There are a few things I need to get done this evening so I decided to go goblin mode and grab dinner from Red Rooster on the way home. I put my order in, took a seat, and was watching the staff running around trying to deal with the queue in the drive through when three people walked in.
They were a young Asian couple and an older Anglo guy carrying a wine bottle. The couple walked towards the counter but were suddenly blocked by the older guy leaping in front of them with his arms out and a big grin. They tried to step around him, and he leapt in front and blocked them again, and put his hand on the young man’s shoulder.
My initial impression was that they were friends and he was just goofing around, but when I caught a look at the young guy’s face he looked seriously distressed. I was just about to get to my feet to do something (moaning mentally about how I didn’t need this and just wanted to get my food and go home) when the older guy suddenly backed off and wandered out the door.
I breathed a sigh of relief, but rather than leaving the man stood just outside, yelling wildly into the night. He was – I realised at this point – extremely drunk. He then walked back in and proceeded to forcefully slam his bottle down on the bench right next to me several times – I was amazed it didn’t instantly shatter. The staff looked up at the noise but seemed uncertain about what to do about the situation.
He wandered across to a table, said hello to the Uber Eats guy sitting there waiting for a pickup, and slammed the bottle down again. He then staggered into the corner and took a seat, knocking another chair flying as he did so. His attempts to right it were notably loud and uncoordinated.
My order came up so I grabbed it, said thanks, and went for the door. The guy leapt up and staggered across to intercept me. I gestured for him to go out first in the hopes that he’d stagger out, get distracted and vanish into the night. However he echoed my gesture and burbled out “you first”, so I mentally shrugged and walked out.
I was barely out the door when he came up behind me and tried to snatch the food out of my hand! His state of inebriation however made this attempt – and its immediate follow up attempt – pathetically easy to resist. I snarled “I don’t think so mate!” and swung the bag out of his reach, before starting on my way homewards.
I decided to take the well-lit route around the front of the shops rather than ducking around the back like usual just to be on the safe side. I checked behind me a couple of times, but he wasn’t following me, or if he was he was moving so slowly I easily outpaced him. I wasn’t seriously worried – he was so drunk that if things had gone any further I’m confident that a single shove would have knocked him over.
Just another evening in Bayswater I guess!