Friday, 5 June 2009

On Being Mugged And Half Mugged

Someone asked me after a previous post, how a person can be half mugged. So here's the story. I was in Glasgow city centre shopping and left at about 5pm by which time the place was starting to empty of shoppers. To get to my bus stop, I decided to cut through a back alley. Yep. Bad idea. There was no-one around except three neds in flammable shell suits. Now I'd better explain ned as I think it's a Scottish term. It stands for 'non educated delinquent' but is specifically used to describe the yobbos that hang around causing trouble. Some Scottish politician recently said that we shouldn't use the term ned as it is demeaning to young people. Well, it's not. It doesn't describe all teenagers, it describes ...well... neds, and, quite frankly, they deserve it.

The Glasgow version of the ned is a quaintly dressed specimen. He's invariably kitted out in a shell suit (generally white or various shades of blue) that rustles cheaply when he walks, and causes sparks as his legs rub together. It usually has 'Lacoste' or 'Fila' emblazoned on the back, front, and all down the side of the legs. He wears trainers of the expensive variety, but the only exercise he does is kicking empty cans down the street. His socks are white sports socks and also have a famous brand name down the side. You can easily tell this because for some reason, the fashion this year is for shellsuit bottoms to be tucked into the socks, leaving about 4 inches of sock showing. Perched on top of this lovely ensemble is a baseball cap. Often Burbery. When the hell did Burbery start making baseball caps? And, more to the point, who told these arbiters of fashion that a blue and white nylon shell suit went like a dream with a beige, red and black checked cap? Anyway whatever baseball cap they're wearing, it too has a name emblazoned on it.

Seeing a ned is like seeing one of those taxis covered in advertising. I keep expecting to see one lurching along the street carrying a sign saying "This ned sponsored by Reebok. To advertise on similar neds call...."

Without the baseball caps their hair is short and stuck down with enough gel to float a battleship. Either that or he has a Barlinnie haircut (ie shaved in jail) Should you be unfortunate enough to see a ned naked, you can still recognise him without his flamboyant plumage, by the enormous gold sovereign rings. About 8 of them. The female ned is distinguished by the 18 gold necklaces round her neck (most of them saying 'World's Greatest Daughter/Sister/Mum') and the ponytail poking through the back of her baseball cap (the Glasgow facelift).

Anyway, back to my three specific neds (who were indistinguishable from the rest of their obnoxious breed so I don't need to describe them any further.) As I walked past them they fell silent and stared at me. I carried on walking and heard the ominous sound of the crackling of shell-suited thighs as they followed me. There was still no-one else around. Oh dear. They surrounded me so I had to stop and one of them said:

"Gonnae gi's yer money". Several responses floated through my head:

"It's 'Gonnae gi's yer money PLEASE' young man."

"Listen, I've been mugged three times - the first time I got hurt, the second time no-one got hurt and the third time the mugger got hurt, so come on punks, make my day."

In the end I settled for a stern "No."

"Aye ye are."

"No I'm not."

"Aye ye are."

Scintillating though this conversation was, I tried to move off and they closed in until I thought I was going to be smothered in nylon. And the smell of cheap aftershave was making my eyes water.

"Gi's yer purse."

OK, I was a bit fed up now. I was wearing cheap unlabelled clothes, a pair of silver earrings and a silver watch. Tweedledee, Tweedledum and Tweedledumber were covered from head to foot - literally - in labels, and between them they were wearing enough gold sovereign rings to send a small gold mine owner into an orgasmic frenzy (by the way, it's the gold mine that's small, not the owner. I have no idea of the average size of goldmine owners).

I could tell they weren't serious (as in slash my face with a razor serious). And I was more exasperated than scared, so I said the first thing that came into my head, which for some reason happened to be: "Look, I'm tired, I'm p*ssed off, and I couldn't find any boots that I liked so F*ck off." So they did.

I wish I could say that they limped off licking their wounds from the ass whooping I gave them, using my finely honed self defence moves. Well, I COULD say that, but it wouldn't be true. Instead, they just slithered off like poorly co-ordinated lizards badly in need of a makeover.

So there you go.


  1. Seeing a ned naked??? Learning new things about you every day.

  2. Bookwitch, I picked up on that as well. Disturbing mental image. I do like the terms ned and yobbo though.

  3. LOL Bookwitch. I can categorically state here and now that I have never seen a naked ned...well, not on purpose, anyway. The other thing about them is that they're never ever a normal size - they're either dead skinny or a bit on the tubby side - but they all wear the same size shell suit.

    Mack - the English version of ned is chav. Obviously, we need loads of terms for them because we have loads of them :o)

  4. I am sure I know all I need to know about neds now - no need to bring any of them with you to Edinburgh - naked or otherwise. (We are such innocent country people)

  5. Dorte - you will be happy to learn that Edinburgh have their own - no need to bring any through :o)

  6. Oh!?

    I am thrilled! (Shaken, not stirred).

  7. It's a well known fact that all Scandinavians prance around without clothes all the time.

  8. Never mind the clothes, well done to you, Donna! Next time, send the muggers to Helene Handbasket, she'll sort them out.

    Thanks very much for the definition of ned, which is very useful as (1) I did not know it but have often read the word "ned", and (2) I can now apply it to fellow commmuters, people I encounter to/from work, etc.

  9. Ann, who are you talking about? We are four Scandinavians gathered here, all fully dressed!
    (Mum, what are you implying?)
    (Son interfering)

    Word verification = rerobe????

  10. Other juvenile delinquent groups have inspired or been inspired by fashion trends: gangstas, Teddy boys and so on. There appears to be no similar chance with neds.

    Dorte, all naked Scandinavians eventually must rerobe.
    Detectives Beyond Borders
    “Because Murder Is More Fun Away From Home”

  11. I think you were very brave and very lucky considering what has happened to people who challenge the hooligans [that is a word that dates me] who wander round our streets.
    Twenty six years ago two young yobbos threw a brick at our window just above where our baby son was sleeping. I don't remember much about the next few minutes but I found myself standing in an off- licence shop facing down two six foot tall 19 year olds with my hand hovering over some wine bottles. Both claimed it wasn't them and by then the adrenaline had dissipated from my brain and I decided that I would believe their protestations.
    I returned the next day to apologise to the shop owner for the ruckus and buy my weekend crate of strong lager. ;0)
    He said that after I had gone they had admitted thye had thrown the brick.
    I stammered "they would have killed me" and he said they had told him that they thought I must have been a martial arts expert or have been in the commandos to have charged up the road to challenge them.
    Or I might have been been just b********* stupid.

  12. Maxine - you're welcome!
    Peter - no chance - the only fashion statements shell suits provide is "I should be shot at dawn."
    Norman - that brave fatherly instinct - not stupidity :o) Great story.