FROM my seat on the top deck of the bus into town I could see the blood on the pavement. My blood.
It had been a normal Saturday night — if there was such a thing back then — in the early 90s. I had played cricket, gone for a few drinks, headed into town for more of the same and then on to one of the choice of two poor nightclubs.
They made you wear shirts, ties and proper shoes to be allowed in back then, which resulted in everyone looking like they had gone straight out after a day in the office, even the lads who didn’t know what the inside of one looked like.
The drink had been expensive and the music poor. The atmosphere was even worse.
For a few weeks now, on a regular basis one of the four of us had taken a pasting at the hands of a gang of (well, three) lads we had never even spoken to.
I had taken a punch that sent me spinning from the edge of the dancefloor, right across it and into the mirrored wall, which I slithered down, pint intact. It didn’t hurt at the time but it would emerge that a rib had cracked.
My mate — now a “respectable” pub owner — had been knocked to the ground and kicked about before a disinterested bouncer wandered over and asked him if he was okay, leaving the pugilist unpunished.
The whole scenario had started when the police arrived to investigate a report of someone smashing up the club toilets. They entered said facilities and my friend’s brother was in there. They arrested him and took him down to the police station, where he told the officers he hadn’t done it but knew who had.
That would be the lads who were dishing out the punishments then.
My second visit to the canvas (the pavement outside the taxi rank on this occasion) came courtesy of an extremely well executed headbutt, which left most of my nose on the floor — where the evidence remained as I travelled to work on the bus on Monday morning.
We told a few people about the attacks and a week or two later the club bouncer asked me if I would come into a room for a chat.with him and another chap, who turned out to be my assailant.
“There seems to have been a serious misunderstanding Mr Mosley,” said the bloke who had smashed my nose.
“Yes, you vandalised the toilets, we knew, this chap here (the bouncer) is your mate, so he’s protecting you while we get the blame and you are allowed to attack us on a weekly basis without being stopped,” I said, eight pints or so to the brave.
“No. no, you’ve got it wrong, I think you’ll find it’s all been a misunderstanding,” he repeated, offering an outstretched hand, which, realising a not altogether satisfactory means of escaping further beatings was being proposed, I accepted.
When I was a kid my dad offered up this advice as to how to deal with bullies: “Hit ‘em once and they’ll never bother you again.” I never did try it out. Just shake their hand and move on.