A mugging opportunity.
Four or five days a week I walk the familiar route from work to the gym, departing anywhere from 5.28pm and 5.35pm and arriving promptly after a twenty-or-so minute brisk walk.
Sometimes I will stop for a moment to mix a single-scoop protein shake using a bench set under a good-looking, pink flowering tree as a milestone. I tried to find the name of the tree only to discover that you should
Identify trees by not only examining their flowers, leaves, fruit and other physical characteristics, but also by noting the season of flowering, their growing conditions and whether they are deciduous or evergreen.
That seems to me a lot of effort to find the name of a living thing that doesn’t even know its own name itself and couldn’t tell me even if it did.
Other than this short interval I have found no other good reason to stop, bar the hindrance of vehicles nosing out on a couple of hilly streets and two pelican crossings whose facilities I don’t bother using. Whilst I consider myself a pretty road smart person anyway, I just can’t bring myself to trust green men.
My lack of stops/diversions is probably what ensures my timekeeping. However, this is also precisely what makes me a convenient mugging target. If you’re familiar with The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask, you’ll remember that the old lady from the bomb-shop is mugged for her bomb bag at around 12.30am on the night of the first day. This is because she takes the same damn route at the same damn time every damn time. It’s even written in a notebook. Whilst I did not learn a lesson from this, I did become an expert with iron-cast bombs after saving the old bomb-shop lady on multiple occasions.
If you feel you would like to take the opportunity, however, I would add that I am also somewhat aurally inhibited throughout this regular journey by an eclectic range of music which beats into my atmosphere from headphones which set my pace. I’m not an enormous fan of natural noise, unless I deliberately find it necessary to complete a scene and I don’t find myself in a mood for the romanticised too often.
Normally I would wear earphones (the in-ear kind) which I have favoured since I was a young boy listening to his first Radiohead album on repeat via a 633MHz Windows ’95 Packard Bell PC. Before we had the PC a German student staying with us bought a CD he thought he could play in our Hi-Fi only to find, to his dismay, that what he thought was a CD deck was actually a record player. I remember thinking if that was me, I would have been livid. He would have to wait until returning to Germany to listen to it. I also felt a somewhat sense of primitiveness on the part of my family due to not having a CD player. For a brief moment, I hated him.
My first pair of in-earphones (Sony MRR-ED21LP) were not even ‘proper’ in-earphones. They didn’t go all the way in. They essentially housed a small rubber mould which would direct the sound into your ear, whilst simultaneously collecting ear-wax at a level relative to that of the individual.
I have never really suffered from bad ear-wax, although on a trip to the Philippines as a young teenager my brother suffered bad ear-ache. A doctor examined and expressed that it looked as if his ear was filled with goats shit. Although not a doctor, I assumed it wasn’t a precise medical term.
My most recent pair of in-earphones were of a soft, pastel blue, slightly darker than you are probably thinking, darker, darker, a bit lighter, softer; that’s probably it. The left and right buds would clip together around your neck, which is actually more useful than the novelty with which it first appears. But they broke. And a warranty is useless without the original receipt. Ironically, the same time that they broke I also broke my friend’s headphones which I replaced but kept the broken ones which I was able to glue back together. These are now the white Sony headphones which hug my skull, beating an eclectic range of music, setting my pace, causing me aural inhibition.
Irony is great.
Anyway, to return to the prospective mugging. As to the anticipated haul, I do always carry a very sturdy black backpack which was also bought from a Philippino mall, although a different mall on a different trip (is that ironic? I’m not sure any more). Whilst it cost me almost half the price of the pastel-blue earphones of a softer and darker blue than you’re thinking – were thinking originally I should probably say, maybe not so much now that I have prompted a re-imagining of their appearance – I’m not sure if I would say I valued the earphones twice as much as the bag.
Sometimes I like to think that consumerism would work better if you only had to pay for items relative to how much you actually needed them, rather than wanted them. But then you’d probably only end up buying more as we always tend to buy things we don’t need anyway.
From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs
Food for thought.
Whilst I’m not exactly Apple’s biggest fan, I’d probably find myself owning a Mac the same way I would buy a soggy reduced sandwich from Tesco’s at 10.45pm in the sheer belief that I’d be losing money if I didn’t. Once again that is only if the price reflected how much I actually needed it, in which case it would indeed hold the value of a reduced egg and cress sandwich.
Apple for food.
But to return to the haul. By this time of day, my backpack is likely to contain (in order of personal value):
- 1 x eight year old gold-zinc-plated Seiko watch
- 1 x leather Quicksilver wallet with a broken zip (driver’s license/weekly bus ticket @ £25 value/bank cards/contraceptives of questionable condition)
- 1 x Nokia C2-01 phone (need them buttons)
- 1 x grey notebook stained in black ink
- 1 x pair glasses (short-sighted -1.00) bought from a Philippino shopping mall
- The bag itself
- 1 x set of keys to a close friend’s house
- 1 x Nelson Mandela bio. Stolen.
- Gym gear and chalk ball
- 2 x tupperware containers (now empty, probably smelly)
- 1 x protein shaker
- 1 x post-workout protein mix
- 2 x powder asthma pumps
- 1 x Nokia phone charger (due to recent loss of dead phone for a week when drunk)
- Miscellaneous wires/pens/paper/pills
- 1 x tooth-brush
- VO5 Matt Clay in a broken case
- 1 x spoon from a friend’s house, found at another friend’s house
- A magnetic badge which informs me my name is ‘Jason’
- 1 x 3.5mm –> 6.3mm jack adapter
- 1 x hard-pressed fork stolen from new work-place (SPOONS > FORKS)
- 1 x ‘Conditions of Employment’ contract from said workplace
I do actually also have a jail-broken iPhone 4 in my left pocket which I both love and hate. I love it because I found it in the sand on the side of a volcano as I descended on horseback, which makes for an interesting story. I hate it because its brand is named after a fruit which now costs up to as much as 40p per piece in Tesco Express. I will not pay 40p for an apple. I cannot make calls on the iPhone which is why I use the buttons on the Nokia C2-01. I prefer them. They were never a problem. I can text very fast on button phones.
I am ambivalent as to the iPhone’s value to me.
Whilst I do not actually know Kung-Fu and am a naturally non-violent person, I did fare well in the one fight in which I have been. My ‘history of violence’ (which I am by no means proud of) consists of:
- 1 x split lip from a super-quick punch to the face
- 1 x glassing
- 1 x gang stomping
- 1 x headlock restrain (during an unprovoked attack from which the perp. served community service)
- 1 x shove into dog poop
I can also round-house kick and achieved an orange belt in karate, although my parents never paid for it.
As a very poor long-distance runner I am unlikely to outrun anyone, but I can jump a fence better than most. Such a situation once manifest itself as a mischievous youth forcing large branches through people’s letter boxes. I will admit I cried as one of the house owners gained during chase, although to my defence he did continually exclaim that he had an axe.
I am by no means suggesting that I am an easy victim. I cannot promise that a mugging attempt would be fruitful. Nor am I promising that my objects of value will in any way constitute monetary or even sentimental value to yourself. It is merely an opportunity. If you are sadistic enough, you may even gain sheer pleasure from the crime itself.
I know how this can feel.
As a youth (once again, mischievous) I used to steal useless objects such as packs of paper-clips and super-glue from shops. I also stole:
- Star Wars toys
- Batman figures
- Pokemon cards
- Football stickers
- Sweets/ice-lollies/chocolate (crisps are too noisy)
Recently, after a fifteen year crime break, I have taken to stealing a piece of fruit every time I do food shopping due to disagreement with the drastic increase in the price of this vitamin-enriched food. Having spent a fair amount of time in South East Asia, I refuse to pay 19p for a banana. 4 pesos is more than enough. Some shops even charge fruit by single piece, nowadays. 40p apples and 19p bananas are just a few of the unbelievable mark-ups.
I can buy a whole egg and cress sandwich at Tesco Express for 17p when it is reduced.
With all having been said, however, I will now be looking over my shoulder as much as I do before me for cars nosing their way out from hilly side-streets and approaching pelican crossings at which I refuse to press the button in refusal of dictatorship by green men. If you think you would prefer to catch me at my most susceptible, my return journey is the same route although departing the gym at anywhere between 7.30pm and 7.38pm with an eye to catch the 8.08pm 10A bus to St. Just. I leave myself just enough time in case I need to purchase (by this time discounted) food from Tesco’s. Sometimes I buy a soggy egg and cress sandwich. Sometimes I steal an apple.
I need neither.
At this point I will be very tired from a hard calisthenics workout and be distracted in craving of my post-workout shake for which I make myself wait until I reach the bus-stop to consume.
Finally, a handy hint: Wednesday is legs day. My thighs feel super fat and there is no possible way I will be able to manage a roundhouse kick after a barrage of piston squats and miles-worth of lunges.
There is no such thing as pudding day.