Friday, April 15, 2011

We’re Dead Hard In Leamington Spa

We are, you know.

I know you lot think we’re a bunch of soft Midland’s Spa water drinking Andy-Pandy shandy makers but really we’re so hard we’d make Lenny McLean poop his gusset. If he were still alive that is (RIP The Governor).

Want proof?

Well, here are two recent real life slices of anecdotal evidence.

Slice 1) One day last week, returning to work after my lunchbreak in the sun, I approached my place of work with a little more than the usual sense of trepidation because there was a ruddy great fire juggler outside the building. Juggling with fire. Or fiery brands / sticks / skittles whatever those damned things are that jugglers like to keep up in the air in states of perpetual tedium. I mean, what is it with jugglers? Why do they always look so smug? What’s so damned great or even damned useful about juggling? What possible useful application can juggling ever have outside of a circus or a kid’s tea party? I mean if you had to keep your eye on three objects whilst standing still for 10 minutes you’d just put two of them down, if not all three or even just put them in a bag or on a tray.

But I digress.

Some young studo-punk was juggling. With fire. And had a little cap at his feet in which he was hoping to catch a few stray pound coins. Only his benefactors would have to be good shots because you couldn’t get within 5 metres of the guy due to the wall of flaming death that he was weaving about himself.

Apparently a copper had already approached him and “had a word” but seemingly had then left him to it making no arrest and offering no caution. It seems that juggling with fire on a public thoroughfare is perfectly legal.

And the juggler had shown good sense by pitching his human immolation act right in front of Leamington’s Spa water drinking fountain so he could, no doubt, douse himself with sparkling sulphuric water should he ever mistime a throw and find his fuse inadvertently lit.

And the good people of Leamington? How did they react?

They didn’t. I saw mum’s pushing toddlers in prams and pushchairs so close to the fire juggler that their kids must have gone home with a suntan very like the one Richard Dreyfuss got in Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. And possibly smelling of barbecue accelerant.

That’s how hard we are in Leamington Spa.

Slice 2) This happened last night. Heading home from work, I happened to pass over Victoria Bridge and I saw two passersby gripping tight hold of a drunk who had already swung one leg over the bridge and was intent on throwing the other over along with his entire torso into the long drop down to the spuming River Leam far below. The only thing this guy was holding onto was his can of Special Brew. As I passed I heard one of the passersby trying to reason with him. Something along the lines of: “if you throw yourself over it’ll be other people who’ll have to tidy up the mess”.

Good on you, I thought. You can always turn someone away from thoughts of suicide by appealing to their innate OCD nature.

The drunk rolled his eyes a bit, looked at his beer can and replied, “I don’ wanna make a mess for nebuddy. I’ll jus’ finish me beer firs’ an’ then I’ll jump.”

That’s how hard we are in Leamington Spa: life is cheap but you never waste a good can of beer.

Leamington is on all main train and coach routes and sports some of the loveliest hotels in the country. Do come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough.



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27 comments:

Very Bored in Catalunya said...

Brilliant - why are you not head of the Leamington Spa Tourist Board?

Steve said...

Very Bored in Catalunya: why? Because I lost the kick-boxing bout that picked the winner.

The Dotterel said...

What a considerate suicide... You see, you wouldn't get that anywhere but lovely Leamington. Bet he put it in the nearest litter bin too.

Heather said...

That’s how hard we are in Leamington Spa.

What, stupid?

Steve for Major of Lemmington!

Steve said...

The Dotterel: he did - along with his hypodermic needle, flickknife and knuckle-duster.

Heather: are you trying to say I should be the Mayor of Simpleton?

Gorilla Bananas said...

Fire-juggling is a marvelous display of bravado and no one achieved anything by mollycoddling drunks. Your townsfolk sound like good hardy stock. How they must look down on a whining milksop like you.

MOTHER OF MANY said...

Sounds very similar to Cardiff. I once witnessed a group shouting JUMP JUMP JUMP to a guy sat on the wall of the top floor of a multi story car park in the hospital grounds!
His response was Feck You(or very similar!) and when he was talked down they gave him a round of applause .
The people from Cardiff are most definitely crazy!

Steve said...

Gorilla Bananas: I must confess I was heartily releived when they got rid of the town stocks and birch rod.

Ally: see, that was reverse psychology at work. If they'd screamed "don't jump" he would have been awkward and launched himself off.

the fly in the web said...

I knew I should have bought a pied a terre in Leamington Spa...all we get are bulls and, with Good Friday coming up, men being crucified outside churches...

Steve said...

The fly in the web: they're lightweights where you are...!

Nana Go-Go said...

`Whining Milksop`......lol!

libby said...

There must be something in the water.......gives you balls of steel and tastes like crap, but invigorates!

Steve said...

Nana Go-Go: should I get it printed onto a T-shirt, do you think?

Libby: that's the type of inscription that they should have put onto the fountain...

Kelloggsville said...

My few experiences of the aforementioned Spa leave me to believe that you would have to be 'ard to live there. It 'sounds' so nice on the map. ALthough now I know what entertainment is on offer I may try it again, I have to say Cardiff sounds rather appealing too though. Oh with these choices Ambassador you are really spoiling us.

Being Me said...

Sounds about as hard as they are here in my town. One of our scary lay-about youths scrawled the words 'Nigel is a goose' in the wet concrete pavement. What an insult that is. Best he could come up with. Sent Nigel packing, it did.

Vicky said...

When I make it over to the UK this is one place on my must see list LOL

Steve said...

Kelloggsville: Cardiff or Leamington Spa? It's a tough choice. Dr Who was filmed in the former while we had Upstairs Downstairs... I guess it depends which class of rough you want to aspire to.

Being Me: Nigel is a goose? Not even a gosling? Or a chicken? Isn't the name "Nigel" insult enough?

Vicky: don't forget to buy your kevlar parasole before you arrive...!

Keith said...

Dead Hard in Leamington Spa ? You found a use for those 5000 blister packs then ?

Steve said...

Keith: I don't recommend taking them all at once. I haven't been able to pee for 38 hours...

Mark said...

Do you remember those Biffa Bacon strips in Viz? 'Who'se you looking at?'he asks as he shaves in the mirror - or was that Ma Bacon who used the same shaving mirror to wax her stubble? That's proper hard. Maybe they came from Leamington not Geordieland

Steve said...

Mark: I remember them well. Viz actually based them on my parents but had to water them down as, in their original form, they were considered way too violent for the consumption of insensitive teens.

The Sagittarian said...

Thats tough for sure, and considerate! What an odd combination. I'll shake myself over there in a jiffy...

Steve said...

Amanada: we're like high class toilet paper - tough but soft.

Nota Bene said...

Who is this Victoria Bridge?

Steve said...

Nota Bene: a lovely girl; she can take heavy loads if you know what I mean...

Phil said...

Human dragons and bridge jumpers who do it without bungees in a drought eh? Where I used to live, the traffic wardens were all Pakis working in packs of ten, carrying chainsaws for basic protection, bikini line waxing was done on the street come rain, snow or shine for either sex, and ‘road kill’ was considered a delicacy best scoffed cold, straight from the tarmac where you’d fought for it.
Leamington sounds a bit too ‘nice’ and poncy for me.

Steve said...

Phil: we'd eat you for breakfast and no mistake, probably as some kind of lightly whipped mousse.