the perfect evening … almost

Had a great evening last night. Met up with Amanda from work at Baccus, spent a couple of hours chatting waiting for her housemate Agnes and some friends to meet up with us so we could go to the Jam House to listen to some live Jazz music. Agnes arrived around 8ish and we met up with her friends at Weatherspoons where we had a quick bite to eat and trundled off to the Jam House.

It’s the first time I’ve been there and its a really nice place. Great atmosphere, great people and some really great live music! The band that was playing last night was really good, I wish I could tell you their name but I can’t remember it.

We all left around midnight, and it was actually snowing! Which was quite nice. ,Amanda, me and Agnes walked back towards the city centre and said our goodbyes near the library and I headed towards new street looking for a cab. Had been a wonderful evening up and until this point.

I wondered down New Street and decided to take one of the side streets down towards one of the taxi ranks under the Pallasades. It was at this point a guy in a hoodie walked towards me and asked me for the time. Now here’s a few tips for the uninitiated.

First off when a guy in a hoodie walks up to you in the middle of the night wanting to know the time DO NOT look down at your watch, because that’s when he’ll more thank likely attack you. It’s the oldest trick in the book. Simply tell him you dont know and try to move on. But maintain eye contact at all times. Don’t ever look away. If you can run away do it, unfortunately if your unsure of your footing (snow/ice) then running is probably a bad idea if you slip and fall then he’ll be standing over you and your going to get hurt. If he blocks your path then you need to make sure you remain calm and don’t panic.

If his hands are concealed inside his hoodie, theres always a risk that he might be armed. Statistically in this country he’s more likely to be carrying a knife than a gun – or he could just be bluffing. However it’s important for your own safety that you give yourself a few options.

Firstly cross your arms ( dont fold your arms ) just cross them over your stomach and chest. To a neutral observer this is a very non agressive stance. But it serves two purposes:

Firstly with your arms crossing your stomach and chest your protecting the two most likely targets should he have a knife. Trust me on this getting slashed across the arm or hand is far more preferable than the stomach, chest or throat. Also in this stance with your arms at your front your in a natural position to deflect, block and attack if need be.

Now whilst its ok for nations to pre-emptively strike other nations due to some President or Prime Minister’s wet dream, the society we live in does not afford individuals the same luxury. Self defence is only self defence if your actually attacked, you cannot be the instigator, because its a lot harder to prove.

Now if the guy walks away great, but if like this asshole last night he doesn’t and proceeds to attack you – always remember the shortest distance between you and your assailant is a straight line. For his hand to come out of the pocket of his hoodie and towards you it has to travel in an arc. At that point you step in and knee him in the groin. If you miss the groin or catch him in the stomach he’ll double over at which point place your right hand behind his head forcing it down as you bring your left knee up. When his face meets your knee you’ll either here a crunching sound which is his nose breaking or theres a good chance your knee will strike him in the mouth in which case he’ll be counting his teeth for a while.

In either event he wont be getting up in a hurry. Once he’s on the ground you need to step away. To strike him when he’s down doesn’t constitute self defence.

At this point you have two choices.

1) The civic minded amongst us will call the police report the incident wait for them to arrive arrest him and you, take you back to a station where you spend most of the night explaining how you weren’t the aggressor … whilst he’s trying to convince them you were. But the wonders of modern technology and CCTV in this country means if it happened in a town centre they’ll be able to corroborate your story relatively quickly … so as long as your honest you’ll be fine. By the way CCTV doesn’t prevent crime, it just helps the police prove a crime happened.
2) You leave the bastard lying there and go home, to a warm bed and get some sleep.

Now I know which of the two I choose to do last night, and which one I wish I had done, because I might actually have managed to get some sleep instead of being up all night. But to their credit the local constabulary are very thorough. So all’s well that end’s well. Or it would be if I wasn’t still pissed off.

Anyway I needed to blow off some steam … I think I need some coffee and to loose myself in some coding …

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