24 September 2010

Go Ahead Punk - Make My Day

Us boys love movies where there is a tough guy as the hero. Die Hard (Bruce Willis), Dirty Harry (Clint Eastwood), Death Wish (Charles Bronson) etc etc. It makes us feel good. It makes us feel that we could do what they do – go after some punks who have ‘keyed’ the car or slapped your daughter about at school. Get the guy who has done you out of some cash or mugged an old lady in the street.

Yup- it was reading my ‘Lennox’ books which started all this off. The Glasgow Private Eye who was, himself, a bit of a battler and who could mix it with the best of them. A real Glaswegian hero – despite the fact that he was Canadian!

Then it was a true-story book called ‘The Kid’ where the guy growing up in unimaginable squalor in south London had to get tough in order to survive. He was dealing with some hard people and had to adapt in order to keep his head above the murky waters of the criminal fraternity he was engaged with. 

So, is it just me who feels ten times braver when we’ve just watched an action movie or read a book with an all-action hero in it?

I remember being in the cinema with my ex-wife (she wasn’t my ex-wife then – she was my wife) watching
some action film when some kids behind were kicking the seats and generally being a pain in the ass. Turning round and telling them to be quiet just made matters worse so we put up with it as best we could but had decided to move seats at the interval (in those days they had an ice-cream interval).

The movie had a real tough guy in it and as the interval started, I just adopted his persona and followed these four kids (they’d be about 15-16) into the toilets. I asked another guy to leave and then grabbed the biggest one who was standing at a urinal and pushed him face first through a cubicle door, hit his head off the wall and then stuck his face down the toilet pan and flushed and flushed and flushed. His mates were so astonished they did nothing but look. As I dragged the teen out of the pan, I told him and his mates exactly what would happen if they didn’t leave the cinema there and then.

Now I was quaking when I got back to my seat but I felt a bit of a hero. My legs were shaking and when my wife commented that I’d been a long time, I could hardly talk such was the adrenalin pumping through my body. ‘Oh and those pesky kids have left’, she said, quite oblivious to what had been going on in the toilets.

The problem was, I couldn’t enjoy the second half of the movie fearing that they’d go off and get their mates and be waiting for me outside. Fiona never did understand why I insisted on sneaking out of a side door.

And then life was relatively quiet until about twenty years later when J, her mother and I were watching Dirty Harry when there was a knock at the door of our house in Maidenhead – actually it was like someone wanted to kick the door in.

Now this was not something which happened in the leafy suburbia of Maidenhead but I opened the door and there was some kid shouting abuse at me – he was drunk!  His three mates stood half way down the drive egging their pal on but (a) having my movie interrupted and (b) having imagined myself in Clint’s shoes when he was saying those immortal words, ‘Go ahead (punk) – make my day’, I was in no mood to discuss anything with a drunk kid who had tried to kick my door in.

I grabbed the guy and threw him down the four or so steps which led to up to the door, followed him down, grabbed him and threw him through some bushes, got him stumbling out the other side and walloped him one.

It was then I remembered his three mates. When I turned round, they were running off up the street shouting ‘sorry mister – sorry’. I pointed the one I was holding in the direction his mates were going and booted him up the backside.

When I got back to the lounge where J and her mother were sitting quite unaware of what had happened, again my legs started shaking and I thought that these guys would be back when they were sober and it wouldn’t be quite so easy for me to get rid of them. Luckily, they never did.

Now what movie will I watch tonight? Yeah – Total Recall.   

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