In which I get punched in the face

And not before time, many of you would agree.

I was toddling down Courtenay Place, on my way to Te Papa for a fourth round of Rita Angus, and to witness Pippa’s gamelan prowess. It’s 10am, broad daylight. This guy who I have never seen before is coming the other way. He crosses in front of me, stops, looks me straight in the eye, winds back his fist, and-


You will be glad to hear my natural wit did not desert me.
“Good morning to you, too!” I roared with pain.

The drunk stops, weaving slightly, and considers this.

“Oh…. sorry, mate”. He then stumbled off, unconcerned.


Later I got to travel in one of Te Papa’s garage-sized freight lifts, and I also met the Indonesian ambassador. So it was a widely varied day.

I also read How to Write for Television, by William Smethurst. It’s a lot funnier than Writing Comedy. It includes this advice:

“An established writer on a soap opera like Coronation Street who also has income from previous programmes (residuals) might easily earn in excess of £150,000 a year. If you are a poet, however, and one of your published poems is read on television, you will be paid around £30 per half minute, and might well starve to death.”

A friend of mine tells me that she dislikes Jitterati and has never found it funny. But she likes me and thinks that I’m funny. I think I’d rather have it that way round. In the ’90s I kept encountering people who loved Brunswick but absolutely loathed me.

8 Responses to “In which I get punched in the face”

  1. I couldn’t make it to the gamelan because I was working today but my girlfriend saw you there. I just asked her if you looked like you’d been punched in the face and she said ‘no’. So there you go.

    Three years ago I was walking towards two guys – one mutters something and veers towards me, the other says ‘no, you can’t just start fights with people like that’ and they walk past without incident. I wonder if it was the same guy?

    I thought people only randomly punched each other in the face in England.

  2. Apparently freakin’ NOT!

    It looked okay after I put some ice on it, although my left eye has been bloodshot all day. You would’ve enjoyed the shadow puppets.

  3. WTF indeed. Ouch, poor you.

  4. Weird. I could analyse this to death. The most shocking aspect must be its out-of-the-blue irrationality. The world’s supposed to make sense, even when it goes wrong it’s supposed to go wrong in predictable ways. OK, I’ll stop there. Hope you’re feeling better.

  5. I haven’t been punched by a drunk but I have been punched by a guy on P. Its an occupational hazard of walking down the street as far as I can tell.

  6. What do people look like when they’re on P? Because I assumed this guy was drunk by the way he was walking, but I wouldn’t know if it was P instead, which might explain the aggro. I guess he just thought I was somebody else.

  7. I guess he just thought I was somebody else.

    Maybe, maybe not and maybe I see personality disorders everywhere, but some behaviour cannot be understood as being rational in any way and one should not overrationalise to the point of excusing someone who commits violence. They’re only rational according to some warped internal logic.

    Pure hypothesis, but here goes: Anger. Inchoate. Needs definition. definition=target. No target visible. Make target. Provoke someone.

    Not to excuse of course (now I’m talking like Rorschach!). If someone willingly inflicts pain on someone else through violent action or prolonged psychological abuse, no matter what their cause, provocation or mental disorder, they are culpable, if not for the symptom, then for refusing to acknowledge it and get help.

    God, I can be pompous at times.

  8. Essentially, the trick is that people on P usually have bugging eyes and are less ponderous than wasted people. I however knew he was on P because it turned out he had been smoking it with a stripper.

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