It’s not just the policemen getting younger every year, it’s the criminals too.

I have had a massively eventful week.  Such monumental, historic happenings have entered my life in the last seven days.  For instance, my global popularity continues to soar as I reached a new milestone high of 37 followers on my twitter account.  That the magical 37th person to be interested in my random musings and limited character posts happened to be a London sushi restaurant trying to convince me to become a customer is irrelevant.  37!  Wow!  And that was just the start of this week’s delights.  For example, I also got mugged.

Yes I was subject to the delightfully human act of attempting to take another person’s belongings by force .  Saying I got mugged was perhaps a little misleading for in fact the would be mugger never succeeded in taking anything from me and was in actuality sent away with his tail between his legs no doubt to alter the story to his friends before telling them so that I became a kickboxing champion with a lorry full of friends approaching.   Just like I’ll embellish the story here to make him seem much less weedy and scared than he was in real life in order to portray myself as more macho and impressive.

The story goes that quite simply, in the middle of the day, on a walk back to my house in North London, I was roughly pushed into a brickwall by a kid of about seventeen and instructed to empty my pockets.  Having no desire to do so I pushed him away and went to carry on, words were said and it became increasingly obvious that he didn’t have the actions to back his up.  I left him standing there as I made my way home.

Unfortunately, the experience wasn’t a new one two me.  I have been robbed, to varying degrees of success, approximately a dozen times in my lifetime.  A statistic that I would imagine is well above the average and possible easily attributed to my growing up on an estate with a bad reputation and deciding my teenage years were the time for me to grow my hair long, wear eye makeup and tell anyone who made any vaguely aggressive comment towards me to “fuck off”.  But despite the fact that I can consider myself a relatively experienced “muggee” this latest encounter shook me somewhat.  For a while I couldn’t figure out why and then I realised that this was the first time I’d been targeted by someone younger than me.  I have long since crossed the barrier from being a potential victim of crime because of my youthful appearance and might now be heading towards the opposite – persecuted because of my increasing elderly frailty.  OK, at the age of 25 this might be jumping a couple of decades a bit before I need to but nonetheless the whole thing was bizarre.  I’d always held the image of muggers as people older than me and this week provided a stark reminder that actually not many social groupings, professions or stereotypes now fall into the “older than me” category.  Maybe judges and people who watch bowls on the BBC.  That’s about it.

So, having taken the latest resentful step on the path to accepting the adulthood that I so desperately wanted to avoid I can at least smile at the fact that the bugger didn’t manage to get anything off me so I must still be youthful enough to scare these young whippersnapper upstarts away.  Plus I get to now use words like “whippersnapper” and “upstart” which is surprisingly fulfilling.  Go on, try it.  And besides, age brings a wisdom and ability to enjoy the small satisfactions that life brings.  The kind of things that it doesn’t even occur to you to enjoy when you’re young.  For instance, since I started writing this, I now have 40 followers on twitter.  The world is still my oyster for another few years yet!


Published by: chubbywordsmith

32 year old nerd. Areas of nerdery: Global Development, International Relations (especially MENA, South and South east Asia), Political Economy/Macroeconomics. Lived/Worked in Palestine, Libya amongst other places. Works for an INGO focussing on peacebuilding and conflict issues. Loves Manchester United more than is healthy. @anarchasm

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