The older I get the more aware I am of my own immortality. You see, I know that you're going to die but I'm also aware that my luck is so bad that I bet I will live forever. You're lucky. This upsetting blip between oblivions will be over for you in decades but I'm just going to get older and older and survive long enough to see how worse the human race will become. I will see people I love die (my family, friends, Richard Osman) while I just get older and sicker but every cloud has a silver lining. Being immortal means that I can continue to do what I do best: telling dicks that they're dicks. I hope that knowledge will bring some comfort to you on your death bed. You will be long gone and I will still be around, hobbling on crutches and throwing up vomit and blood on to my surgical gown, telling dicks that they're dicks.
You see, there's a reason why I like to tell dicks that they're dicks. When I was younger, I wouldn't have said anything to a dick because I was just too scared. It wasn't always easy growing up in my part of Northern Ireland when you're Catholic and a bit of an annoying twat. I got beaten up a few times for no other reason than I was a different religion to them and I was a bit of an annoying twat. Even at school I got bullied and beaten up simply for being Catholic and a bit of an annoying twat. Harsh, considering I went to a Catholic school. But that's how Northern Ireland is and everything that you think you've read in the newspapers is true. There is 24 hour violence everywhere and the whole country is constantly on fire. 75% of Northern Irish people die every day. That's almost everyone.
But I'm older now and I feel sad for the younger Michael Legge. He occasionally had to take a small amount of shit and, as a result, I am now standing up for him.
Last night I was walking down a street in Lewisham when I saw a large group of youths skating along towards me. There were about 10 of them, they all looked to be somewhere between 18 and 20 years old and they were all going pretty fast on roller skates. Thanks to cars being half-parked on the pavement, there wasn't much room for them and me to pass one another but if I just took one step in to my right, they could pass easily and I was more than happy to do that until the one at the front shouted "Get the fuck out of the way".
Now, I was going to get out of the way but I was NEVER going to get THE FUCK out of the way.
He said "Get the fuck out of the way again" and I just kept walking towards him and blocking their way. They skated off the pavement and onto the road. Brilliant. He was rude, I stood my ground and they all skated off. A small victory but it's the little things that count, dear reader. We can't have gangs of young people swearing at us and thinking they can get away with it. Especially if they they get back on the pavement, skate up behind you and start shouting right into your face. Oh.
To be fair, I knew that there was a chance that they'd be upset that I hadn't moved. I know it's best to just keep quiet when confronted by horrible people but why should I take any shit from them when they've been rude, aggressive and...they're on roller skates.
That's IT. I know I'm immortal and I've got a chip on my shoulder but the reason I didn't get out of their way is because I just can't take a gang seriously if they're on roller skates. It looks pathetic. But, I had to agree with myself, this whole thing is very me: I'm getting confronted by a gang! A really crap gang! And, as a result, I just couldn't keep my big mouth shut.
"What the fuck is your problem?", one of the youths enquired.
"It's not me that has a problem. I'm not on roller skates".
"You saw us coming. Are you blind?"
"I'm not blind. I saw your roller skates".
"I'll kick your fucking arse".
"What? In roller skates?"
This went on for ages (or 10 seconds) while others generally told me to fuck off while occasionally calling me "white boy". That's when I really got scared. I'm surrounded by not very convincing street-toughs in sleeveless t-shirts and roller skates. What shitty 80's movie am I in? Hang on....Am I Andrew McCarthy? Fuck! I don't want to be Andrew McCarthy. I CAN'T be Andrew McCarthy. I'm not going to turn up at the soda bar with a slightly bloodied nose and my tie even more slightly askew. I want to be the cool 80's guy. The one that gangs actually respect because he doesn't take shit and he always has a funny quip to put them down with. All I need is a quip. Something cool. I just need the right line at the right time and I'll practically be part of the gang. We'll fist-bump and we'll realise that, yeah, we're from different sides of the tracks but deep down we respect one another. All I need to do is be cool.
The gang shouted fuck off at me several times but I was going that way anyway so it didn't seem threatening. You can't TELL someone to fuck off if they're leaving. So I stood there just staring at them, waiting for my moment. It's going to happen. My cool guy 80's movie moment. And when one of the gang said "You come back here and you're dead" I knew my moment had come. Time for a quip. Time for a put down. Time to be cool.
"Yeah, right, National Express".
That was my line. My cool 80's movie line. I said it and now just had to wait for their acceptance as a proper 80's cool movie guy. They looked baffled.
"Oh", I said. "I meant Starlight Express".
More "fuck off"'s were directed at me and I agreed that it was probably time for me to go. I had been given the perfect moment and I fucked it up. Typical. I turned up at the soda bar with a bloodied nose and an askew tie after giving myself the beating I clearly deserved. I am Andrew fucking McCarthy.
But never let it be said that I am a coward. I'm sure any gang reading this will think twice about being rude or aggressive ever again. I don't think anyone really wants the awkwardness of a middle aged man basically calling you a bus.
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