27th Feb 2011
What does one do when a rampaging mob congregates outside your bedroom window at 2.00am on a Friday night?
Last week was a tough one for me. I was pressing on with a streaming cold and had been suffering from a string of interrupted nights, so I was really looking forward to a weekend at home and some serious sleep - but it wasn't to be.
All was quiet at 10.00pm but as the hours passed the volume from a small private party next door slowly grew louder. No real problem till 1.00pm, well within the bounds of neighborly give and take. Then suddenly things exploded, cars coming and going, raised voices bottles rattling down the gutters and fistfights on the driveway.
The final straw was the sight of the next door neighbour in tears with her friends vainly trying to restore order amidst a drunken mele of 30 or more young people. Action was needed - and fast.
I could have just called the police, but that didn't seem quite the Capt Ahab way to do things. Instead I shrugged on my clothes and stormed out into the midst of them, roaring for attention, demanding silence and pointing out that unless they "dispersed" immediately (a bit of French went in there) the police would be called. Amazingly, the hubub faded and half the mob evaporated instantly. The chief protagonist decided to offer some challenge but, having eyeballed the little git, I could see that whilst he wouldn't try and take me he wasn't about to run either.
So I made good my promise, called the police and lo and behold the cavalry arrived five minutes later causing the hard core remnant to vanish.
It really want the fault of my neighbour. A little argument is broadcast on Facebook and next thing you know battle lines are drawn between two tribes who assembled in minutes. Scary stuff.
Maybe I was a fool to take direct action but it seemed the right thing to do at the time.