Copyright © 2005 Martin Newell
Pepys 0.1 Blogware © Steve Dix
Much as this will make me unpopular with the caring classes, I have to say that I am pig-sick of the nutters and drunks who block my way and interfere with my life at practically every turn these days. My friend Paul, the waspish hairdresser once said, "Oh, I'm convinced that they spray something on the fields two or three times a year, Dearie, and they all go off together."
It's true, though. You do tend to get a rash of incidents all in one short space of time. My response in such times, is not to immediately write a tremulous article for The Guardian,asking " Why Is Modern Life Driving Us Mad?" No. My first instinct, having escaped yet another encounter with the mad or the drunk, is to double lock my door and keep a large stick and a bucket of cold water at the ready. When pestered by such people on a train, in the street or in a pub, I hardly ever say, "Poor fellow, he must suffer dreadfully." Instead I smack my hand on my forehead and while saying to the asssembled company. " F*** me! They must have let them all out at once!" Or if I'm not in such a compassionate mood, I merely say "Nuttoh!" and make a cocked pistol sign with my hand. Or I run. That's how much my tolerance has gone down.
I had one ring me up yesterday. She said."Hi it's ********" (name deleted on legal advice) She asked me what I was doing. I said "working." I got rid of her. She later came into the pub where I was playing. Not content with staring intently at me, she gradually moved nearer to me, moving her stool up so closely that I was having trouble manoeuvering my bass. This went on for an hour. She followed me out to the smoking room, even though she doesn't smoke. One or two of the other musicians gave me incredulous and pitying looks. "Oops.Looks like Martin's got the nutter again." I'm not sorry about writing the account like this. I'm sick of nutters forgetting to take their medication and then hitting on me. She eventually followed me and Dave at midnight, out of the boozer, right into my archway nearly to my door. I told her to go away, which she did.
On Saturday, coming out after a quiet lads-night-in, this was four or five of us round Ray's place, Dave and I were accosted by a drugged drunk in a hood. He was dribbling and blathering and using foul language in a menacing way. I was expecting a scuffle, which I didn't want. Dave and I just stormed closely past him, wishing him goodnight. This seemed to un-nerve him. Very quietly, after we'd passed, I heard him say " Well, f*** off then."
A while ago, I went with a mate to a pub, mid-evening, six o'clock, mid week. We needed to talk about a book layout. What could possibly go wrong? Some head-the-ball wanders up, sits himself down and says to me. "We've got a problem. Why don't you like me?" I said, " Aw come on Chief. We're trying to have a meeting here." We moved bars eventually, in order to get some work done. Occasionally, before Ms B left me, she used to come round and find a woman sitting on the bench outside my back door.It once caused a bit of a row between us. "Well how do you know her?" Me: "I dunno. She just turns up at gigs sometimes." That kind of thing. The woman also used to post reams of scrawled incoherent mystic poetry through my letterbox. It can be a bit scary sometimes.
Then, last week, I go into town, I'm locking up my bike and some gurgling, scabby-faced wretch who's high on god-knows-what, is hanging out of a phone box beckoning at me and slurring." Oi mate. You gotta loight?" I'm sick of it d'you hear? I don't think they need compassion and understanding. I think they need remedicating, drying out, hosing down, locked in a compound with an electric fence or just hunted down by two men in a landrover with a big searchlight like they use in Australia when they've got too many kangaroos. Whatever it takes. Talk about The Vulnerable. I mean, who's vulnerable here? Them? Or me? And yet if I were to get up a gang of blokes in a big fast motor, mask up and start beating them with pick-axe handle, guess who'd be in the wrong? Me?. That's who. It's political correctness gone mad, is what I reckon. I've got a teenage kid round here quite often. This morning she told me. "If (name deleted etc etc) comes round here before you're back from work, I'm just gonna whack her." With my blessing Darling, I said. Give the cow one from me. Make sure you put her out of business. The thing is, I shouldn't have to be dealing with this. Why of why oh why etc etc and indeed blah-de-blah..
Listen, there are far too many people out there sniffing the Devil's Dandruff, not taking enough water with their tincture, forgetting to take their medication and generally worshipping at The La La Church of St Loony Up-The-Cream-Bun & Jam as a result of it all.. And it's not my fault. It's theirs.And the bloody Guardian's, and Radio 4's for all I know, for encouraging them in the first place. I tell you, this country's going to the dogs. But in a really caring way, I suppose.