After a long stretch of work (including the sheer and bloody horror that is getting in to work at 6am), I finally have a few days off. I have a feeling of utter joy at the huge stack of laundry that stares at me whenever I enter my bedroom. Maybe if you all buy my second book1

I also find myself laughing at the ineptitude of the terrorists of today. Burning a car is a local pastime for the children around my area, and they aren't daft enough to set themselves on fire. As for the London car bombs – I could make a better bomb. It seems that if they are really al-Qeada, then that bunch of stone-age wannabes are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.2

I'm not scared of terrorism, no-one I work with is scared of terrorism3. We recognise that the chance of dying in a terrorist attack is much, much smaller than the numerous other causes of death and injury that we face everyday.4 What makes us more nervous is considering what the British government might do in response to these pitiful attacks.

The other thing that has been in the news is another cluster of stabbings in London. It was only a few nights ago that I found someone in what I like to call a 'pre-stabbed' state.

Seventeen years old, he'd come home from 'hanging around' in another part of town. While standing around on a street corner some men in a car had pulled up, grabbed him and beaten him up. No reason for this attack was given. He had a few minor injuries – a head wound that could be glued together, some grazing to his arms that could do with a clean up and a nose that was swollen.

The police arrived at the house moments after we got there, as he wasn't seriously injured I told the police that they could get their interview done before we took the boy to hospital.

Of course, it wouldn't be as simple as that – he started off by claiming that he didn't know where he had been 'hanging out'. He also didn't know who he had been with, what type of car the assailants had been driving, what they had looked like or even his friend's home address or phone number. He wasn't going to tell the police anything.

All of this was given in a terrible Jafaken accent (the accent du jour around these parts, always hilarious to us emergency workers).

My local knowledge let us know where the assault took place, it's just down the road from where I live, and I know the 'kids' do so love to stand on that particular corner eating their chips and play chicken with the traffic.

But that was all he would say, the police understandably decided not to waste any more time with him. So our patient and his mum walked onto the back of the ambulance and we headed off to hospital. While in the back his mum told me how he was always getting beaten up, that she had tried to stop him going out and meeting up with the wrong sort of people. She'd enrolled him in college and recognised that he was walking a thin line. He'd already been convicted of a minor crime and she was obviously concerned that he may end up in more serious trouble.

So I gave him my lecture about the people who we pick up having been stabbed – how they are mostly people like him. That they hang around in gangs, that they indulge in minor crime and that they tend not to listen to their mums. I told him how you lose all your macho attitude when you have half a dozen stab-wounds in you. It's an attempt, no matter how pointless, to try and scare them into turning their backs on that kind of life.

1 Yes, there should be a sequel; this blogpost also took an hour longer to write than it should because I was trying to find a way to write superscript elements in Ecto without having to handcode them in the HTML view. Then I realised that the Rich text view won't show it anyway. Now I'm having a nice cup of tea.

2 I'm of the strong belief that we should mock terrorists, we shouldn't call people 'suicide bombers', instead they should be referred to as 'Brainwashed morons who blow themselves up because of superstitious fairy tales from the middle ages'. The pleasure of being an atheist…

3 Most of us can remember living under the IRA for a start. I long for the days of 'Special Black' rather than 'Critical'.

4 Look at my driving for instance…

20 thoughts on “Pre-Stabbing”

  1. I agree whole heartedly. No matter whether the 'terrorists' actually detonated a device or not – if we all live in fear and show them our fear then they win. As a nation famous for our ' stiff upper lip', it shouldn't be too hard to show them some resolve. BTW – I'd never heard of Jafaken before. Hilarious and so very fitting !!

  2. Delighted to see that you say we should mock these inept twats. I am glad to report that there is a spate of gags doing the rounds. The guy in the Jeep Cherokee at Glasgow airport has been seen wandering around his hospital ward wearing a kilt and spouting Scottish poetry. Yes – he's in the Burns Unit….. Oh – and there's a website for people to contact him: Thank you.

  3. I agree… I was trying to figure just how extremely lucky the loony-brigade would have to be to actually kill me with one of their bombs… assuming they actually ever go back to school and learn enough science to build a bomb that works. Personally I think all those failed bombs is just natural selection at work.As to dying…

    Road Deaths: 3,500 p.a. (2003/4 figures)

    Railways: 274 (201 were suicides) (2005)

    Total Suicides 5,755 p.a (2003)

    Terrorist deaths: 2000-present: 52 (or about 7 p.a.)

    Most suicides are probably people forced into depression by all the media scaremongering about the terrorist threat.

  4. I prefer to refer to suicide bombers as “not-so-smart bombs.” It fits them rather well.On this side of the pond, we have a nefarious criminal called Sumdood who is responsible for much of the violence and mayhem that occurs. Whenever something bad happens, everyone blames it on Sumdood.

    I'm thinking he's in London now, using the alias of “Sumbloke.”

  5. Oh, come on, that's just not fair.I have no internet at home currently so I have to read this blog at work. I just got some very stern looks for laughing out loud…

  6. we all thought this had something to do with the smoking ban coming into effect down south on sunday, just a pity the ban came into effect last year here, you can only light up OUTSIDE glasgow airport…

  7. For Sale: Jeep Cherokee. Minor overheating problem, LPG tank in rear. Genuine reason for quick sale. Contact Bashir Doorin, Pollokshaws

  8. A muslim just crashed his car into the Ulley Reservoir in Sheffield. Police think its the start of RamaDam!

  9. When I first saw the pictures on TV I thought it was about some highlander who hadn't quite got to grips with the concept of 'Express Check-In'

  10. 1 can of petrol – 5.40, 2 Calor Gas Bottles – 42.50, Second hand Jeep – 2500, watching two fanatical idiots burn – Priceless..!

  11. Ulley Dam is in ROTHERHAM not Sheffield! Also the collapse of the wall was caused by a natural disaster not a terrorist incident.

  12. Hiya, came here after nicking your book from my boyfriend.I came up with a new word for these amusing characters earlier, while some friends were chatting about how one should actually go about making a car as dangerous as the news were trying to make the ones near Tiger Tiger sound. These sorts of conversations happen when you're friends with physicists, special effects people and other nutters.

    Unlike the IRA, this lot aren't terrorists they're nuisanceists. Still, let's hope that they don't grow any more of a clue any time soon… not that it would stop us laughing at them if they did.

    I'm starting to wonder, though, if maybe at least in the case of London the nuisanceists are on to something. From what I've seen, mostly what the police have to deal with after cordoning an area off is people who are in a hurry and would happily take their chances with getting blown up if it meant they didn't have to take a detour and go to a different Boots or be 5 minutes later getting wherever they're going. Most people I know are more scared of being knocked off a tube platform by some idiot with a big wheely suitcase (or just missing their train because someone is standing on the left of an escalator) than they are of being blown up. Maybe the way to get to Londoners is to keep causing fairly minor disruption and news reports that put our blood pressure up.

  13. can't wait for book 2! (am now addicted to this site after finding book by 'accident' – a good one for once!)as for the other stuff, it may not be original, or bright (although i think most people can apprehciate that violence isnt necessarily the most intelligent answer for life's problems) but it is still effective (that is when they pull it off) and it still costs lives, and quality of life for those involved (both directly and indirectly). terrorism is not just about killing and maming people, its about terrorising people, and they seem to be doing that pretty well, even without physical contact – the threat is enough for most of the general public (and this of course has a knock on effect of prejudice from some, which starts a kind of vicious circle)

    and yes, the response to such events is as worrying as the events themselves…

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