Well that was odd - I just got mugged, I think
Notice to friends/relatives who I know read this: no worries - absolutely fine, just a tad bemused and pissed off. Especially as when my dear grandmother warned me to "be careful after dark" on the phone the other day I just patronised her with a "yeah, yeah - I'll be fine".
Inept bunch of little bastards though. You want money, you've picked the wrong guy with Nosemonkey. I'm pissing broke, my cash-card's one of the old-school, pre-chip-and-pin ones that even gets refused when I'm using it, I don't have a credit card thanks to NatWest being shit and not having sent it to me yet, my mobile's two years out of date and pay as you go, and I had a grand total of £2.54 in my wallet. Which I happily gave them to get them to bugger off. Even called them back for the 10p they dropped... And that was precisely all they got. They agreed that my phone was shit, saw that I had no notes, and didn't even bother taking my wallet, because it's falling apart at the seams.
The only somewhat irritating thing, aside from having lost exact change for a pint of IPA at lunchtime tomorrow, is that I walk down that particular stretch of road at around 11:15 in the evening, as it was, very frequently indeed, what with it being on the way to quite a few of the pubs I frequent on a regular basis. And now I'm going to have to pay closer attention to bunches of 17 year old twats in their hooded tops (show your faces, wimps - pimply teenagers all look alike anyway). Plus be worried every time the missus is out after dark in what I previously thought was one of the safest areas of London. Which it is. But I have no doubt that I'll be slightly paranoid about it for a while now for her sake.
Nosemonkey's solution? Twilight curfews for all under-21s. Bring back Borstal. And the cane. Teach them a little respect. Ban hooded tops. And anoraks. And big scarfs. And umbrellas. Anyone under 30 breaks the law, cut their parents' benefits off completely. I want CCTV cameras on every lamppost, tree and garden fence. And halogen lamps, beaming down 300 watts of glaring light as soon as the sun goes in. And ID cards - mustn't forget ID cards, they're the solution to all our ills.
Nosemonkey's actual solution? Meh... Bunch of opportunistic dicks. That's only the second time in eight years of living in London that I've had any money taken off me under threat of violence. I've been lucky. And even if I wasn't, there's still tit all anyone can do about it, because these things aren't premeditated. It was four to one, no one else in the street, and they knew that even though I could have caused some damage to a couple of them (they were all rather smaller than me, and despite the smoking and drinking I'm in fairly good shape) I wouldn't risk it in case they had a knife. Teenagers are twats, these things happen, and it's not going to make me change my mind about anything.
Right. that's me vented. Time for a whisky, a cigarette, and then bed. Normal service will resume in the morning.
Update: Heh - that cheered me up - just discovered I'mtop Google result for how much is a pint of beer in London. The answer, in case you're wondering, is anywhere between £1.68 and about £6.00, depending on where you go, but will rarely top £4.00 in any pub (those pubs are, obviously enough, never worth going into). The average is about £2.60, though.