Friday, 19 January 2007

A nearly no-argument day

The riot police were back in Smalltown when we got home. Two riot vans, a dozen police cars, and a road closed, according to Dig, thanks to a dispute outside a local Place of Religious Worship. Punch-ups are fairly common in Smalltown: I cross the road rather than walk past The Queen's Head. I always expect some bloke to come flying out the doors, saloon style, to slide to a splattered halt outside the Co-op.

We've had quite a lovely day too. Tiger vomited last night and had a lie-in this morning. Shark and Squirrel were quite concerned. They ran about fectching blankies and chivvying us over hot water bottles. Out came the treasured cuddly toys to snuggle down with Tiger until she got better. No-one battered her with Puffin or ran off with Brown Horse. Their goodwill continued this morning. Everyone was most concerned that Tiger got her choice of audio in the car while she sat there with a sick bucket on her lap, just in case.

I don't think we live in a particularly crime-ridden area. The type of crime we get here is what seems to be called low-level. One New Year we came back to our kitchen windows smashed in, which was cold. My tax disc got nicked; the local dodger made off with my green wheelie bin before Christmas; Pastry got her belongings stolen from the van; the kids throws eggs, snowballs, smash car wing mirrors and shout about boyfriends snogging slappers in the street. The most serious event for us was the kidnapper who smashed up our car. That was a difficult summer.

The fact that there's a surveillance camera right outside the house seems to have no impact whatsoever, apart from give someone something to watch of a Friday night.

When we got to the girly party today we've mostly missed it, thanks to the ongoing discussion in the car about Tiger's vomit and the audio choice. But today it doesn't matter; Em has invited us to lunch so the girls get to play with Clo. This is bliss. Someone else gets to worry about lunch; the girls are occupied, and there's only one fight between Squirrel and Tiger in the playground. Clearly the vomit attack has worn off, and so has the sympathy. There are claws involved, hair pulling, coat snatching and an ear wound. I ask Clo if she would like sisters. 'They can be nice', I offer, as the punches are packing and the howls are rising. 'No' says Clo.

The punches have been swinging down the road too, I hear from Dig: one bloke hospitalised with stomach wounds and a heavy police presence for the next few days, since it's apparently between two families engaged in revenge attacks. I don't advocate direct violence now, I think, as I empty my bag from the day. I turn out the piece of sharpened stick Tiger put in the bag. She's put in a piece of flint too, and long strands of thin bark, like string. She's been trying to tie the flint to the wood to make a spear. Me, I avoid direct confrontation. And if I had a weapon of choice, it would be a used nappy, discreetly placed under the windscreen wiper.

Now if you come calling in Smalltown, expect to divert past the closed roads, watch out for the police, cross the road from the Queen's Head, and don't take my parking space.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

'twas a success methinks. Are you able to do again this Fri? 'cos I'm away for the following?