Bang Bang – How Almost Being Mugged Led To Me Almost Getting Off With A Beautiful Woman
One chilly evening, back at the end of the 1990s, a man tried to mug me with an imaginary handgun. This made sense in an odd way. Most of the time, my money is completely imaginary. So it’s logical that someone wanting to take imaginary money off somebody should use an imaginary gun. However, it’s unlikely that the mugger in question was thinking along such existential lines at the time.
Me and my friend Andy were walking through an area called Byker, in our home town of Newcastle upon Tyne. Yes, for those of you who are British and are old enough to remember the television programme “Byker Grove”, there really is a place called Byker.
We were on our way to the pub. About halfway there, we heard footfalls behind us. Heavy footfalls, like someone jogging. A man wearing jogging pants and a hooded top drew level with us. There was a clicking noise and he stopped and stood in front of us.
“Did you hear that clicking noise?” said the man.
“Yeah, I did” I replied.
“Then you know what this is. Give me your money.” At which point, with his right hand in the pocket of his hooded top, he aimed a non-existent gun at us the way gun-less robbers do in the movies. Usually comedy movies.
Andy and I froze in our tracks. Were we scared? Yes, for about a second. Until our brains processed the reality of the situation. You see, that clicking noise referred to earlier was not a metallic clicking noise. It wasn’t the sound of someone pulling the slide to chamber a round in an automatic handgun. It was the sort of clicking sound you make with your mouth when you’re geeing up a horse.
It was clear that this fucker was not, in fact, in possession of a firearm.
Now, it might seem like a stupid thing to do on the part of this would be robber. To chance a mugging when there are two victims, only one of you and you’re armed with nothing but the index and middle fingers of your right hand and some unconvincing sound effects.
Well perhaps, but to be fair to the man, the pub me and Andy were going to was this one:
As you can see, it’s called the Free Trade Inn. Inside it looks like this:
And the view from out of its windows looks like this:
It keeps its beer well. It also keeps a selection of board games behind the bar and has intellectual graffiti scrawled on the walls of the Gents’ toilet. In other words, it attracts a particular type of student. The type of student who even other students think are a bit nerdy.
The road me and Andy were walking down was the main route that these students used to get to The Free Trade Inn of an evening. So, when our “mugger” tried this nonsense, I think he was expecting to be confronted with a couple of naïve students. A couple of wet-behind-the-ears teenagers. What he was actually confronted with was two rather gnarly looking men in their early thirties. Men who were staring at him in confusion and disbelief that he’d had the temerity to try and pull this sort of shit on them.
And here’s the thing about me and Andy. We have many differences and similarities and one of our similarities is this. When we are confused we don’t look confused. We look angry.
What we had here was a bit of a Mexican standoff. Only without any guns, obviously. A couple of seconds after he’d said “Give me your money”, our would-be mugger was still standing in front of us, rather foolishly pointing what was clearly just his hand at us through the material of his hooded top. He was facing down two very angry looking men who were glaring at him in complete silence. Two men who, he must have thought, might jointly decide at any moment that their best course of action would be to grab hold of him and kick the shit out of him.
I’m pretty convinced that was what he was thinking, because he broke that silent Mexican standoff by flashing us a rather sheepish grin, saying “Only joking” and then running way. Really fucking quickly.
It was a strange incident, but it did give us a story to tell once we got to the pub. A fake mugger trying to rob us with an imaginary gun. Later in the evening, I attempted to seduce an attractive lady with my imaginary charisma. An attempt that had as much chance of success as our gun-less mugger’s attempt to relieve us of our wallets.
© Copyright Michael Grimes 2016