Settled into my ‘office’ (read: basement of my local Starbucks) and working away like a determined genius on my utterly brilliant novel, I took a break to engage in a witty exchange with the congenial young nerdy dude sharing my table.
Mid-repartee we were interrupted by two hustlers yabbering at the top of their voices: ‘One pound! One pound! One pound, internet, please!’
With one of them pressing in on either side of me, waving Starbucks internet service brochures in my face, I knew exactly what they were after. Feeling the need for a feisty tango, I allowed the idiot on my right to take my phone under the cover of the brochure, before I snatched the paper from him.
For a heart beat we all froze, the two hustlers, now exposed, my congenial young nerdy companion and I. Then before the thieves could run, I grabbed that man’s wrist and smashed it hard down on the table. As he shouted in pain and lunged at me, I caught him with a vicious elbow to the face, took him by the hair on the back of his head and hissed ‘Don’t you touch my phone you miserable bastard,’ into his ear.
The man’s friend leapt forward at me; I let his mate sag over the table and turned to accept his challenge but my companion surprised us all by jumping him behind and grappling him to the ground.
‘I wouldn’t take the lady on if I were you,’ he said. ‘You’re safer in professional hands.’ He rapped the hustler’s head sharply on the tiles, stood up, nonchalantly dusted his hands off on the back of his trousers before fishing his [insert Secret Service of your choice] badge from his back pocket.
‘Agent Carmichael at your service,’ he nodded to me.
‘I like your style,’ I breathed.
‘Bit aggressive for a citizen’s arrest, but I like your moves,’ he smoothly replied with that damn congenial smile.
Leaving our prisoners groaning on the table and ground we stepped towards one another –
– only, of course, very little of that actually happened.
Not quite like that, anyway…
You see, I was in Starbucks, albeit about an hour later than intended, and I was talking to a man – who was not young or nerdy but certainly congenial – because that seemed easier than picking away at the mess that is my novel. Needless to say he was no more a secret agent, Chuck Bartowski or ninja than I, and was no more clued into what was going when the hustlers came over and started making a racket.
Far from calm, I was alarmed at the fuss and so distracted by the part of brain wondering ‘well maybe they do need the money, maybe they are desperate….’ to consider that perhaps they were just a pair of professional bastards who’d identified me as a soft (read: stupid) target. The smug pillocks escaped perfectly unharmed, with my iphone folded in their brochure.
Next time though, my friends… next time I’m going to get my ninja on…
…well, that or you’ll just get another Ninja Fail blog…