Advertising

Using my weapon of choice cuts both ways

Entertainment | Published:

I stuck two fingers up at 126 people the other night. I was in Liverpool, on a stage, being heckled by drunk Scousers.

Their heckles were simultaneously funny and disturbing. They were comparing me to Bamber Gascoigne and laughing at their own wit. So I made like the Scousers and gave them 'the rods'.

When my two fingers shot up, I expected a boo. I thought they'd go 'gerr off', then shake their hands up and down like Bill and Ben flower puppets, the way Scousers do. I thought the more-drunk among them might storm the stage and whack me.

Such is my febrile imagination. They didn't, they loved it. There was a big cheer. Liverpool and I bonded in the moment that I stuck two fingers up at them. How strange. God bless Scouse.

'The rods' are my ninja gun. They are my go-to weapon in moments of extreme anxiety. They are my 'in-case-of-emergency-break-glass' tool.

They elicit different responses in different circumstances. On one occasion they might as well have been a ninja gun that I pointed directly at my feet, before pulling the trigger. This is what happened. I was driving to West Brom to see a then-girlfriend.

Pretty much all of my stories start with: 'I was going to see a girlfriend, when….', you know, the way most blokes' stories start with: 'I was down the pub, when….' It's been that sort of life.

Anyway. On my journey through to the Charlemont estate, two big fellas in a Ford Sierra stopped quickly at a newsagents on Hall Green Road. I broke sharply, my inner monologue swore, then I wound down the window of my yellow Mini Clubman and gave them the rods before whistling past.

What followed still leaves me a little shaky.

Advertising

The two blokes – you know the sort, necks as wide as a rottweiler's belly, tattoos on their eyes (ok, I lied about that bit, but it wouldn't have surprised me) – jumped back in the car.

In car Top Trumps, Sierra always beats Mini.

I watched them in my rear view mirror, fear rising in me like water in a flood. Even from that distance, their intentions were pretty clear. I swung a left, into Friar Park, though why I thought that was a good idea still mystifies me. Then I swung a right, into a street to hide.

After a minute, I no longer needed to use my rear view mirror. I could hear them bearing down on me. So I did what I've seen people do in the movies. I rolled to a stop. The fellas drew alongside me, ready to get out of their car and, ahem, remonstrate. You can, of course, substitute the word remonstrate for kick the hell out of me.

Advertising

I waited for a moment, my heart pounding like a snare drum, the taste of metallic fear filling my mouth. Then I cranked my little old Mini into reverse and screeched up the road backwards – being careful not to break the 30mph speed limit, or drive in a way that could be construed as careless, should any policemen be reading. I did a reverse three-point turn and vamooshed into the night.

When I arrived at my then-girlfriend's, she was puzzled. "You're a bit late," she said, miffed at my lack of punctuality.

You can guess what gesture I gave her.

And if any of you lot call me Bamber, I'll do the same to you.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News