SURPRISE, surprise—this story begins with a big night. I went with Justin to see an awesome ACDC-like rock band called Airbourne. The gig pumped and it was all good. Justin gets a bit loose on the turps occasionally and says things like, “I’m gonna go and flog that Polish guy… mumble, mumble…” When he says stuff like that, I usually tail him while he searches the building, just to make sure he doesn’t do anything too stupid or to cover his back if required. Thankfully, he couldn’t find the Pole on this occasion.
After the gig we went back to Kings Cross. As we approached the first pub I told Justin to behave himself so we didn’t get kicked out. Ten minutes later we left after I knocked a bloke out for stealing my $2. I’m generally not an aggressive person—if you’ve met me you’d know that. Life’s fun—enjoy the bastard! Nor am I a pacifist though—four years in the Army is enough to prove that. Either way, I hadn’t been in a serious altercation since I was 19 or so.
But in my mind, this bloke gave me no option. While putting a coin in the jukebox, I dropped $2 and it rolled under a table where two blokes and a woman were sitting—all about 25-year-olds. I politely said, “Excuse me, mate, I’ve dropped my coin,” and went to pick up the coin. One of the blokes picked it up instead and decided to play silly buggers about giving it back to me, passing it to his girlfriend, etc; real fucking stupid high-school shit.
Now, I had a laugh, but then sternly asked for it back. He didn’t read it very well; he wanted to play ‘paper/scissors/rock’ for it. Time for a role reversal: Justin’s now telling me to walk away but I’m concerned about the principle of the situation. I mean, how clearer a challenge can you get? So I knock the guy down and deliver a few more hits to his chops. Don’t know who was more shocked—the bloke on the ground or Justin! I’m supposed to be the calm one here! I walked out as the security blokes arrived.
I was mad afterwards. I felt angry that this idiot put me in a situation where I had few options. Since there were no school teachers on hand to run and dob to, Option 1 was: walk away with my tail between my legs. Not really an option, is it? Option 2: knock the bloke out.
So, feeling annoyed about that situation for many reasons—not the least of which was I’d just put three fucking songs in the jukebox and then had to leave the premises—I went to a strip club with a lady friend of mine. I sat at the bar, and some dickhead wanted to stand half a metre from my girl, drunkenly swaying from side to side and staring at her while we were chatting. He was with three other decent enough blokes and they were trying to settle him down as he was clearly looking for trouble. When he came up to me and playfully shadow-boxed my ribs (didn’t touch me of course), I cut my losses and left before it was Round 2—the bouncers are a bit swifter and less forgiving in that particular Kings Cross strip club.
Were the fucking planets misaligned or something? A nice bloke, who hasn’t been in a fight for 10 years, is forced into two confrontations in one night! I had to find ‘cool, calm and collected Wasko’ again.
The night was over though and I arrived safely home but in a bad mood. It wasn’t the fighting that bothered me—both those blokes were dickheads, had disrespected the shit out of me and deserved to be knocked out—it was the potential hassles that could come of it, namely from CCTV, a litigious society and the cost of dental bills. It wasn’t the idea that this bloke would see me again and seek his revenge by anonymously keying the tank on my bike. I’m out to enjoy life, not to worry about that kind of shit, and the fewer real enemies I make, the better. But in the back of my mind I knew that bad things came in threes. So I waited for number three. Maybe I was a bit paranoid but I had that edgy feeling from the events of the night before. I was on my toes. I didn’t think it’d end up coming from who it did though.
I was walking through Liverpool to buy some groceries when up ahead I saw a couple of wheelchairs approaching at speed and heading straight for me. I stopped in my tracks and observed the pair. It happened quickly but I remember a few things. The first bloke, probably late teens, had some sort of red metal-flake frame. The second bloke looked Iraqi and I remember he had some pretty cool black wheels. He was riding directly behind the first and his wheelchair was obviously motorised because they were hauling arse down that slope, straight for me! For the sake of political correctness, though I’m not sure of their exact condition, I’ll call them Spastic 1 and Spastic 2. Spastic 1, in front, was loving the ride—I could tell because his tongue was kinda hanging out to the side and flickering with the rush of wind. Spastic 2, the Iraqi fella, had this especially evil look as his eyes widened and he lined up my knee with the red metal-flake frame of his brother-in-wheels. Instinctively, my fists clenched and I prepared for the impact. Would I coat-hanger the pair? Or just drive my fist into Spastic 1’s tongue, hopefully knocking it back into the Iraqi bloke’s grinning mug? I pulled my arm back… looked the first bloke in the eye… and…
Are you fucking kidding? Did you really think I’d punch two spastic blokes? As I attempted to avoid the rocketing rollers, the Iraqi wheelchair pilot swerved at the last second, forcing me to leap like an ungainly gazelle, barely keeping my balance. I turned to see the pair speed off, but not before old Spastic Saddam turned around to throw a goofy laugh in my direction.
After the initial five seconds of shock, and after I’d looked around and saw a broad cross-section of our multicultural community with incredulous looks on their faces, I laughed my arse off! That was fucking crazy! And on so many levels, too! As my heart slowed and my 24 hours of paranoia subsided, I thought, “Well if that’s Round 3, I can dig it.”
Footnote: As always, this column is completely, partly, mostly, entirely, somewhat, absolutely fictional, especially the incriminating bits—Wasko.