Monday, 26 May 2008

Blade Runner

So, there I was, minding my own business, walking home after a long ten-hour shift at work, when a couple of guys stop me and one of them pulls a knife on me.

It's funny how these things suddenly happen out of the blue, isn't it? Of course, by 'funny' I mean 'horrifying'.

It was a Friday night like any other, and I was heading home, taking the same route I always do. The Sweeney Todd soundtrack was playing on my MP3 player, and as I enjoyed Johnny Depp's mock-cockney tones mourning the loss of his dear Johanna, I noticed a couple of figures on the other side of the street.

Based on a cunning survival strategy of not approaching strangers, I chose to ignore them, and crossed over to the other side of the road. Unfortunately, it seemed these strangers did not want to ignore me so easily, and so crossed the street as well, and thereby went from being completely ignored to fully acknowledged.

One of the two went behind me, while the other took to the front, a classic Pincer Movement as favoured by military campaigners throughout history, and by lions in the wild. Which would make me the hapless gazelle caught between two predators.

The guy in front of me blocked my path and refused to budge, forcing me to dislodge the singing barber from my ears and ask what it was that they wanted. I figured they'd be after a cigarette, or something.

"Do you want something?" I said.

"Yeah," came the rather blunt reply. What that something was he didn't elaborate on, and just stared at me.

"Well, what?" I continued. "What is it?"

Then there was a sound that I recognised all too well from my time unpacking boxes in a supermarket - the ratcheting sound of a blade being pushed up several notches on a retractable blade. I looked down to where the noise was coming from, and there it was, clutched in the bloke's hand, blade down.

Terror gripped me, and a thousand thoughts jostled for supremacy in my head, the loudest of which was simply, 'SHIT!' Not very useful, maybe, but entirely appropriate.

I had no idea what to do. I'm entirely useless in any kind of confrontation, and posses precisely zero kung-fu skills, despite having watched dozens of Jean Claude Van-Damme films. I could not formulate any feasible plan to ensure my continued survival, and was almost resigned to the inevitable stabbing.

"What?" I said dumbly, hoping to get some vague idea of what these two wanted. The man in front of me said nothing, fixing me with an ice-cold stare. He angled his body towards me, while the other guy remained behind. Fuck, I thought. This is it. This is how it ends, at the hands of two shitty little bastards, on a dark street in Portsmouth. What a crap way to go. If I had to go, I'd rather it was at the hands of a dozen, nude, wild nymphomaniacs or something. Not this. This was rubbish.

What the hell did they want, anyway? Were they just wanting to stab someone tonight? Or did they want to mug me? If it was the latter, then they'd be sorely disappointed. I had approximately seven pounds on me, and the MP3 player I had been enjoying Sweeney Todd on cost me a fiver form Tescos. I almost hoped they did want to rob me. The slim pickings upon my person would teach them to pick far wealthier targets in the future.

Whatever they wanted, I began to wish they'd get on with it. But still they remained silent and unmoving, not giving me the slightest hint of their intentions. I was sure I was going to be struck at any minute. I was sure they were going to pounce in a flash. Any time now...

However, it seemed that my time was not yet, for at this moment the fates intervened, or God chose to spare me, or Lady Luck fluttered her eyelashes, whatever you choose to believe. For suddenly another man passed-by, going about his business entirely unaware of my current situation. His sudden appearance took my two captors by surprise, and they both seemed to relax themselves, in an attempt to make it look less like they were about to stab me, and more like we were just hanging out together, having a lovely time.

Suddenly, my brain stopped hurling expletives around my skull and threw out an order to the rest of my body.

NOW! It screeched. Move now! Don't wait for the passer-by to pass on by, so we can resume the business of getting stabbed. Just get the hell out of here.

My legs happily obeyed, and I brushed past the guy with the blade, figuring that he'd be reluctant to do any stabbing in front of this passer-by. The blade-wielding bloke seemed surprised by my sudden movement, and tried to slow me with his elbow as I passed, but I was not stopping for anyone now. I was out of there.

Bizarrely, I didn't run. I walked fast, of course, but I didn't take to my feet at full pelt, which seems odd when I look back on it. I just marched up the road, and didn't look back, not even when one of the guys yelled, "You were lucky," after me.

I was lucky. I already knew that.

The full shock and horror of this night-time encounter didn't really sink in until after I had gotten back home, and even then it wasn't right away. No, the first thing I did when I got in was to go and make a cup of tea. Sadly, however, we were out of milk, so without even thinking I went back outside to go to the shop to get some more.

What the fuck was I thinking?

It was only when I returned from the shop, and sat down with a nice cuppa and a few cigarettes that the shock caught up with me. Panic and fear enveloped me, and one thought kept circling through my mind - what if that passer-by hadn't appeared?

I was in quite a state, and I had no-one to talk to as the house was empty. So, I picked up the phone and called my dad, who listened as I blurted my story down the phone, stammering and blubbering in equal measure. I felt bad for burdening my parents with my woes at such a late hour, but I did manage to get most of the previously bottled-up emotions out, and began to regain something approaching some form of composure.

My next duty was to telephone my place of work, and let them know of the incident so they called forewarn any of my colleagues who might be planning to go home that way. Then I phoned my housemate and warned him (who heeded my warning, despite being steaming drunk), and then I finally phoned the police, which proved to be a massive waste of time because they were 'too busy' to come and take a statement from me, but they told me that they hoped to drop by in the next couple of days.

I'm still waiting to hear from them.

So there you go. That is how I spent my week-end. How was yours?

- Fanton.


John Sullivan said...

Hey wow your wrote that awesome but I'm going to tell you like this
If I was there walking with you it wouldn't of went down like that.
Anyway glad your alright I hate to tell you the American thing to do Get a GUN.I guess you played it right,Best of luck to you

JofArnold said...


Nitehawk said...

Well, I thought mine wasn't too good until I read this.

I bet you'll still be shaken for a while to come yet.

Still, chin up old son.

Grumpus. said...

What!?! The bastards!

Probably everyone you talk to will have some word of advice about how this could be prevented "next time"...but the sad fact is, even if you have a weapon or even if it's a bright bucolic day in the middle of a Mormon street festival or something, it's the losers, the bad guys, who decide when to engage. Mostly, we can only react, and the shit reality is, luck is a huge factor. Regardless of street smarts or whether our Gatling gun at the ready, we can all be caught at a weak moment. So yes, you were lucky. Thankfully...

No more making jokes about not logging in because you're dead and such!

P.S. Oh, but learn a martial art, that does help even when you're outnumbered or faced with a knife!

Marmelade said...

You were very brave!

Mark said...

What road?

Fanton said...

Hello, everyone!

John, I think if I had a gun on me, I'd only wind up shooting myself in the balls or something. I'm stupid like that.

Jof: short, but undoubtedly to the point.

nitehawk, I think if I kept my chin up I wouldn't be able to see any potential trouble-makers! Do you want me to get stabbed, or something? :)

grumpus, I was indeed very lucky. I wish I could find that passer-by, and shake him firmly by the hand. Also, I vow to become a black-belt in Origami.

marmelade, it was just an act of self-preservation, not really very brave at all! I quite like being alive, and wanted to stay that way.

mark, it was on Rugby Road. Where were YOU on that fateful night, hmm?

Thanks for all your well-wishes and concern everyone! You guys are lovely.


Mark said...

At the time in question I was in Powerscourt Road your honour.

Rugby Road. Very close to Fawcett Road's Zone Of Students. Prime muggery.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

OMG! I am so glad you are OK!!! How frightening...I can't imagine. Can I give you a hug???

Diane said...

Horrible. Where's the Carrotty Kid when you need him?

Pseudonymph said...

How terrible for you - so close to all ending in tears. I do count myself lucky that it is still relatively safe to walk the streets at night here, which I do on a regular basis. For exercise, not fun and profit, of course.

Fanton said...

Wow! What a lovely bunch you are.

Mark, the area is renowned for 'prime muggery'? Curses! I thought they said 'prime buggery'. Boy, is my face red. And my behind not.

Olga, hugs are always welcome. Lay your straps upon me!

Diane, I know, I know. Where was that stupid carrot when I needed him? Bloody no-good vegetable.

pseudonymph, exercise? What is this 'exercise' of which you speak? It sounds dangerous.

Thanks again, y'all!


Motley Stu said...

Yes, your warning was heeded well. Sadly, due my unexpected state of inebriation, I wandered ridiculously far from said Stab-spot and it took me 2 and a half hours to get home.

Plus I passed some bummers and some people doing drugs.

Winston Zeddemore once said "I love this town!" If he'd lived in Portsmouth he's have undoubtedly said "I hate this towAAARGH AARGH STOP STABBING ME!"

- Motley Stu

Lord Andrew of Goulding said...

If Lord Likely had been there, he would, no doubt, have clubbed them to death with his Lord Palmerston.


Scaryduck said...

I fear Likely would not have sullied his Palmerston on such lowly street urchins, and would have got Botter to bum them stupid.

70steen said...

Wow you were indeed very lucky .. that icy stare is scary you just know that all rational thoughts have shut down..... thank goodness for random passers by!

Anonymous said...

I'm really glad to hear you are alright. I hope those assholes have been apprehended!


Sugar Queens Dream said...

Gosh, [that sounded like a school girl I know but FO anyway, sorry that was rude LOL I'm having a piss and moan contest here at the moment] but I'm glad you're still around to give golden cock awards!
Some people are so GD brainless and lazy they have to steal from the working people, It makes me sick!
Hang on and Sugar to you~~
~~some think the Sugar Queen all sweet and sugar but, She has a little spice to her too~~

Sudar said...

hehe...u make it sound like it was fun ... sorry, but cant help laughing... :D