Tonight I went across the road to buy a drink. There were a couple of shifty looking guys leaning against a wall so I gave them a wide berth, subtle like, and went about my business. On the way back as I crossed the road they started a rousing rendition of "who ate all the pies" so I finished crossing the road and turned back to them in time to receive more volleys of verbal abuse.
"When are you two going to start sucking each other off?" I inquired politely. "I wouldn't want to miss the show." Surprised silence.
"What did you say?" one of them asked incredulously.
"You heard," I answered. The one who had spoken started to cross the road. Casually I pulled a pack of cigarettes from my pocket and lit one.
"Yeah, get your phone out," the chatty one shouted, turning back.
"It's not a phone, it's a pack of cigarettes" I cheerfully replied. Surprised again the man paused, clearly at a loss as to how he should proceed since I showed no apparent fear of him.
He finally went with "What?".
"It's a pack of cigarettes, not a phone." I explained again.
"Give me a cigarette," he shouted, seemingly confused as to why he had actually said that.
"Sure," I called back holding the pack out. "Come and get one." More startled confusion. Finally the two of them crossed the road and basically started to apologize before they'd even reached me.
"You know I was just playing mate," the first one started, "my uncle's bigger than you are." I said nothing but handed him a cigarette.
"Look at his arms," his friend said, "lucky he didn't hit you." I continued to say nothing.
"You know I was just playing," the first one said again.
"I liked how you stood your ground," the second one added. Before long we'd been properly introduced and all shook hands multiple times (drunken fools like shaking hands) and had a chat for a while. Admittedly my actions were not the most sensible, but there's a phrase I've always enjoyed: "The coward dies a thousand times, the brave man dies but once". Yeah, I've written this in a rather ostentatious manner, I know. That was just for the fun of it. But it was literally what happened, word for word.
I think I was equally happy at the prospect of sharing a smoke and a friendly chat or attempting to smash their skulls in before they could smash mine. I really didn't mind which way they wanted to take it, and I think they could tell. The way they backed down and apologized was pleasurable, I must admit. Standing your ground is fine, but you've always got to leave room for the other guy to back down unless you absolutely want the situation to get bloody.
Britain is bad for this crap though. Those guys happily told me that they were just hanging out yelling abuse at everyone who walked past. That basically doesn't happen in the USA. I could walk around in cities at night with no problem. Yes there were dangerous people around but they were of a different type and wouldn't fuck with you unless you looked vulnerable. Psychotic drunks loitering on all the streets looking to start shit just for giggles is such a British thing. Unfortunately it means I try to avoid walking anywhere after 9pm because I know, for certain, that bad things will happen. Standing my ground is one thing, but going out knowing it's going to happen would really be psychotic. I can't deny that violence, or merely the prospect of it, is a rush like no other. Yet I choose to live like a civilized person. Manners are important to me. I loathe these thugs that roam the streets looking for trouble. I get why they do it but it infuriates me that they willfully behave this way. So much scum. This was a problem in Britain when I was growing up here in the 90's and it's a problem now.
In the USA the streets can get pretty wild at night in certain cities, particularly on weekends. But it's generally just people having a good time and if violence breaks out it usually seemed to have occurred accidentally. In the UK every night seems like a mini-riot with bands of drunken thugs roaming the streets looking for things to break and people to assault. It's intimidating and disturbing to feel like every guy you see might bubble over with psychotic rage at any moment. So what I really want to discuss is, what the fuck is wrong with the British national psyche? The USA has mass shootings to plague them but having lived in both countries I feel that the British problem of raging, psychopathic street crime is a far more pervasive and disturbing issue.
Disclaimer: I feel bad for "insulting" those two by implying they were in a homosexual relationship. I am not bigoted, it's just a sad fact that I knew this would work. And technically they were the ones who inferred it as an insult. As Doug Stanhope has said, if anyone was offended I'll suck your cock after the show.
tl:dr cool story bro random internet witticism Starbucks etc.