This is the tale of a quarter dozen sticks. That’s three, if you’re thick. The first one involves a guy I beat up in school. We used to play this game called Zulu, where I was the Zulu getting hunted by everyone else, and we all threw sticks and stones at each other. Myself and this other guy took it a bit too far and ended up getting into a personal vendetta. I remember staying outside one dinner time and still twatting him as everyone else was settling back into their fourth period. There was only me and him left, and I distinctly remember winning. Went back in, carried on with the day, and thought nothing else of it. Until the next morning. The next morning, as I prepared to leave for school, he was waiting at my front gate with his big brother. His big brother had a big stick. I was trapped in the house. I had no big brother myself, no Dad, and my mum was still in bed. If I had had any sense I would have snuck out the back, but I think I went out to them and faced the music. I don’t remember getting boshed, so I must have talked myself out of it. Still, I was scared.
I recall years later hanging outside an off-license – this is like a scene from Benny Hill, this is. All of a sudden a tall lanky lad runs past us with his top off, wielding a big stick in his hand, chasing a shorter bloke up and and out of sight. Me and my mates just look at each other as to say what the hell? Two minutes later the tall lanky lad comes back the way he had come, pegging it for his life, chased by the shorter bloke, who now had the stick. It was funny as. It was like being on the set of a sketch show. Talk about role reversal. The shorter bloke must have wrestled the stick off him around the corner and took the advantage. One minute the tall lanky lad is doing the chasing and the next he’s been chased himself. You couldn’t make it up. Finally, I remember Wes. Wes was a cockney, staying in a Northwest hostel. One day he came hurrying out of Asda. He wasn’t quite running, but he was walking as if he’d just robbed a bottle of spirits. And that was exactly what he was prone to do. Next thing, this burly security guard comes bursting out after him. This is in a busy Asda carpark. Instead of trying to run away, or simply giving up and handing over the stolen goods, Wes produced a stick (it might have been a kosh), and holds it up, as is to squat the security guard. The security guard stopped in his tracks and Wes continued to walk away. It was like a show of force, a good bluff. I’ll never know if Wes would have used it on him, but he probably knew beforehand that the bluff would be enough. This guy was serious about robbing his booze from Asda. He didn’t mess about. Ok, thanks. These have been the tales of a quarter dozen sticks.