Neither Mirth nor Woe: Robbed
And then I got robbed.
Being a victim of crime isn't exactly a bundle of laughs, but I only have myself to blame taking the dog for a walk just as the sun set over Portland Harbour.
I thought I'd be fine, but as two burly shadows emerged from the bushes and blocked my path, I knew I was in for it.
"Evening," I said, hoping that the situation wasn't as bad as I hoped, but in vain.
"We're gonna rob you, innit."
Oh dear. Ali G has SO much to answer for.
"I beg your pardon?"
"We're gonna rob you, innit, or I'm gonna cut you with my flicky."
I was too terrified to remind him that statement was one 'innit' short and instead harkened back to my hazardous environment training, one of the few excellent perks you get from a career in journalism.
"Give us everything you got," said the second hoodie, "Or I cut ya. Innit."
My training, then, taught me two things. Depending on the situation, a nice former Royal Marine had said, you either do everything they say, hoping for the best; or you club them in the face and break their nose.
This was not a nose-breaking situation, and his "flicky, innit" was clearly a twig.
"What do you chaps want, then?" I ventured, hoping to get away with as little personal and financial damage as possible.
"Everything. Woss in that bag?"
I had forgotten I was carrying a small bag from H. Samuel the jewelers in my right hand.
"Oh, have a care, fella, "I pleaded, "that's my wife's Christmas present. Cost me a fortune. Do you WANT to wreck her Christmas?"
"Jus' f-ing gimme it," said the troll, "Or I stick ya, innit."
No point arguing. I f-ing gave him it.
Then, taking Falstaff's advice about discretion and valour, I fled.
I fled, not for my safety, nor that of Lucy Minogue - who had failed in her duty as a fierce guard dog throughout my hideous ordeal - but for what might happen if I wasn't hiding behind by sofa within the next thirty seconds.
For the long and the short of this story is this: Robbed, I was, for a small plastic bag containing a steaming fresh dog shit.
Good dog. GOOD DOG.