out to the man:
“Hey you bastard, you can’t hit him like that!!! He’s only fifteen!”.
The man points out to the youths that if that is the case, their friend should learn to act more like a child his age, and not pick fights with grown men. Yet as he turns and walks away leaving the teenager sprawled embarrassed in front of his friends, he is overcome with feelings of shame and guilt. He has allowed his temper to get the better of him and now he has struck a child, and no matter how good his reasons, the moral code he has been brought up with leaves him feeling sick that he has done such a thing. Yet as he walks away, something strange happens. He passes a young mother with two small children, and as he does so she stops him to say
“Thank you. I wish I had the nerve to do what you just did. Someone has to take a stand against them!”
He shrugs off this unlikely praise, but mere steps later an old man approaches him and says
“I fought in the war, son, and i didn’t do it so scum like him could parade around making others scared to walk the streets of their own town. I faced Jap soldiers barely older than him, and I never stopped to ask them how old they were. If they were coming at me, I shot the bastards. You were right. If he wants to act like a man, let him deal with the consequences like one. Good on yer, son!!”
As he walked off into the cold winter night, friend in tow, the man reflected on what had just happened. On the one hand he still felt bad that his mis-judgement over the youth’s age had led to him punching a child in the face. Yet faced with such vindication from others, he was hard-presses not to feel some kind of justification for his actions. Bullies and tyrants come in all shapes and sizes, yet no matter where they crop up, there is always someone willing to oppose them – not because they feel they are better, or tougher, or more ruthless, but simply because it is the right thing to do.
So. The moral of this story is an obvious one. But for those of you hoping that it would lead to a simple answer, here is how to punch a child in the face – make sure they deserve it, and make sure all the witnesses agree with your motivations for doing it. But remember, physical confrontation is only ever a last resort solution – using violence to prove a point is like a mentally retarded dwarf – it’s not big and it’s not clever. Until next time, don’t try punching above your weight.
The Assassin .
PS I do not condone violence in any form, nor is it in the least bit humourous. So here’s some funny pictures to end with, to lighten the mood.