I heard McQueen, King Of Cool, mutter Bullshit
, right there in the London flat. Last thing I remembered was loosening my tie and falling backwards on the bed. Fiona was gone and Pete was happily gnawing the remote in the other room. I welcomed oblivion.
It had been a quiet afternoon. However, true to form, we got a call just when I was signing off, intent on finally making an appearance at home. Another report of the happy slapping
kids, this time at Godolphin and Latymer girls' school in Hammersmith. "Gadgets," I muttered. "Bullies with cell phones." Two fourteen year old perps had tried to escape at the scene. I think my leftover good humor from shopping with Carol made me feel McQueenish and I nabbed them with a tackle that left me dusty, with a growing bruise on my left shoulder.
A pushy reporter from The Guardian was all over me as we struggled, the kid beneath me gleefully filming
our altercation with his mobile phone.
The Hack: "I say, what do you make of this fad?"
Me: "Look, you work your side of the street and I'll work mine." I gave him my best Frank Bullitt deadpan.
Like those tiny lizard dinosaurs from Jurassic Park 3 that flock around the hapless victim, a growing knot of uniformed schoolgirls and pre-teen thugs loosely circled around the spectacle, filming and snapping images with their tiny phones, sending them to their smart mob network. Word was out: Metropolitan police brutality on happy slappers. Good God. Pippin stood at a safe distance, an ad hoc press conference in his mind, talking with writers from the populars.
I handed the two punks over and took a statement from the huffy headmistress of the school. Pippin was subtley frowning at me and making a Madonna vogue move that, for the life of me, I couldn't comprehend. I leaned down to get a look at my reflection in the window of a parked Mini. I looked revolting. After a pathetic attempt to tame my hair, I gave up and headed home for a shower and little else. I was ready to close the books on today. God save the