Times like these draw me up and bring me to a halt - at the same time as giving me a kick up the arse and sending me into action - if action it can be called.
I have been behaving like a retired person, but since I did not join a merchant bank or the ranks of army officers graduating from Sandhurst about 40 years ago, I am not - nor will I ever be - a 'retired person'.
In any case, what would I do? Sit back and wait for death, or just carry on like I have always done - half-arsed and lack-lustre?
For any non-Brits reading this, bear in mind that the British media have, for once, got it right when reporting on the riots and looting going on in most of our cities right now. They are plain, unadulterated, 100% just that - looting. Nothing political, nothing socially minded (just the opposite) just pure, greedy looting by a bunch of young shits who have no fear of authority, and no respect for their own communities. When they broke into shops in New Orleans after Katrina, they were looking for FOOD, and I would have done the same. This bunch are looking for designer clothing and electronic, luxury items.
Yesterday, rather than grabbing hold of a couple of youths who drove into my car-park and giving them the kicking they deserved in advance of their predicted anti-social behaviour, I politely asked them to take away the plastic bottle they had thrown onto the ground, because it is ME who clears the yard up, and they said they would. They did.
Then, they roared off with wheels spinning and threw the bottle out of the window of the car as they left. I was already in my car, and so I started the engine and set off in hot perseuit - too much in a hurry to be able to spell the word even. I knew that I was not going to do anything to them, I just wanted to scare the shit out of them, and caught up with them about a mile down the little country road, having covered the distance at around 80-90 MPH.
At the weekend, my pub was invaded by a bunch of about fifteen, 30 to 40 year-old drunken louts, who started to take it over, throwing stuff around and scaring all the men behind the bar, until I had enough and went over to them to tell them to calm down or fuck off. They apologised and went quiet. That's all it took.
There is a different culture these days, which makes people think they can shoot red lights and almost run down pedestrians, and this is the mindset that these little shits have been brought up in that go around looting JUST BECAUSE THEY CAN.
Not in my back yard, if I have anything to do with it.