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The Waterfight

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been a big fan of waterguns, the more powerful the better. Around 1991, there was a dramatic change in the sort of waterguns released by the toy companies, and it was called a super soaker. My friend Bruce and I went out one day and bought one of the smaller models. The reason being that since we were both bicycle couriers and had bumbags (or fannypacks as the Americans call them – never understood that) for carrying tools and money, so the belt could act as a sort of holster. When you’re a despatch rider on a pushbike pedestrians don’t tend to see you, so every pedestrian that we nearly hit got a shot of water for giving us such a fright. This courtesy also extended to bus drivers who were foolish enough to open their doors or windows to argue with us – a blast of water to cool him down (obviously not while he was moving!!).

The street that Bruce stayed in was a short cul-de-sac just on the edge of town. Quite a lot of children stayed there with ages ranging from 5 to 11 and they always played out on the street because there was hardly any traffic. Anytime I came to visit Bruce we’d have some banter with the kids and sometimes in the summer they’d chase us with water pistols.

One summer night I went up to Bruce’s with my new water pistol, it was the biggest, most powerful gun available at that time so we decided that we should test it on the children. It’s funny how word gets around the children of a small street and we soon had an all-out war on our hands, there was me, Bruce and Debbie (Bruce’s flatmate) versus about 8 kids. We were using whatever we could lay our hands on from water pistols and squeezy bottles to full buckets of water. There was a Shell garage just around the corner that we could refill at. The battle raged on for about half an hour at which point most kids had had enough or had to go to bed, so the three “grown-ups” fought it out amongst themselves.

Bruce had gone into hiding, to try and ambush me and Debbie, who were in the flat. I’d picked a strategic location in the basement of Bruce’s flat. Shortly after that, the disco lights appeared complete with sirens. I counted 1 police van and 4 police cars. There was a sharp knock at the door and I answered to find a policewoman with a stern look on her face. She asked if the flat belonged to me and then told me they’d had reports of a violent gang fight going on. After I told her what had been going on, she had a more bemused look on her face. I got a telling off for wasting police time but I could tell her heart wasn’t in it. We never did find out who called the cops but they obviously had nothing better to do that night (just like us!)

All content (c) 2008-2012 Mark Gallagher