Life and Everything, Out and About in Leeds

El Magnífico Uno

What’s your coolest moment?  You know, that moment when you could have flaked, you could have run, you could have done the obvious thing, but then you didn’t, you did the cool.

It was summertime, in the St John’s Shopping Centre, shades on my head as per.  Heading towards a shop, I found myself faced with a large gang of young women, who really looked like they were seeking trouble.  As they neared me, the leader, the largest and meanest looking of the bunch, veered off her path just slightly, reached over, grabbed my (prescription) sunglasses off my head, carried on walking, followed by her jeering cackling gang, to the other end of the centre.

I stood for a moment ….  hang on, you need to press PLAY at this point …

I stood for a moment – and it really was only a moment – considering my options.  Should I walk on, pretend it hadn’t happened, accept my loss. Yes, that would be the sensible thing to do.  An altercation with this gang was not a good idea.  Yes, just put your head down and keep walking.  Let them laugh, let them win.  NO!  Before I knew it, I’d turned on my heels and opened my lungs…

“OI!   YOU!”

There was an audible silence as the crowd of shoppers waited to see what happened.  The gang turned, and all of them squared up, looking at me.  The leader was wearing my glasses.

“OI! You! Give me my glasses back!”  They sniggered, shifted the stance slightly.  Did nothing.  “NOW!”

Shoppers were uneasy.  What would happen, would there be a fight, would there be blood?  The leader took my glasses off her face and raised her arm.  She flung them.  Yes, the whole length of the shopping centre.  I could see them skidding across the floor, see myself grovelling around to try and grab them before they were trampled on, see the gang laughing at me …. Oh wait a moment, that’s not what was happening.

This is what happened, this is my coolest moment:  I saw the glasses flying through the air.  I put my arm up, rather languidly as I remember it, with no effort, with no leaps, just put my hand up …. and caught them.  Put them back on my head and walked out of the centre, head high, sure stepped, back out into the sunlight.

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