A few months ago, I was the victim of the new wave of “happy slapping” attacks in Britain. This started as tug of war over my cellphone with a teenager on the top deck of a nightbus, but ended with a whole gang silently stood around my seat, about three of them slapping me around the face reasonably softly, and one person filming the whole thing on his camcorder. After about two minutes, they all quietly filed off the bus, not having succeeded in prising apart my fingers or stealing one thing.
It all seemed perfectly normal at 4am in the morning, but then the next week the papers started reporting about a spate of “happy slappings” in which youths across London were targeting “defenseless people” – that they called “Normans“ – and putting these videos up on the internet for people to laugh at.
The thought of Britain’s future sat around their iBooks laughing at Norman 43 (me) saying in a slurred voice “Err… would you mind… not… um…” and looking confused was brought to the surface again when I saw that the UN has today concluded that the most violent country in the Western world is the UK. Scotland is the worst bit, with England and Wales in hot pursuit. But it’s not that bad really, the normal bus ride is usually straight out of a Richard Curtis film with businessmen in pinstripe suits tipping their bowler hats to you (“Mornin’ master ‘ancock”), and world famous actors falling in love with your quirky ways.
Anyway, it’s only normal physical assaults that are the worst here. If you want sexual assault, then according to the report you should really go to Poland.
– Tim Hancock