For the past few weeks, morning and afternoon, I have been taking a walk around Shotesham in an attempt to improve my fitness. As a senior citizen of the village I now carry a weapon for my self protection.
Now, these days, carrying any form of offensive weapon is judged to be an offence but I do not expect that at any time during my walks that a police car will screech to a halt at my side to carry out a “Stop and Search” exercise looking for knives, firearms or drugs.
The weapon which I carry however, is pretty lethal consisting of about three feet six inches of metal construction with a crafted handle. It can be used to slash and thrust and is ideally designed for hurling into the windscreen of a speeding car. It can also prove to be a major discouragement to any dogs accompanying their owner. Some of the smaller dogs can be quite threatening but a single blow from my weapon, while the owner’s attention is distracted picking up the dog doo-doo soon improves their temper.
I have not been carrying a weapon for long, only about five weeks and it was initiated entirely by the need for self-protection on the advice of an expert in the field who gave me a detailed course of instruction in the art and use of the instrument.
The other day I noticed, for the first time, that I was not the one and only armed walker in the village for in the distance, on the other side of the street, I spied another man carrying a very similar weapon to my own and making what i thought were rather threatening gestures towards me while at the same time mouthing insults. As he came nearer, accompanied by his gentle wife, I realised that he was just saying “ Good afternoon Wally”.
The following day I met the pair again and this time the encounter
was much more aggressive with a clash of weapons threatened and shouts of “On Guard” emitted!
Anyway, we cannot continue in this vein too long. Perhaps I should describe my weapon more fully. I purchased it about two years ago with a companion weapon from the Charity Stall outside Budgens Supermarket on a Saturday morning. The two cost £10 and I felt they were a bargain particularly as a close examination established the genuine provenance of the items, a very sticky yellow label inscribed ” Property of the Physiotherapy Dept, Norfolk and Norwich Hospital. Please return when no longer required ”.
Tomorrow I visit the hospital to be discharged after a left knee replacement, I already have one on the right side, and that should be a signal to stop carrying any form of personal protection although I shall retain my crutches waiting for the time when the next joint goes ”pop”.
Having said all this I do wonder how many Shotesham residents have any form of joint replacement be it hip, knee, shoulder, elbow or even finger! Perhaps the Editor of this website would be prepared to receive, on a semi-confidential basis, any information so an accurate estimate can be formed. (Certainly, FM) Perhaps we are the leading village in all of the UK for the frequency of joint replacements? A fascinating thought !
On a personal level I am looking forward to the time when brain transplants become a possibility because I am quite interested in seeing the world from inside a younger, fitter body!
Walter Jackson 19January 2016
(apologies to Ivor and Noreen Downing)
No dogs were hurt in the preparation of this article!