Monday 25 March 2019


I've just come back from a week visiting family in Texas. I was struck by (amongst many other things) how fragile human memory is.

My brother picked me up from the airport in a car identical in every way to the one he had last time, except for the colour of the paint. It was of course the same car and it's never been resprayed except in my flawed recollection.

After drinks, for our entertainment, my brother and his wife would sometimes two-step lovingly around the kitchen or demonstrate self-defence scenarios. My sister-in-law has recently taken a self defence class, and while I believe the class was taught sober, the techniques were demonstrated drunk. One morning she complained that she had bent her finger in her sleep. "Do you think" I asked "maybe it was when you hit him in the face?" Both of their faces lit up with the recollection of an event that had slipped their minds. During a self defence demo a downwards angled blow landed not on his chest and shoulder, but across his ear, cheek and jaw.

I played the part of the mugger while my sister-in-law was using the oven as an imaginary ATM. I thought that I had control of my victim for several seconds, I had hold of both of her wrists and had an arm tightly about her waist. She escaped my grip so effectively and lunged for me so fiercely that I couldn't help but swear and flinch away.

Richard "assailant" B

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