Sunday, 23 August 2009


I intervened and possibly stopped someone getting the shit kicked out of them yesterday evening while I was on the bus. The guy who would have been on the receiving end of said kicking was behaving and speaking in a way which appeared like he was trying to wind anyone up and to get a reaction out of them, and it was clearly in danger of working.

I'm not sure why it felt safe enough to intervene, but it did. Just one of those judgment calls I suppose. Plus I didn't want my evening spoilt by the prospect of yet more violence on the bus, I was on my way somewhere nice. Thankfully the other guy who sounded ready to deliver a beating listened to me, and nodded his acknowledgment when he got off.

I'd made the assumption that the one doing the winding up had some sort of condition: he didn't appear drunk but his behaviour was obviously inappropriate and rendering him vulnerable to violence. He now started roundly and imperiously denouncing me, I told him I was having nothing to do with him or his conversation and I moved further away from him. Not that that deterred him, he carried on more loudly.

The last thing I did though was ask him a question, and out of the resultant babble of slurs and accusations that uttered forth he did let slip that he had a condition. I suppose it could have been this that made me feel safe in the first place in terms of intervening, the assumptions I'd made put me into work mode: I felt calm and didn't let him get to me.

I did go on to have a lovely evening, but I carried a sense of weariness at the back of my mind: too often there seems to be needless aggravation of one sort or another, and I'm sick of it.


Janette Jones said...

Well done you. There is way too much violence in this world already without people 'looking for trouble'. Glad you managed to stop this before it escalated.

Fire Byrd said...

You should try the peace and calm of the coutryside...... HAHAHA!!

trousers said...

Thanks Janette. Yes I'm glad too, there's always a risk with intervening and I'd rather these situations didn't happen in the first place.

Fire Byrd - hmmmmm.....

Zhoen said...


The brother of a woman at work got beat up last week. He's autistic, and couldn't stop himself touching a motorcycle. The owner took great offense. Poor kid didn't even realize what was going on.

We never know what problems others carry.

lakeviewer said...

It's hard to know how to behave sometimes. Well done.

DJ Kirkby said...

I am sure that people would think twice at having a go at you when you are interveening on behalf of a strange stranger. Hope you are feeling less weary now. x

zola a social thing said...

Is this what you call a well conditioned response to stimuli?

trousers said...

Zhoen, that sounds bad, and a major overreaction on the part of the guy who's motorbike it was. This guy on the bus was enough to try anyone's patience but escalating the situation would hardly have helped matters.

lakeviewer, thanks. I don't like to see confrontation, but if I'm in "work mode" it makes it easier to deal with, both internally and externally.

Deej, I'm actually wondering if I was intervening for the stranger's sake or for my own, ie I didn't want to witness any violence - the guy wasn't exactly endearing himself to anyone, put it that way. I take your point though.

I wouldn't say I'm feeling less weary in that sense, I'm afraid, I was just approached and asked for help by someone who'd just been beaten up, just a few minutes ago before I got home. But I don't want to go into that here.

zola, maybe it is, maybe it isn't. Is it what you would call a well-conditioned response to stimuli?