Those of you who are my facebook friends will know that last night, I was the victim of a serious assault. That piece of legalese doesn’t, however, quite do justice to the experience of having a bottle smashed over one’s head.
In short, two persons — a male and a female — attempted to force entry to two of the apartments in this building. One of them was DEM’s. They were not interested in theft. They were, however, interested in assault. This building includes a significant proportion of sheltered housing (for elderly and disabled people). Not the sort of people who can easily defend themselves. When the pair tried to burst through our door, I threw them out. I found out that martial arts is for life and not just for fitness, although it would appear that some of the rules have changed since I earned my shodan (black belt) in 2000.
I followed Sensei Enoeda‘s advice and immobilised the male — very successfully. He could do nothing. I had him in an arm bar (a ‘no 9′ for the aficionado) with his back to me. I then used his bulk to drive both of them towards the front door and out of the foyer of the building. At this point, his female companion broke a half-full bottle of Buckfast over my skull. This represents a significant cultural shift. I have worked as door staff in a few venues; take out the male and any woman usually goes to pieces. During later conversations with the paramedics who provided EMT, I learned that women are now worse when it comes to the perpetration of certain kinds of street violence in Scotland (particularly when it comes to disrespecting members of the emergency services). One paramedic put it down to a failure to appreciate ‘when one is beaten’. Men know when to stop; indeed, once I had the male in a secure arm bar, he was shouting at the woman to calm down and not resisting me strongly.
In a comment on another thread, Lorenzo made the following observation:
On the other side, I am told by a friend who used to manage a venue that female audiences at strip nights tend to be much worse than male audiences because of a more attenuated sense of when to stop.
This, after my experience, has the ring of truth to it.
At that point, I got a bit miffed and there was a a scuffle in full view of the CCTV cameras in front of the building (see you on Crimewatch, people). I think most people pass out when glassed. I didn’t. I kept coming (ADMIN DEM: think of the terminator robot wearing a curly blonde and badly bloodied wig). At this point they ran (ADMIN DEM: As you would).
For the uninitiated, Buckfast is the ned’s tipple of choice. All 15% alcohol volume of it. A ned — as I explained on facebook — is Scotland’s version of the chav. However, one friend who is a member of the Scottish constabulary describes neds as ‘unaspirational chavs’.
The joys of the NHS
At this point staff and patrons of the nearest Italian restaurant were very helpful… and it was very handy that their paper napkins were already red. Scalp wounds bleed like buggery. There followed two phonecalls to the police (one by DEM, one by the restauranteur), one call to the ambulance (by the restauranteur) and then a late night tour of the Royal Infirmary’s A & E department. And let’s just say that if waiting 2 and a half hours while pissing blood from a head wound is ops normal for the NHS on a TUESDAY, then I can see why the American reaction to socialised medicine is: DO NOT WANT.
Apparently my failure to either (a) pass out or (b) lose the plot was the justification for this. When I was finally x-rayed, I was complimented on my unusually hard head and thick skull (ADMIN DEM: no comment). Something (for those lawyers among our readers) of a reverse to the usual ‘Eggshell Skull‘ rule. Even worse, DEM and I were sent home in a taxi — for which we had to pay — at close to 3 am. The incident occurred at approximately 9pm.
Notices informed people waiting in A & E that this is normal procedure. I am unusually strong and fit and capable of managing my emotions from many years of martial arts training. I would not like to be a ‘regular person’ with a ‘regular skull’ and no martial arts training being sent home in a taxi after being glassed. I didn’t like it much anyway (ADMIN DEM: ordinary people being glassed wouldn’t be going home at all).
And I broke a bloody fingernail!
The irony this morning as I write this? The thing that really canes is a torn-off fingernail (right down to the nail bed) on my right hand (I am left-handed, fortunately). Apparently what is in my head is a staple (the implement used did look like an office stapler), not a stitch, although this seems to be something of a distinction without a difference. It doesn’t hurt, unlike the fingernail.
Here endeth my anthropological report on the Edinbuggeris Vulgaris Ned.