There are many things that I love about Birmingham and will miss, but there are a couple of things that I won't.
One of Jess's favorite TV programs when she was a tiny tot was Gladiators. Or announced on a Saturday evening as 'TTHHHEEE GLADIATOORRRRRS'. Who can't remember the 'DUEL', a grown up version of pillow fighting on the top of pedestals. Jess even had the foam pointy finger hand thingy - 'DO, DO, DO ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST...' luckily Freddie had passed away the year before Gladiators started so didn't see his music desecrated. And we all watched with bated breath to see if the winner would make it up the travelator in the eliminator round - 'Contestant, you will go on my furst whustle (yes John Anderson is Scottish - as well as being the ref he was also an Olympic and commonwealth coach), Gladiator you will go on my second whustle'.
What's this got to do with Birmingham? Well there was another round of Gladiators that I have been minded of recently - Gauntlett - where the contestant would have to battle through a half pipe against armed gladiators.
From our mooring there are three distinct areas between us and the Bullring shopping center. The first is Centenary Square (outside the library) and Paradise Forum, Secondly is the two squares of Chamberlain Victoria before getting to the third, New Street which slopes down hill to the Bullring. It is just over mile from top to bottom. Regularly interspersed with muggers.
No not the nasty 'give us your phone' type. The charity mugger (CHUGGER) type. Normally I am not too fussed about this growing occupation but the layout of Birmingham centre and the shear number of chuggers has made the nearly daily strolls through town a real pain in the
ar neck. There are usually four or five 'flavours' of chugger and about five or six of each - twenty or thirty gazes and advances to try and avoid.
There are a few preferred methods of avoidance. Popular is the 'I didn't hear you, I've got my headphones in'. Tried and with a fairly good success rate is my 'sorry very bad Ingleshs'. My favorite has to be the slip stream method of ducking in behind somebody, matching their pace and just as they realise that they are on collision course with a Chugger and veer off to one side you break away and go the other way.
Phew made it, now to plan the strategy for the return journey. I did genuinely wonder if this was a pedestrian traffic organisation method, if you look from a distance you can clearly see the places where chuggers lurk because the walking speed for everyone in that section increases as they race by. I don't think I'm alone in finding the numbers of Chuggers an inconvenience, it looks like bylaws are on their way - Birmingham Mail
|'No sorry very bad Ingleshs'|
|Gladiator looses his battering device.|
|'If I can just take your debit card details please'|
|Of course if you glue them all together they can't get to you!|