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).
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.