ALLSORTS
Life, Living, Becoming...
by
Gerry Coughlan

 A Few Hard Men (actually 2)

OK...so after the scout meeting we headed up to Parnell Square to catch the bus. Most buses heading north pass through Parnell Square. It's usually very busy and you don't wait long. After about 10 minutes and about 6 buses - all the wrong ones - we saw two older guys (probably about 17 years old) coming up along the pavement. I stepped out into the street, making a big thing of checking into the distance for the bus...
PLEASE!
"GIS YOUR ODDS", the one guy says, asking for our loose change.
"We've only got our busfare" says I, hoping they'll feel sorry for us, out so late and us in our scout uniforms.
No such luck: "SWISH" - Zorro pulls out his Ma's favourite carving knife and waves it in our faces and repeats himself LOUDER.

7 bleedin' P each. Our exact busfare. So for 14 pence we were held up and ended up walking home, about 3 miles.

"Why didn't you walk into a police station and tell them what happened?", me ma asked. We were in shock. We just couldn't believe it had happened. It was the first time but alas, not the last, that the street would reach out to grab me and teach me another lesson.


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