Monday, May 14, 2012

Confrontation In The Cotswolds.

Tense scenes now over, the kid behind the counter of the burger place texts his mates and updates his facebook about the ridiculous scenes that have just taken place. He assures everyone that he’s single-handedly sorted the whole thing out – aside from when that wired-looking skinny bloke stepped in but he just told him to back off, he was dealing with it, yeah? – and that nobody else better fuck with him tonight, y’dig?

Ten minutes previously:

It’s not late, maybe about seven in the evening but I’m exhausted after nine solid hours of fresh air, sunshine and Favourite Son and Favourite Daughter. They’re home with their mother now so I head in the direction of my lodgings for the night. We’ve had a big lunch so I decide to just grab something en-route like maybe, I dunno, a burger or something.

“Quarter-pounder please” I say to the worried-looking kid behind the counter. It seems to be just him on shift tonight and there’s a weird atmosphere.

The place is deserted aside from a guy in his early fifties and another in his early twenties. They look completely fucked-up but then we’re not exactly dining in The Ivy. I take my change and examine my fingernails, ignoring the two radge-packets. There’s a bad vibe coming from them, I’m tired and don’t need the grief.

Worried Kid: Look, I’ve asked you to wait outside….

Radge the Elder: Yeah what the fuck for? We’ve paid for it, we’ll fucking wait inside. Who the fuck are you trying to throw us out? You cunt.


WK: I’m, I’m not throwing you out –

RTE: No you’re fucking not.

WK: I’m just asking you to wait outside until your food’s ready –

Radge the Younger: What the fuck for? What the fuck for?

WK: For, erm, abusive language –

RTE: Prick. What you going to do? Eh? What you going to do?

WK: And for throwing stuff and, er –

RTE: Just give us a fucking refund.

WK: I can’t I don’t have the card for the till…

The kid’s voice is wobbling. The radges are exercising the tyranny of men who have learnt from experience that they can act any way they like because the civilised will just stand by and do nothing. 

Fuck it, none of my business. I’m hundreds of miles from home, disorientated, emotionally spazzed and I’ll be sleeping on a sofa with broken springs tonight. I’m keeping well out of it. I don't need the heartache. I feel bad for the kid though, all on his own like that.

I hear a calm, firm, authoritative don’t-mess-with-me voice.

“Pardon me, but have we got ourselves some sort of a fucking problem here, gentlemen?”

The two radges stand with mouths agape. I’m not surprised. Who the hell has said that to them?

Oh bollocks. It was me, wasn’t it?

Realizing I’m committed now, I make the best of it. I put my back to the poor sod kid, rest my hips against the counter, place my palms spread wide on the top, cross my ankles and give the radges a steady, unblinking gaze.


Or it would be if this were a Hollywood action movie and I were more than five-foot and change, carried more than eight-stone odd and were not wearing a t-shirt with a screenshot of the old Space Invaders arcade game on the front.

I’m acutely aware that I’m both about to receive a world-class kicking from a couple of West Country mentals and that I'm also well past the point of no return.


RTE: This kid’s messing us around and –

Me: NO. It sounds like he [jerk my thumb behind me at the kid, not even turning my head] is doing his job, and you [point my finger directly between the radge’s eyes] are being a COCK.

Great. Just great. That’s bound to calm the situation.

There’s a shocked silence for a moment. No-one’s more shocked than me. My mouth has taken on a life of its own, which would be fine aside from the fact that it is still attached to my body and as such is liable to get me badly hurt very soon.

RTY: Hey… what’s this got to do with you…

Me: [Still gazing into the eyes of RTE] If I was talking to you I’d have been looking at you. [Briefly switch my gaze to him] Bloody hell! How many spliffs have you smoked tonight?!

I hear the kid behind the counter stifle a giggle. He must have noticed long before I that RTY has smoked so much weed tonight his eyes are barely visible.

RTE: Hey. My son only smokes tobacco!

RTY seems to have lost all heart for further confrontation. He’s been rumbled. He knows it, I know it, the kid behind the counter knows it. The only person who doesn’t seems to be his father.

The kid hands me my burger. I stand at one of those chest-high tables and eat as well as I can. I make sure no-one notices my shaking hands and don’t take my eyes of the Family Radge.

RTE: [Grumbles, semi-audible] Who the fuck does he think he is? “Spliffs”? What the fuck –

Me: Hey. HEY. If you would like to voice an opinion about anything I’ve said to either of you, I’m standing RIGHT HERE.

Brilliant. No, really. Superb. Because I don’t want to get through what has otherwise been a splendid day in one piece.

Both radges fall silent. Thankfully, my seemingly autonomous mouth gives it a rest at this point also.

Astonishingly, the newly subdued Radge the Elder and the Younger leave without food or refund, grumbling quietly about the new franchisee of the establishment who I now realise they believe to be myself.

I slowly exhale. It feels like I’ve just climbed down from somewhere where the air is very thin. I dump my rubbish in the bin.

Time for a couple of stiff drinks. I'm properly shaking now and I need to try and sleep on the broken sofa.

I look at the kid on my way out.

Me: Alright?

He shrugs without looking at me. He’s busy doing something with his mobile phone. God knows what.


Blogger Patience_Crabstick said...

I hate people who are abusive like that. Good for you for standing up to them. Score one for civilization.

3:50 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

::weak kneed::

7:35 am  
Blogger justrestingmyeyes said...


7:51 am  
Blogger Furtheron said...

We're coming to the Cotswolds for a quiet summer break later in the year - sounds like we'll fit right in...

Last one like this was in a Gregg's queue when a guy who kept mouthing off finally made my mild mannered son snap - how my son is 6 ft something, 21 year old and whilst wiry has a look of strength - the metal-lover long hair and scraggy beard look probably helped as well as he turned to this guy and shouted "You need to chill the FUCK out"... He left the establishment sans sandwich

9:45 am  
Anonymous Nellig said...

Brilliant. Phwoargh.

12:26 pm  
Blogger Twisted Scottish Bastard said...

Bloody hell Tired, although O applaud your civic mindedness, I do blieve you're lucky not to have had a kicking. If I was you, I'd give your mouth a stern talking-to and tell it to get a grip. And some common sense.

But well done nevertheless, and superbly written as always.

7:53 pm  
Blogger Z said...

Well done and well written, darling. Glad you had a good time with FS & FD too.

9:30 pm  
Blogger Northern Snippet said...

Have you dined at the Ivy?

11:02 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fabulous! A drink will be raised in your direction this evening!

10:26 am  
Blogger Debster said...

Ooh my hero!

5:03 pm  
Anonymous Elaine said...

Excellent!You did the right thing. I'm proud of you!

5:56 pm  
Anonymous Em said...

You don't get out much, do you?

And I am impressed. Well done, that man.

12:48 am  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

PC: I hate them too. I was travel-fucked and reckless: it isn't an approach I would always take. I like my teeth where they are.

Elsa: Hello mystery lady. Would it have had the same effect if I had received the pasting I perplexingly did not?

JRME: HELLO! I do not know what you mean! BRILLIANT! See previous comment-answer thing.

Furtheron: Oh I'm sure you'll enjoy. These places just tend to go a bit odd round about dusk.

Nellig: Back atcha (?)

TSB: Trust me, I agree entirely.

Z: Thanks. And yes, we had a great time. Just glad they were on their way to bed when this took place.

Snippet: No. Your point? Is it terrible? I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

loob: Thanks. Funny thing is, when this sort of nonsense is directed at ME rather than some poor sod I'm much less confrontational. I DON'T UNDERSTAND.

Debs: Trust me, I'm very unimpressive most of the time.

Elaine: See above.

Em: No, I don't. What's your point? I DON'T UNDERSTAND!

8:55 pm  
Blogger Sewmouse said...

Well done, Sir. Very well done. Poor manners on the kid for texting and not at least saying "Thanks" - but reckless or not, you did a fine thing.

And I am glad your mouth still has all its teeth.

3:45 pm  
Blogger Miss Underscore said...

Oooh, Tired Dad. I am impressed. If you are this fearless in tackling a couple of grumbling yokels then you must have been utterly terrifying when you grappled with the burglar. I am looking forward to that scene tremendously. It will be like Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em and Taken rolled into one, I'm sure.

6:02 pm  
Blogger Ellie said...

You are like the Jean Claude Van Dam of blog land!

1:21 am  
Anonymous zonal said...

bluffed like a good an. I like your style. Fucking chavs!

7:37 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Sew: He'd probably seen it all before to be honest. And thanks.

Miss U: HELLO. And it was more Some Mothers than Taken, sadly. Although with more swearing than both. But I shan't write about it! The people have voted! It would be dishonest!

Ellie: Really, I'm physically incapable of dealing with things were they to 'kick off' - I am merely fortunate in that people get so confused they just go away.

zonal: Indeed.

9:07 pm  
Blogger BetaCyn said...

Aww..i'd forgotten how much i love you :)

11:38 pm  
Blogger Cynnie said...


11:43 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

BetaCyn/Cynnie: What? I mean, what is happening? And thanks.

9:44 pm  
Blogger Alison Cross said...

Brilliant!!! I love how you started at the end and then went back to the beginning! You're too good to be only blogging - so where else can we find your writing?!

Brightened up my wet and miserable day!

Ali x

3:40 pm  
Blogger Tired Dad said...

Ali: Oh hello. Kind as ever, although the back-to-front thing is a bit of a gimmick. Doubt people notice though. You've been able to find it elsewhere but it turned out to be 'not commercially viable'. Oh well. But glad to have brightened your day.

11:23 pm  

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