You know the time has come to move out of your home when a large drunk man wielding a big knife comes to your door shouting something about "cutting Porky's throat". This is exactly what has just happened to me. Some large beered up scally, with equally well proportioned knife in hand, has just come to my apartment building, and presented with a number of door bells to ring he deemed it logical to ring bell 1, which happens to be mine.
Receiving visitors at gone midnight isn't something that concerns me, or at least it never used to be, but lately I have taken to putting on my deepest lowest and gruffest voice to ask in as intimidating a fashion as I can muster, "Ooo iz it?"
This policy was introduced after I was brushed aside by a bunch of 'angry young men' looking to 'have a word' with my upstairs neighbour Peter (a.k.a. Rab). This 'word' didn't actually contain many words at all, and those it did contain are not really repeatable on this page. It did however contain much breaking of glass and crashing bodies against walls. I'd like to say I ran upstairs and saved my neighbour from a grisly end. However, I can't claim such an honor. Instead I ran straight back into my flat closed and then locked the door before calling for the assistance of our local 'long arms'.
A few minutes later, with a sound that resembled an angry herd of buffalo, Peter's
visitors came down the stairs and made their way back to wherever it was they
came from. I scurried up the stairs to administer life saving first aid to my
almost certainly dead neighbour. Instead though, as I barged through the door,
I wasn't greeted by the bloody site of a grusome murder, but instead a slightly
messy flat and my neighbour, Pete, pouring himself a cup of tea!
Some time later, when the incident was almost as old as an episode of MASH, the long arm of the law sent there promised emergency assistance. A single policewoman armed with nothing more fierce then a bad hair day! I explained to her that the 'emergency' was now over and that she ought to be thankful for this, because she would have stood little chance against Peters angry drunken 'friends.' She reassured me by saying if she thought the situation was beyond her control she would have waited in the car for back up! - Great! My neighbour is in a possible fight for his life and constable quiver is sitting downstairs in her car waiting for moral support to arrive!
Be that as it may, tonight's incident once again warranted a call to the boys (and girls) in Blue. After little more of a minute listening to my new found friend outside shouting something about how I should open the door before he "comes though it", I decided that I'd give Merseyside Police a chance to redeem themselves. I had already seen the oaf outside was carrying a large knife and from the noises he made that I could understand, I felt that he was not only serious but also probably big and angry enough to make it through the door.
With the gorilla outside throwing himself at my front door with increasing force, I couldn't help but feel that intelligent people in Birkenhead should be issued with pump action shot guns! The call to 999 seemed to be taking way to long and the noise of the would be disgruntled drunk houseguest was getting ever louder.
However I have to say that Birkenhead Police did themselves a big service in not only turning up quickly but also turning up in extreme force. I didn't count the number of cars that arrived outside, nor the amount of gun carrying uniformed cop soldiers that seemed to leg it up my pathway with more speed than Ben Johnson on steroids. They banged on the door furiously shouting, "This is the Police" to which I opened the now heavily foot printed entrance.
It's a routine that I am sadly now well practiced in. Eight policemen all asking you urgent questions about your health, your name, your flat number, your neighbours, what the guy looked like, was he drunk, how big was the knife etc etc. A few of them ran down into the park via an entrance next to my house shining flash lights into the gloom like excited cub scouts on a late nigh trail.
Before I was calm, now however, my heart was pumping blood around my body with
a new found urgency. Policemen carrying machine guns would surely make even the
hardest of Birkenhead thugs just a little nervous. I answered their questions
and then praised their snappy response. And this was when they gave the game
Just minutes earlier he had stabbed someone not far away from my house. He
was known by police as a character not to be messed with. They also reassured
me that I had taken the best course of action in not opening the door to him,
a handy pointer that I will try to remember the next time an angry knifeman comes
knocking at my door in the dead of the night.
Most of the other policemen rushed off to continue the search apart from two who stayed to look a little closer at my door for me, to see if it was still safe. As they did this they got notified on the radio that the suspect had been apprehended in his car just down the street.
As quickly as they arrived they were gone, only shouting "At least we'll have him for drunk driving!" as they rushed down the pathway back into their patrol car. With that I simply closed the door, came back into my flat, put the kettle on then sat down and wrote this.
The time to leave Birkenhead has well and truly come, because as if that story isn't worrying enough, what makes it more so is the fact that I wasn't at all fazed until the police turned up!