Saturday Night in Southampton

This is present day Saturday 3rd March 2012, I'll finish off summer 2011 in the not too distant future.

Was I being a stupid gobby tosspot or was I being a people's champion, standing up for my beliefs?

I'll let you make your own minds up.

1:30am sat on a wall after a night in my home town that was overall pretty enjoyable. I was feeling happy, in that lovely correct level of drunkenness and with a barbecue original pizza in my lap, life was good. On the road in front of me two rude boys came bowling past, one tubby lad in a cap and a bomber jacket, the other a skinny white boy whose jeans didn't fit. A few yards after they'd passed me the one with a cap on said to the other 'Dude get up on the sidewalk'. I paused and ran the sentence back through my head to check that something was wrong with it. Yep, that was an American word said an English accent (well it was that weird mock London accent of the rude boy).

'You mean pavement' I called out in a jovial tone.

The boys stopped and turned to me. Without hesitation the skinny one shouted back 'What you getting involved for?' This didn't really make sense, there wasn't anything to get involved in. Perhaps he was about to correct his friend and was annoyed that I'd beaten him to it. Or perhaps he had misheard me and thought I was being aggressive. I tried again to make sure they got it.

'He said sidewalk, that's the American version, we call it a pavement'.

I don't know what I expected their response to be. I wasn't looking for 'Thanks for the correction old bean, God save The Queen' but them coming over to square up to me seemed a bit over the top. Several sentences like 'Shut your face and eat your pizza' (clearly impossible) were spat in to my face; I gave up trying to be jokey, declined the offer to 'go blows', apologised and made my body language as unaggressive as possible. Their final act was to knock the pizza box out of my hands...



As they walked away kissing their teeth the fairies of good fortune were on my side and somehow the pizza box closed itself mid-flip and all my pizza stayed good to eat. I think this was a happy ending but I was annoyed. Not because people like this exist, morons are a fact of life. But because all my skills of banter had failed, I still seem to think that acting calmly and trying to make a joke will save me from any threatening situation. This may be why I have been filled in so many times.

I'm still glad I corrected them. Sure, it was no Tiananmen square but I made a stand for something I vaguely believe in... the stand of the stupid gobby tosspot.