What Would The Phantom Do? #1
Okay, an email I just got from – well, let’s just call him ‘Vigilante Vic’ – has prompted the first in a new occasional series on pithy Greenwich-based moral debates – What Would The Phantom Do?
As one of the many residents living on Calvert Road, I am becoming really frustrated by the utterly selfish attitude of some customers who frequent the Wing Wah Buffet on a Sunday afternoon. Not only do we have to run the parking gauntlet from 2pm – 9pm every weekend, but we also have to clear up the rubbish left behind by those patrons who buy their “take away”, eat in the car and chuck the remnants onto the pavement before driving off. I know this doesn’t apply to all customers, only the selfish few, but I’m getting pig-sick of them causing a blot on our landscape.
So yesterday I took the matter into my own hands. As I was walking the dog (to protect the innocent I’m going to name said pooch ‘Fido’. I am yet to meet a dog called either Fido or Rover but would love to… TGP) I noticed a pile of chicken bones on the pavements right next to a car where the driver was coincidentally sucking on some spicey wings with his window open. Chicken bones are to dogs what fish bones were to the queen mother (ie, potentially hazardous) so fearing for young Fido’s life I picked up said bones and threw them back into the car. I may have uttered a few expletives too – my bad.
Unfortunately it didn’t end there. Two oiks got out of the car, sized up to me, yelling all sorts of threats, and then started shoving before finally pushing me over. Anyway, long story short, I hightailed it out of there with them continuing their tirade. Thankfully a neighbour saw it all and called the police, who visited an hour later to check I was ok. When I explained the situation to them one officer commented “Good work” – which was reassuring.
Nevertheless, it begs the question – What Would the Phantom Do? I really have had enough of the streets being littered with dirty nappies, takeaway cartons, chicken bones etc. But is it really worth risking your safety?
BTW – they drove away with the chicken bones still in their car.
The Phantom replies:
Blimey Vic – that was brave. But was it foolish?
I have been known to pick up litter I’ve watched someone tossed onto the street and hand it to them, sweetly saying ‘ I think you dropped something…’ I’m not sure I’d have been brave enough to throw chicken bones into a car full of oiks.
I guess my question was – were you sure the chicken bones were theirs? Did you see them chuck them out of the window? I think my actions might have been based on actually seeing the act with my own eyes. After all – if there are so many people who are eating in their cars (and yes, I know there are a LOT – I’ve often seen them doing it – seems a bit odd really, I mean it’s hardly expensive to actually eat-in at Wing-Wah…) and chucking chicken bones out of the window, then how could you be sure that these oiks were THE oiks? That those chicken bones were THEIR chicken bones?
On the other hand, I note that you don’t mention their denying the chicken bones were theirs…
I totally get Vic’s frustration. I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have done the same – not because I’d be any less frustrated – just more cowardly. You never know what oiks that chuck chicken bones our of their car window might keep in their glove compartments…
I might have remonstrated with them in an ineffectually British sort of way if I actually saw them do it, but if it was just me and Fido v. a car full of oiks hepped-up on monosodium glutamate, my honest answer is that, I am ashamed to say, I probably would have just quietly seethed before writing an grumpy blog post about ignorant oiks.
Out of interest – have you tried talking to Wing-Wah about it? I can’t remember if there are any bins around there – but then I guess if these people are too lazy to get out of their cars to eat-in, they’re probably too idle to get out of their cars to dispose of litter properly.
So – that is the honest answer from me – but what would YOU do?