Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Unrefusable Offer

A fairly standard eviction. Four male staff and Mine Host walk toward the door, preceded by the evictee, much in the fashion of beaters driving game into the open.

In the foyer the evictee stops, turns toward the lineup of men facing him, and speaks:

"Why don't you get a couple more fellers, make it a bit more even when I clean youse all up?"

All to script so far. The evictee goes on in the same vein, preening his macho credentials to himself to compensate for being called on his behaviour then walked out of the premises.

Then Smithy, a driveway attendant and new on the staff, speaks, very quietly:

"How about if all these fellers go back inside, then I'll hit you two times."

Suddenly there is real menace in the air, a marked contrast to the evictee's recently displayed fake machismo. Smithy is about 30 and has "the look" which comes from long term successful involvement in street violence.

"One of those hits will break your jaw in half. Can't say if it'll be the first or second hit, but I guarantee I'll snap your jaw."

Brief pause as the evictee summed up this offer, then wordlessly he turned and briskly walked off, not slowing, not looking back.

Real menace, when challenged, carries an unspoken promise of grievous injury.

Real menace cannot be faked.

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