Recap From Previous Posts:
1. I’d been punched and pushed around when I was 13 by a bunch of smart-alecs, in particular one nasty little shit who I was to learn afterwards was called Wog by his mates;
2. Two years later, I was due to play football against this nasty little shit;
3. During the football match, I took advantage of an opportunity to shirt-front Wog and knocked him into next week;
4. I never saw him again.
Okay, it was rather tabloid of me to use only part of Sir Francis Bacon’s quote in my title. The quote reads in full: “Revenge is a kind of wild justice, which the more man's nature runs to, the more ought law to weed it out”. Bacon was talking about the need for criminal sanctions to be about more than just retribution, and was warning of the need for civilized societies to hold hot-headed vigilantism, official or unofficial, in check.
I don’t believe my actions in cleaning Wog up during a football match approach what Bacon was warning against: I hadn’t gone looking for him in the intervening years. It was just a matter of opportunity knocking and me answering. But then I didn’t go around shirt-fronting opponents willy-nilly. I did purposely dish it out to Wog a bit more severely than I perhaps normally would have. But if it had been any other player, they still would have received a fairly solid bump.
And it wasn’t even a full revenge, when I think about it. There was no humiliation involved in what happened to Wog, unlike the treatment he’d handed out to me. I’d had some justification in making contact with him. Whereas he’d given me a belting at random for no reason and then sought to intimidate me further. No, I think he got off fairly lightly.
I was working with two blokes a couple of years ago who’d played for Wog’s club around that time but in different age groups and they couldn’t recognise him from my description. And this despite his captaincy of the team and being a fairly good player. Two things that tend to make junior footballers memorable to their contemporaries.
It was as if he’d been obliterated.
If you click here, you’ll read briefly about the terrible outcome of another more recent incident of what may turn out to be random violence for its own sake.
Wog writ large.