I only came in for bread and milk...

How the hell did I end up in this situation? I only came in for a loaf of bread and some milk. Now, I am national news. I really wish I had put on better clothes. I must look a complete scruff. Baggy t-shirt, combat trousers, covered in cat hair. My hair! Oh hell, I hadn’t tidied it up before I left the house. I was only going to be a minute. That was 5 hours ago. So much for making that sandwich I wanted. Some people are so damn inconsiderate. He could’ve waited till I had paid and left the shop, but oh no!, he had to push to the head of the queue. Berk. Who the hell holds up a corner shop in the first place. Its not like committing the crime of the century. And what’s with the gun? Talk about overkill. This ass is definitely over-compensating for something…screaming and shouting, telling everyone to listen or he will “shoot you in the face if you don’t stop looking at me!!”. How many films has this guy watched to have thought that line up?

Being a geek does have its advantages though. He had come over to where I was sat about half an hour ago. That was his second mistake. His first was trying to rob the place. I am no martial arts master, or ex special forces soldier. This is real life people, not a movie. But. Like I said, I am a geek. Since I was a small boy I have had a healthy interest in firearms. I can tell an M16 from an M14. I know the difference between a Lee Enfield and a Garand. I also know what a Colt .45 semi-auto pistol looks like. The fact this idiot has been pushing it into everyone’s face, shouting “This is a Colt .45, it’ll blow you’re head off if I pull this trigger!” has frightened everyone here. Even had me going for a while. Then it hit me. He didn’t have a clue, actually, he is bluffing. I tried to build rapport with him, and asked him about the gun. ‘Where did he get it, was it his army gun…blah blah blah.’ If someone who claims to be proficient in firearms like this idiot is claiming, then he will know the difference between a semi-automatic, and a revolver. The clincher had been the confused look on his face when I asked if was a ‘M1911 model, or a M1941, like the ones the Americans made when they came into WW2...’

Wrong answer sport. Telling me it was the M1941, and not correcting me when I called it a revolver, and then a six-shooter…please, come on. Do your homework!

In the film “Snatch”, the character of ‘Bullet Tooth Tony’ isn’t fazed when 2 masked gunmen shove guns in his face, as, quite rightly, like he points out to them, the word REPLICA stamped on a gun, kind of gives the game away…

This was a little more difficult to spot. But its there. Our confused gunman stood next to me a little too long. I had the chance to have a damn good look at the gun. There, where a spent bullet case would be ejected out of the top of the slide, drilled into the top of the barrel, is a hole. I know what its for. I would bet all the money in that till, that this guy doesn’t. When you fire a replica blank firing pistol, the gasses need to go somewhere. The barrel is designed in such a way in a replica, that its sealed internally, so, unless you want the gun to explode, those gasses need to be vented. That’s the point of the hole. You pull the trigger, you get a deafening blast, a shell case flies out thanks to the recoil action. Looks very convincing on stage or television…he would cause the most damage with that gun by hitting someone with it…

So when he decides that he wants to keep a hostage, I volunteer. The others in the shop are all ‘oh you’re so brave/thank you, you’re a life saver/God bless you young man’ as they are allowed out, one at a time. Yeah, right. Bravery has nothing to do with it. In a weird way, I am having fun. The more this guy threatens me and the shopkeeper, the funnier I find it.

Police are on the phone. I always wondered what a Hostage Negotiator does in these situations. He sounds a decent guy on the end of the line, cheerful and upbeat, calming and reassuring. As I pass the requests from the ‘gunman’ to him, I drop clues into the conversation, hoping that they will pick up on the fact that they could walk in at any point if they want. “…yeah, that’s right. He wants guarantees that if he gives up, then he wont be sent to prison…”. I look at the guy. He paces back and forth in the shop. I am probably the calmest person here now. “…oi, mate. Want me to tell them how serious you are, tell them about your gun and all that?”. He nods. Ok, here we go. Lets see how switched on this copper is, on the end of the phone then. “…Look, this bloke is serious. He keeps waving his semi-auto revolver like he plans on using it. it’s a big bloody gun, like the ones the Yanks made in WW2 after Pearl harbour got bombed…” For a second, there is silence on the end of the line. JACKPOT! The cop has twigged. I know he understood when he mentions starting pistols, and guns that are all flash and bang but that’s all.

What is he up to now? Our intrepid hostage taker decides to take the initiative, and grabs me by my t-shirt, and pushes me to the door. Seems like we are going to have a look outside.

Bloody hell. Cop cars everywhere. Ambulances, couple of fire engines. At the end of the street, I can see news crews, and photographers are jostling to get the best shot of the poor hostage being manhandled by the hostage taker. Third and final mistake matey.

In my head, since I realised the gun is fake, I’ve run through ways of getting it off him. I am a bigger build than he is, he is relying on the fact that the ‘gun’ will keep me subdued. He places the ‘gun’ to the back of my head, in his right hand, and grips the fabric of my t-shirt with his left. I lift my hands to behind my head, acting compliant. We stand in the open doors of the shop. I can see his reflection in the glass of the door, he is more pre-occupied trying to see down the street than with me. Right, its now or never. What is it that bloke did in the documentary on the Discovery Channel? ‘pivot, grab, jab and pull?’, or was it ‘pivot, pull, jab and grab?’. Ah well, time to improvise.

I spin around, catching him by surprise. My right arm pushes the gun away from my head, while at the same time, I grab his wrist in my hand. By the time I’ve completed my turn, there is a look of both terror and confusion in his eyes. Nope, this wasn’t part of your plan, was it? I use the momentum from the turn, and smash my left forearm into the side of his elbow. It pops out of its socket, and I feel the sensation of it going as it does. That cant be good. I am aware of the gun dropping from his hand, and bouncing into the shop. With the gun gone, I leave his wrist go, and do one of those karate/kung-fu punches with the heel of my hand, straight onto his nose. Ive not hit someone in anger since I was in school. Wasn’t as satisfying as this is now though. His nose gives instantly, and blood pours from it, I think I broke it…he falls backwards onto his backside, and sits there in shock at what just happened. As I pick the ‘gun’ up I can hear people running, and shouts from the street. I eject the magazine, and it slides into my hand, and with relief I see it is empty. Bloody idiot. I pull the top-slide back, and lock it into place, and put it back on the floor next to the magazine. Some cop can sort that out. I stand back and lift my hands as armed police rush through the door and jump on the robber. Poor bugger, just not his day. Nothing fake about the guns these guys are carrying…

Stood by a police van, cops are coming up and congratulating me on what I did, but also saying that it was very dangerous, and that I should have left it to them…yeah, fair enough, but apart from hitting me on the head with the gun, that would be the only way he could’ve hurt me. Reporters and photographers are trying their best to get shots and an interview with the ‘hero of the hour’. I wonder how much I could sell my interview for…?

“Sorry to do this mate, but…your mate the robber wants to press charges against you for assault…I wont stick the ‘cuffs on you, but you’re going to have to come with me to the station.”

Oh for effing hell sake….I only wanted a loaf and some milk…

The End

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