Thieving Bastards

OK, to the point – I was carjacked on New Year’s Day. In broad daylight (about 2:30 pm). On a busy road, at some traffic lights. By the biggest clown-show bunch of amateurs you ever saw. Mind, amateurs or not, I’m not taking on 4 people over a car I don’t own anyway so I let them drive off.

Basically, the usual trick. Sat in traffic, bump on the rear end, get out to look at the damage and they force their way into your car. Only they didn’t so much “force” and “bungle”. The whole idea of carjacking (and bank robbery, I suppose) is speed and shock. While the victim’s still off-balance, do everything quick and shoot off before they start thinking.

I could have sold popcorn for this performance. And perhaps soft drinks.

First off, one of the muppets opened both passenger-side doors, despite only one of them actually getting in on that side. I think the other guy bottled it. That delayed their driving away. The driver of the car that hit me looked like he was about to crap his pants. If I’d have gone “boo”, I fear he may have.

The two who eventually sat in the car didn’t put their seat belts on. This would have made it ridiculously easy for me to pull them out. After a brief bit of holding back by the somewhat underweight driver, nobody stopped me approaching the car, nor did they close the doors. I mean, come on. Elementary, people.

I got the car back – the police and several people who stopped afterwards were very helpful – and it’s pretty much undamaged. OK, they’ve tried to rip out the crappy hands-free kit that work gave us and instead only succeeded in pulling out the air blower it was attached to. Only thing is, it’s taking Scene Of Crime officers a while to look at it (due to backlog – too many robbing scum out there) and it’ll be Monday before I can touch it.

So – 4 days without a car when I’ve been supposed to be visiting people. Great. It’s the inconvenience that’s the worst thing. And the feeling that “If only I had….”. That thought goes round in my head a lot.

If only I had spat at the driver and pushed him in front of moving traffic.

If only I had dragged the other guy out of my car and stood on his face.

If only I had taken the keys out of the ignition and locked the doors.

But the best riposte to any of these is… “But what if one of them had a knife?”

I did the right thing. Bumbling, stupid and pathetic as they were, I did the right thing. And I’d urge anyone reading this who ends up in the same situation to bear that in mind. It’s only a car. In this case, not even mine (it’s a company vehicle).

The one thing I do await, though, is news that these same four simpletons try it again. On someone who turns out to be ex-army, or a bouncer. He’ll rip the bastards apart.

Sorry For Interruptions

For those who can be bothered checking this page regularly, my apologies for the lack of updates recently. For some reason I’ve been getting errors whenever I try to publish new entries and Blogger support staff didn’t seem to know what was going on.

I’m sorted now, though – I think there was some data corruption in my original files. Creating a new Blog and shifting everything over manually seems to have cured it. Of course, now my ISP’s FTP and Web server has died…

Fortunately, Elly has kindly lent me some FTP space to get the site tested, up and running. Everyone say “thank you” to Elly! 🙂 Once Pipex comes back online (hopefully tomorrow as they’re too cheap to have support staff on a Sunday), I’ll shift all the pages back over there. At that point the “Current Posts” link on the left there will work again.

More posts to follow to detail the last few days.

NUFC 0 – 1 Blackburn

Glad I went to Newcastle on what’s apparently going to be the warmest day for at least a week. Temperatures peaking at a balmy 4 degrees was enough to make some of our squad almost break into a sweat…

To be fair, we should have buried Blackburn in the first half. Were it not for Friedel, I think we would have. Saves from Jenas, Shearer and Chopra on his first full Premiership start. Indeed, Chops managed to net the ball but was ruled offside – apparently a correct decision but I’ve not watched the replays yet.

Barry Ferguson was sadly stretchered off fairly early in the half, too. A 50/50 challenge with Gary Speed saw both players writhing and holding legs, but Ferguson stayed down. Apparently he’s out for the season with a broken and dislocated kneecap. Ouch.

Blackburn came more alive in the second half and were worth their goal, even if it was punched into the net by Gallagher. Andy O’Brien made a magnificent clearance off the line to deny Blackburn a second as the ball looped over Given. How on earth that didn’t go in, I’ll never know.

In all, a pretty depressing result. The one thing that shone out, though, was the performance by Chopra. I have two questions – why was he subbed (and for Lua Lua who just doesn’t seem to cut the mustard) and why haven’t we been playing him all season instead of Ameobi? Assuming today’s performance was usual fare for him and not just an attempt to make a really good impression on his first appearance, the kid has talent. And balls. Certainly one to watch for the future.

Oh, and for the record – the referee had a pretty good game. Aside from missing the two handball incidents. Almost without fail he let play continue after every foul to see if advantage could be given. As a result, the game flowed better than it would under many other whistle-happy muppets.

Current MP3 playing: Frankie by Sister Sledge

Leicester 1 – 1 NUFC

Bit of a round trip, and my first visit to the Walkers Stadium. My first impression is that they don’t want anyone to find it. Not a single signpost (road or path) directs you to it anywhere. Shame, as it’s not bad once you find it. Generic “new stadium” but pleasant enough.

Today’s match was Leicester’s 4000th league game, so the match program came in at a hefty four quid. Mind, it also came in at a hefty size and it’s worth a read through. Makes a decent souvenir of a fairly torrid game. The occasion is also likely to have had a positive affect on the attendance – a record for the ground.

Awful weather didn’t help, but in all fairness Leicester’s players were facing the same conditions ours were. The home crowd were pretty quiet aside from the occasional murmur until they went a goal up from what looked like a defensive shambles on our part. One of the guys near me (I was right on the border between home and away fans) responded to chants of “You only sing when you’re winning” with “And we only sing once a month”.

Prior to that, the game took a while to get going. At the end of the first half, I think we were edging it, but the home side took the game to us in the second and deserved their goal. We started to look desparate, even going as far as trying to concuss our own players to gain sympathy. Watching Bernard collapse like a puppet with its strings cut after a ball was hoofed at his head from close range was humorous for a second until we realised how serious it could be.

But with five minutes left (at a guess – the scoreboard clock had reset to zero after Leicester scored), Bobby elected to bring an attacking midfielder – Ambrose – and a junior striker – Chopra – onto the field. Throw everything forward. And blow me, if it didn’t work.

A goalmouth scramble got us the goal we should have scored in the first half, courtesy of Darren Ambrose’s head. Only his second senior goal for the club, if I’m right, the last being number five against FC Basle away in the UEFA Cup.

So honours even, but with Fulham winning, they’ve nestled nicely into fourth with a bit of a lead on us. Blackburn at home on Sunday should be interesting. They’ve got one of the worst defenses going at the moment while we’ve scored 10 goals in the last 3 home games.

Fingers crossed…

Current MP3 playing: Hallowed Be Thy Name by Anton Maiden. Yes, that’s Anton…