Tuesday, 9 April 2013

Stay Safe! Stay Alert! And Whatever You Do...

Don’t die.

On a more serious note though, we live – or at least, I live – in a fairly dangerous society. People just aren’t honest anymore and in recent times, people have become extremely desperate. Oh, we’ve all done it. We’ve all kept that additional five pounds when the cashier at the shop has given us more change than they’ve realised. We’ve all told white lies once or twice in order to get ourselves out of trouble and some of us have gone that extra mile still – well on that road to hell. But some of us are just giant question marks.

I start work at 6am in the morning. I know - cue shock-horror-pain-spasm. So I have to wake up at 4.30am in the morning. On this particular morning however, we received a knock at the door. Now, I’m chickenshit scared because this isn’t normal. It has happened before in the past, but in that situation, the person knocked and then left. What was more, the house was in darkness at the time. As I’m awake, I have the lights on and this person is banging like they’re the police. I don’t answer the door, but fortunately, I don’t live alone and my mother enquires only for the stranger on the other side of the door to say:

“Sorry to disturb you, but do you have an iPhone charger?”

I had a serious “what the fuck?” moment when I heard this. It’s four-thirty in the morning. Why are you knocking on my door to borrow an iPhone charger? We don’t own iPhones anyway but I didn’t like this one bit. He even persisted to ask where he could find one and as such he was directed to the high road. Two second later, he’s raping the door with his fists again implying that we don’t need to call the police and that’s he’s a nice person. Cue “what the fuck” moment number two.

In conclusion, we’ve decided that he must have been a drug addict or something to that affect because knocking on a stranger’s door at ridiculous-o-clock in the morning for a charger isn’t normal behaviour. And even if you haven’t your phone and need to get home, a trip to the nearest police station should sort anybody out. What’s more, London isn’t a neighbourly culture anyway; my neighbours don’t even make such requests in the daytime so we’re thinking that this individual couldn’t have possibly been of sound mind to make such an unorthodox request.

I’m a little bit paranoid anyway. I usually wear my bag on one shoulder, but have a strong dislike of anyone standing directly behind me. If it’s crowded, I move my bag to the front of myself so I can see exactly where it is. I always put money away when inside a shop and hold my purse inside my bag if I need to use it, for example, when getting on public transport. I’m actually rather anal to the point that I even make sure that when carrying my bag, the zippers are close to my arm so that if anyone were to try to slip their fingers into my bag, I’d definitely know about it. Because theft and the like are commonplace things. There’s a show called The Secrets of Pickpockets which details all. In addition, a number of people that I’ve known – whether directly or indirectly – have been victims of such attacks and these things make me extremely weary.

And even the most innocent looking person could have an ulterior motive. For us British folk, I’m sure you’ve heard of the “ASBO granny”; for everyone else – ASBO stands for Anti-Social Behaviour Order, which is basically like a restraining order for people who commits numerous acts of…well…anti-social behaviour (I think my neighbours should get one for playing their music on a week day at two-thirty in the morning to be honest). Add “granny” into the equation and I’m sure you’ll get my drift.

So today, I ask you all to have your wits about you – even if you live in one of the safest communities in the world. You don’t have to be paranoid like me (I’d rather people leave me alone when I’m travelling from A to B or working out in the gym). But don’t expose yourself to danger. Don’t leave your belongings on display inside your car or fall asleep on the bus with your purse in your hand after a night out. (Ironically, I got the purse and the contents back – minus forty quid of course). Do yourself a favour.

Look out for number one.

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