Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Invasion of the handbag snatcha

During the summer of 2008, I took on a second job to help me save for a burnout week in Ibiza. Day times, spent on a Dutch helpdesk at British Telecom and then evenings at the newly opened Debenhams store in Liverpool One. Here I would pick orders of under garments, children's toys and crockery, from rows of shelves in the upstairs warehouse. Just me and a load of kids less than half my age, who I tried my hardest to corrupt. Not that Scouse teens need any encouragement.

So it's my last night working at Debenhams and a few of us had planned a night out.

It had been a silly night. You know the kind? Starts off with a few beers, and then a few shots, then a mad dash back to the house in a taxi to get the pills. With any form of will power totally obliterated, you all delve hard into your pockets, and pool together to meet the coke dealer in a dark alleyway somewhere in the centre of Liverpool. A few lines off a car bonnet and then back to the pubs for a few more hours of first lining up for the tolilet cubicle and then lining up inside the toilet cubicle (if you get my drift). There's been many of them, and I'm sure there'll be many more. But they don't all end in as dramataic fashion as this one did.

We start off as a trio, meet a bunch of girls and briefly become a sextet. One of the lads leaves with obvious intentions of taking the sex from the tet, his exit hastily followed by the other 2 girls. Before we know it, Alan and I are alone. I am not too bothered about continuing the evening. I'd rather go home and get back on it there. However, Alan is not content, and is badgering me to tell him any venues that may be open at 3am. I know a few venues which may possibly be open and one venue that will definitely be open. I am reluctant to tell him of the name of the definite place for reasons which will soon become apparent. There is nothing pleasurable about the Pleasure Rooms. This place really is a last resort. Full of 14 to 20 year old scallies, totalled out of their minds in various states of undress. The music is Scouse house played at decibels far greater than the club size requires. You can literally feel the vibrations as you turn into Parr street, some 50 metres away. To top it off. The place is a total sweatbox. Condensation dripping off the black walls and making pools on the floor. All in all, a very undesirable place to go. So, why I eventually inform him of it's existence is beyond me.

We jump a taxi on Hardman Street and head for the inappropriately named Pleasure Rooms. As we turn into Parr street we feel the vibrations, resonating through the cobbled street and see the horrible mass of the young crowd, as they spill onto the pavement in front of the club. Our taxi pulls up in front of the building and Alan, who is eager to get amongst the young girls, jumps out before it even draws to a halt.

The fare comes to somewhere in the region of 4 quid, but unfortunately, very unfortunately as it turns out, I only have a 20 quid note. I pass this to the driver, who accepts it without complaint and hands me my change. Or should I say, he attempts to hand me my change. At precisely that moment, 3 tramps of girls enter the cab and one of them literally grabs my change out of the drivers hand and pushes it into her handbag, which she immediately zips up.

"Give us me fucking money", I shout, a rage building inside of me.

"Wha fuckin money la"? she screeches back in the extremely horrible, nasal tone of the North Liverpool council estates.

"The money, you just fucking grabbed out of my hands you horrible bitch", I respond in haste.

"No idea wha youse talkin bout la", she retorts.

At this point the driver interjects and says "Give him his money luv, I saw you just take it".

The drivers interjection inspires the other 2 ugly sisters to join the argument.

"Ger out the fucking car la, before we smash youse face in", they shout in unison.

"We from fuckin Stocky Village la, you not gonna mess we us".

Stockbridge village, known to Scousers as Stocky Village and formerly known as Cantril Farm or just the Farm, is an estate in North Liverpool which is known as a no go area. The band The Farm, famous for the hit single "Altogether now", in the early 90s hail from there - hence their band name.

She's not wrong. I really don't want to be messing with 3 trollops from Stocky Village, but nobody informed my temper of this. In a rage, I leap from my seat on the far left of the taxi, and in one swift movement I grab the handbag containing my money and make a leap for the door on the right. Unfortunately, the girls manage to grab me as I make my exit and the 3 of them lay into me with scratches, punches, shirt tugs and flailing arms. By the time, I am out of the car, my shirt is missing buttons and I have taken a pounding. But I don't care because I emerge from the cab with my arm outstretched, my trophy raised in the air, like a warrior victorious in battle.

This whole scene, from start to finish lasts no longer than a minute, during which time, Alan, who is more interested in the scantily clad young girls that surround the club's exterior, has failed to notice that I have not exited the taxi immediately behind him. He only becomes aware of my absence when he hears the fracas going on to his rear and spins around just in time to see me fling open the door, and drop kick the handbag clean over a wall onto a nearby factory roof. I have never played rugby in my life but I'm telling you, even Johnny Wilkinson would have been proud of this kick.

The 3 girls emerge from the car just in time to see the handbag in mid flight.

"Lad, youse gonna get fucked la", she yells at me. The words more from her nose than her mouth.

"I can't believe it la, youse a fucking cunt lad", she brazenly cries.

To which I reply "Fuck you, you dirty little scrubber. You fuck with me and you should take the consequences".

Her own fury ignited, she jumps on my back and starts to slap me around the head.

Meanwhile, Alan observes the whole shenanigans in total disbelief. He later asks me "How can you manage to get into so much trouble within 1 minute of me leaving the car"?

Her latest outburst turbo charges my own anger and I throw her into a wall. At this point a bouncer steps in and holds us both back. A screaming match ensues, during which time I make enough comments about Stocky village to enrage virtually the whole crowd of people waiting to get into the club. Most of which hail from there. It is with some fortune that the bouncer seems to have witnessed what occurred and although  remaining neutral, does not beat me to within an inch of my life.

The taxi driver, god bless him. Winds down his window and alerts me to the dangerous situation that I am currently in.  As he drives past he shouts "Lad, you better get outta here quick sharp, there's lads on the way".  Alan and I need no second warning. Without a seconds hesitation we turn on the pace and dart off, weaving around the back streets of Liverpool  to escape our imminent kicking.

As I run around the first bend though, I turn back and smirk as I see a pack of Scally rats, staring up at the factory roof where the handbag landed.

"I may have lost the battle I tell Alan, but I won the war".

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