Friday, 12 June 2009
Of Mice and Men.... and yobs and dog crap [sorry Mr Steinbeck]
Having just returned from a 45 minute stroll through the countryside with my dog I needed to jot down a few things that got me thinking about a few things that, in turn, got me thinking. When I dog walk I am always equipped with a few bio-degradable plastic bags for those embarrassing moments when he just can't wait to use a proper public convenience. I always ask him why he didn't go before we left, but he just doesn't get it. Even though we walk on a semi rugged path with rough vegetation either side it is, nevertheless, frequented by lots of different people and occasionally their kids, so I feel that unless he manages to park his behind into places that others would clearly fear to tread, I still want to `pick up`. The only trace of our passing I want to leave behind are out foot/paw prints - and the occasional pee in the bushes. This morning I met a lovely English Springer Spaniel with an outwardly nice lady owner. Spaniel dumped right in the middle of the path and lady owner carried on by. I called over to her and offered her a plastic bag. She seemed bemused and her face changed from pretty/moderately happy-serene to `mouth like a cats arsehole` in a blink. I offered her a bag and she muttered something about not bothering on a country walk. I politely said that the path is frequented by me, as well as smaller kids, and that I didn't like stepping into a Richard* slap bang in the middle of the path. She huffed a bit, but then I gave in and showed her how it was done, retaining a clean, pong free hand in the process. I knotted the bag and offered it to her. More of the cats arse expression. This time I became a little serious, placed the bag in another clean bag, tied it off and handed it to her, telling her that there was a bin near where she would have entered the lane. On my return, I found the bag casually tossed into the grass so I picked it up and binned it myself, but hopefully she won't walk her dog there anymore. So this got me thinking about the state of play in UK Ltd. and a story Ray, an acquaintence of mine, told me a while ago. He lives in a part of town where there is quite a high rate of juvenile nuisance, which means anything from graffiti, noisy hoodie gatherings with lots of obscene language and empty lager cans being dumped in the street, to bag snatches and the occasional robbery at knifepoint. I won't bore you with the usual story that goes with this, suffice to say they continue blighting the area with impunity, because they don't fear an ASBO (I mean, f.f.s. what is there to fear?), they don't fear their parents (if they ever see them) and lowest on their list of `things to fear` is police or court. Ray's wife was six months pregnant. One autumn day she walked to the local shop,just under a mile from their home, pushing their 3 yr old in his push chair. On leaving the shop she was surrounded by the gang of six regulars all in their teens. She was verbally abused, her personal space was invaded and her pregnant bump was groped i.e. she was assaulted. The shopkeeper saw it, helped her and reported it to the police by telephone, but by the time an officer responded 4 days later, she declined to report the matter. The reason was that Ray had come home on leave. Ray is a Royal Marines Commando, 5` 6" tall, built like a wiry athlete and is someone I would describe as a one man armoured fighting machine. He is not well known `on the street` because he keeps a low profile plus he is rarely there because his membership of that elite miltary unit keeps him very busy on behalf of HM Government. Ray was told the story of the incident, the persons responsible were identified to him and he planned his solution. Every evening he would go out for a run as he always did when home on leave. On the second evening his quarry were there. The groper was sat on a low wall with his mates who were doubtless bathing in his personality as they smoked their fags and drank their beers. It was just past dusk when Ray jogged along towards them, only this time he pulled down the woolen cap comforter/face mask down over his face and as he came within range, he landed a neat right hook to gropers pasty chin. Groper was knocked clean over the wall, taking one of his admirers with him, as Ray casually continued on his workout run. Ray represented the Royal Marines at boxing. He told me that as he disappeared he saw groper being carried off by his mates and a few days later, he saw him looking very bruised and very groggy. A few weeks later, with Ray back on base the shopkeeper told Ray's wife about the incident with the mystery jogger and how the precinct had never been so quiet since it happened. Ray told me how he hated doing what he did and asked me what his actions actually represented in law, although he knew he'd broken it. I explained that he had committed an assault occasioning actual bodily harm, possibly grievious especially as Ray believed it was a perfect right hook and he'd broken the gropers jaw and a few of his rotten teeth. In the eyes of the law, he would have been arrested and charged and could have been imprisoned, certainly fined, and would have a criminal record. And what of the groper and his gang? Well along with their countless, cautions, ASBO's and community service, they also get community police schemes where, under the supervision of a local beat police officer, they get to play basketball and get taken to watch premiere football matches to keep them off the streets once a week. But Ray's wife still visits that shop and the shopkeeper says he's had no trouble since the `mysterious man in black` flattened the groper and frightened the shit out of him and his pasty obnoxious mates. The trouble is, if we all started to think and behave like Ray, would this be the beginning of the rise of the BNP ? I mean, surely no right(no pun) minded electorate would give them a mandate in either the UK or Europe, would it? No, lets just trust in our lawmakers and those that are charged with upholding what seems to be increasingly unenforceable justice, law and order. *Richard, as in `Richard the Third` - Cockney rhyming slang??? Work it out for yourself my American/Canadian chums! - thats why I always had a chuckle whenever I heard Little Richard, 'cos I bet he could be a `right one` at times.