The road to hell is paved with samurai sword wielding potheadsSubmitted by Spam at 2009-03-30 16:32:31 EDT
Rating: 1.82 on 131 ratings (131 reviews) (Review this item) (V)
Despite what you may think initially, there are certain advantages to living in a flat directly above KFC in the dead centre of town. When you're a ridiculously over-indulgent pothead for example, there is a level of comfort to be gained from the fact that, from your seat in the living room, the service counter is roughly the same distance away as your kitchen. Apparently, the guy living there before me developed a rather ingenious system with the owners whereby he would call in his order over the phone and throw a line of string out the window so they could tie the bag on and he could pull up his food without ever having to leave the comfort of his own home. Personally, I never took things that far and so instead choose to brave the grueling 15 second hike down the back stairs and through the little tunnel-stroke-alley that leads to the main road.
Which, somewhat conveniently, leads me to the main disadvantage to living in a flat above KFC.
Now I don't really get the deal with black guys and fried chicken to be honest, it's a stereotype that I neither understand nor really subscribe to. What I will say though, is the black guys in my particular town FUCKING LOVED their KFC. Any day, any time, you could guarantee there would be at least 8 or 9 guys congregated outside the place, smoking weed, shouting, fighting and listening to reggae music until too-early-o'clock in the morning. Sometimes when it would rain, they would take shelter in the alley leading out of my flat, and that, rather predictably, is where all of my problems arose.
Now don't get me wrong here my semi-racist buddies, I'm not saying that all black guys are scum or anything inflammatory like that but THESE guys in particular, yeah, they were bad news. What's that quaint little term you Americans use - 'Gangbangers' is it? Well yeah, being middle-class and British and having a stiff upper lip and all that, I wouldn't profess to know what the fuck that paticular kind of gibberish means but if I were to try and imagine what you meant by 'gangbanger' then the mental image conjured wouldn't fall too far short of the guys that used to congregate outside my flat.
One night, about 1 am, I hear the shuffle of footsteps right outside my front door. Which is new.
Now, I've got no issues with these guys doing whatever they do out in the alley and generally, we leave each other well alone bar the odd nod of acknowledgement when I pass but there's kind of an unspoken rule: once you start coming up the stairs outside my front door, it's a fucking problem. So, stoned as I am, I decide I'm gonna go out there and have a word with them. Not 'have a word with them' in the Reggie Kray euphemistic way you understand - these guys know where I live and when I'm out the house - but just a polite chat, A "Do whatever you want in the alley but I'd really appreciate it if you stayed off the stairs please. Thanks" Kind of word. Diplomatic and polite, but firm.
Just as I'm about to open the door, I hear voices, crystal clear like I'm standing next to them, which bar a couple of inches of cheap door, I practically am.
"I swear to god bruv, if you tell anybody about dis, I'll fuckin' kill ya. I'm da only man that knows and youse the only person I'm tellin, so if anything goes missin it's your ass. Skeen?"
"Word. Dis is where 'e keeps it."
Unconsciously, I'm holding my breath and I don't know why standing on the other side of the door as I am, but my heart's fucking pounding man. I hear the tell-tale scraping of brick on brick and then, just the big long Nothing of street noise and reggae bass that's the closest thing to peace that you get when you live in the city centre. I stay there for a long time weighing up my options. knowing full well, the best thing to do really, the safest and smartest thing, is just ignore it and go about my day.
But come on man - what sort of sad fucker is gonna hear a conversation like that and not check it out?
But I'm not a fucking moron so the first thing I do is resolve to find some sort of weapon in case things take a turn for the worst when I go out and investigate. I scan my living room for something suitable that I can use and it's like that scene from pulp fiction man, the first thing I see is a badminton racket, a relic from days the when I used to actually try to socialize with my colleagues, but no sooner have my eyes fallen on that when I see an old golf club standing in the corner which is weird because I've never played golf in my life but the weight feels good in my hand as I give it a couple of practice swings so I know I'm onto a winner. Next thing to do is grab a torch which I keep in my bedroom so I can read a book for those frequent occasions when the electric in the meter runs out.
And that's when I find It.
Sitting underneath my bed covered in dust and all but forgotten about sits the two-foot fake ornamental samurai sword that my cousin bought me for Christmas many years ago. It's cheap and tacky and blunt as fuck, but just like Bruce, there's no fucking question of me taking anything else out with me now - I've suddenly got the image of me stepping out into the darkness, silhouetted by the bright light of my living room carrying a long, evil-ass Hatori-motherfucking-Hanzo blade, maybe with a little bit of fog swirling round my ankles - it looks cool as fuck.
Naturally when open my door, there's nobody there and the cigarette smoke in my living room hardly constitutes a fog so the grim reality of it all is that I'm just a twat in a dressing-gown awkwardly carrying something you'd struggle to spread butter with.
The sad realisation that I have to either stop smoking weed or watch fewer Kung-Fu movies is erased immediately when I notice what the two hood-rats outside my door were talking about. It's so obvious, I can't believe I never noticed it before but seriously, how often do you look at the bricks at the base of the wall opposite your front door to see which one's had the mortar scraped away so that it can be removed? I'm guessing not very. Either that or you need to get out more my friend.
At the bottom of my stairs and further on down the alley, I can still hear the murmur and shuffles of a couple of the KFC Krew hanging around and I realise that if I'm really gonna do this, it's gotta be done quickly and quietly so I'm on my knees pulling at the brick as soon as I've made my decision and before I know it, it's out and I'm elbow-deep in wall rummaging around in the cavity for whatever it is that's been stashed there. My hand touches the crinkly plastic of carrier-bag and it's retrieved, the brick's replaced and I'm back in the house and locking the door inside of 5 seconds, sweating and panting for breath even though nothing I've done so far is even close to being strenuous.
I spend a long time just staring at the bag as sits on my coffee table before I've got the balls to open it up. Its a fair size and a healthy weight and I'm thinking if it's weed then I've hit the fucking jackpot, if it's anything else, I'm in deep fucking shit because the type of people that can afford to stash away this amount of anything other than weed are not the sort of people I wanna fuck about with.
Eventually, I open up the bag and pour out the contents onto my table.
A big fucking smile spreads across my face as I stare at maybe 30 or 40 individually weighed and bagged up 3g deals of what smells like pretty high-grade skunk. For those not in the know, that'll sell individually for just shy of a grand.
But, and again as this thought enters my head I resolve to stop getting baked and watching gangster movies, it's always the greedy fuckers who get caught man - the twats that go too far and take too much. So that's why I only take out 3 bags, put the rest back in the carrier bag and stash it back behind the brick, clutching my Shiturai sword the whole time.
I then proceed to get very, very stoned.
A couple of days pass and, with the help of regular intake of free, high grade weed, the events of that night seem unreal and ethereal, like it was all a dream. People don't really 'find' thousand pound drugs stashes, hidden behind false bricks in dark alleys outside their house, do they? I'm guessing not. Either that or they need to stay in more.
But, just as I am leaving my house after going home for lunch one sunny afternoon, I hear footsteps outside my door again and freeze. And then, shit starts to get really sinister.
Over the noise of the traffic and the bubbly chatter of midafternoon shoppers I catch perhaps the most terrifying whispered conversation I've ever heard.
*shhh... keep the noise down, we don't want him to hear us*
*sorry. What are we gonna do anyway*
*get on the other side of this door, wait till he comes. and then jump out*
Adrenaline kicks in straight away and my mind starts racing. Somehow they know, they've kept count of the baggies and noticed the shortfall, or maybe they left a tell on the brick so they know it'd been moved. Fuck, perhaps they were just standing around at the bottom of the stairs the whole time and picked it up half an hour later so they knew that anybody who took anything would've had to've been here already. It wouldn't take an Einstein to work out exactly what'd happened here.
Taking care not to make a sound, I cringingly slide open the practically useless peephole on my door and peer through to get a fly's eye view of what's going on outside. It's not good my friends. On the peripheries of the spy-hole, all twisted up and blurred out, I see two elongated black shapes moving stealthily on the landing outside. Both seem to be crouching down to avoid the spy hole but the curvature of the lens means that this is impossible and I watch as one tries to creep past doorway so that there's one on each side. The scene is all the more terrifying for how noiseless it is.
At this point, I feel it only fair to tell you that I'm a massive fucking pussy. I've no qualms about it and I make no excuses, I just can't fight. I'm a pretty big guy and all that and I'm not weak by any stretch of the imagination but fighting's just not my bag, never has been. Technically I suppose, I'm actually really proficient in this field, I earned a black-belt in karate a long while back and know all of the moves and pressure points and how and where to hit people to incapacitate them instantly and all that crap but none of that in any measure makes up for that fact that I'm scarred shitless of getting punched. The old rule says that In a fight between two normal guys, it's always the guy that doesn't give a fuck that wins and strange as it may sound, I quite like my face: I've had it a while now and I plan on keeping it the way it is.
But there comes a time in every boy's life where he's just gotta do it, prove that he's a man - have that Tyler Durden 'punch me' moment - and I guess, looking on it, this is mine: I've gotta return to work in ten minutes and there's no chance these guys are gonna get bored by then. I could call the police, but they'll just come back tomorrow. when I wouldn't be ready for them.
I take another look out the spyhole and see that they're still there now, settling in to wait however long it takes and I build my plan. I've still got the sword and they're both crouched down expecting me to just stroll out of my door none the wiser. If I burst out of the door quick enough, the shock and surprise should be enough to give me at least a second to go to work. The sword's too blunt to be anything other than a glorified club so I don't have to worry about killing anybody, it's main purpose is psychological.
So there I am, drenched in the slimy sweat of my own terror, heart pounding and hands shaking, ready to take on two hard-edged, roughneck, gangster-types. No bullshit kung-fu movie posturing here, just jump out, bang bang, job done.
Right at the last nano-second, I remember reading in an Andy McNabb book that the art of springing an ambush where you're outnumbered lies in maximum speed and maximum aggression so when I kick the door open and charge out brandishing my Craptana blade I screech at the top of my lungs as loud as possible:
"WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU TWO DOING??"
both assailants jump back immediately and I can see straight away that my plan has worked and that they're both terrified, which is cool because so am I.
Then, a couple of things start to click into place that I hadn't registered on my initial attack.
Firstly, these guys are white and wearing suits.
Secondly, they seem a little short and weedy for this sort of work.
Assailant One starts to squeak the words but he can't get them out: he's totally paralyzed by fear. His bottom lip starts to quiver and I see his eyes begin to brim with tears.
Oh yeah, that 'suit' I was talking earlier, by the way? Well that's a school uniform mate.
I just attacked a pair of 12 year-olds with a fucking samurai sword for playing hide-and-seek in my hallway.
I know straight away that I have to smooth this situation over before it gets out of hand but the adrenaline is still pumping through me and all of the fear I felt a second ago is now manifesting itself as anger.
"Well? What the fuck are you doing here?"
Its delivered as a shout which wasn't my intention and I realise grimly that I'm still holding this stupid ninja-spade which I promptly drop like it's red hot.
Both boys have gone fully catatonic now and just stare at me in abject terror. One lets out a whimper and I notice a small puddle beginning to form in the dust at his feet.
Oh fucking hell. I made a twelve year old piss his pants by threatening him with a fucking sword.
"look boys," I say gently, taking a step towards them in as nonthreatening manner as I can muster.
But the movement snaps them out their trauma and in unison they take to their heels and leg it like Carl Lewis robbing a TV.
And I'm just left there on the dank landing of the entrance to my flat which now smells very strongly of fresh piss and very faintly of nice weed. thinking.
I. Just. Attacked. Two children. With a Mother Fucking Samurai Sword.
There is a special circle of hell for people like me.