To think that my quirky, old fashioned scarlet brolly, with its black curvy handle and swinging black tassel could, as well as being a style signifier, protect me against a nefarious attack in the darker reaches of south Islington.
Yes, dear reader, yesterday, having taken cake and sympathy to a friend recovering from a road accident, I was making my merry, if slightly damp way back to Bloomsbury on foot, light of gait and incautiously handling my Iphone 5. When out of the skulking shadows on the gutter-side of the pavement, a youth on his chunky bike (no doubt, stolen as well) mounted the kerb to my right, and as he glided past tried to yank my phone from my hand.
Never did I grip so tightly, nor yell so loudly. Heaven be praised for the endurance of my leather, flappy-out phone case which, I am thrilled to say, held fast, and therefore was more than worth the extra I paid.
Put off by my unexpected grit and, it would be nice to think, abashed by the arrival of the odd, curious pedestrian heading our way, but more likely by the fact that his bike was now beginning to wobble at the strain of trying to move forward with immovable me in tow, said tea-leaf finally let go of my dog-and-bone and shouty-whimpered at me, ‘What? You’ve still got it aint ya?’ while most bemusingly staying put and staring at me rather than skidding off into the shady dens of Copenhagen Street…..it was only then I realised that his incongruous stock-stillness was due to my trusty, scarlet brolly having got well and truly stuck in his wheel. What luck was this?! Lummy lawkes, I don’t arrrf luv ya Mary Poppins, I thought, as I yanked out the Victoriana glory and raised it high above my head as if to strike.
Dear reader, I was unable to unleash the necessary violence and rain down the merited blows, at which point the shame-faced youff saw his chance and skittered off, yelling back at me a half-hearted, ‘bitch’, to which I responded far more crudely, brolly still aloft. Now, now, language Madam(!) admonished my inner Mary P. A lady should be a lady at all times after all.
Moments later, shaken, stirred but most of all vindicated, I resumed my journey, tripping on towards Kings Cross feeling a surge of optimism at being given this opportunity to triumph over life’s sometimes random unfairness, with my love of the colour red reaching new expanded bounds, it being the jolly hue of said brolly and Iphone case.