Tuesday, December 14, 2010

No roses here.

I'm going to call this one a victory but really I'm not proud.
A customer asked me out for a Christmas drink yesterday afternoon. We sat and talked and had a great time. About 1 hour later he went to the bar and bought me my next 2 beers and said he was heading off. I thanked him and sat at the table enjoying my beer I already had.

A few minutes later I heard a guys shout out “Hey you is this what you do with all the money you beg from people” I look and yep he was talking to me. I knew him from walking pass every morning. Never bought a magazine from me. Now I really don't like shouting out loud so I walked over to him and said “I'm having a Christmas drink with a friend and he just left, oh and by the way I don't ask anyone for money I sell magazines” I could see this guy had had a lot to drink and just looking for trouble. I turned to walk back to my table when he said “f**king bum” I stopped walking but didn't turn to face him. I must say I thought about it. I just headed to my table and sat in a different chair so my back was to him.

I know I should have walked out there and then, but hey the beer on my table was nice and cold.

This guy and for the sake of this story I'll call him because I don't know real name(Tim) walks to my table and sits in front of me, with 3 mates as well. I don't know where the mates came from because they weren't there before but I could tell they had been drinking a lot. Tim started saying “ so what's it like being a bum?” his mates laughing. I said “I really don't want trouble, I'll just go” I went to stand and this heavy hand pushed my shoulder down. “don't go now we just got here” came from one of the guys behind me.

Oh I really wished right now I walked out the door instead of coming back to my table. I quickly thought of my options. Yell out loud and hope someone helps while I'm defending myself against 4 guys, try stand again and hope they let me walk away (not likely to let me), throw it back at him and show I don't fear him, well the truth was I didn't fear him it was the 4 total I didn't like.

So that's what I did. I said “what's it like being a bum you say, well really it's not that bad. I go where I want and do what I please. Whys that you thinking of trying it?” Two of the mates laughed. Now (Tim) was really mad, he spat out “What, I work.” he lend forward only inches from my face “let me tell you I have everything in life I even pay people to even mow my lawns you little insect. Okay you and me outside” one of the mates grabbed hold of my sleeve of my shirt.

Now my dad went to The Commonwealth Games for boxing and as a young boy he show us sons how to fight. My mum showed us how to not fight. But even on my very best day of my life 1 against 4 are not good odds.

I sat back and said “pal I have people mow my lawns to and more.” I was totally ignoring the let's go outside bit. “what you mean?”

“well the council mow the lawns, picks up the grass and pays electric bills for me, oh and my rubbish I just put it in the bin and it gets empty twice a day.” The mates start laughing mostly because I was saying it as if I was telling a joke. Not (Tim) though “My tax's pay for that” even angrier now because his mates were not looking like they wanted a fight and he may be on his own. “your tax's well I should at least say thank you” The mates laughed even harder because I had shot him down in flames.

I stood up grab my bag and walked out very quickly. (Tim) followed. Pushed me from behind and punched the side of my face. I stepped back then stepped forward placing two hits to his jaw. He went down. The mates were still inside and didn't see it. Right away I'm having shoots of pain running through my back from the sudden movements of being hit and then hitting.

Hunched over I walked slowly to a bench and laid down for a few hours for the pain to stop. I kept thinking the whole thing over that had happened and what I could have changed. As I said at the start, It's a victory but I'm not proud. I'm sure (Tim) and his mates are nice guys but they had way to much to drink and was looking for a fight.

I was always raised to be polite and caring towards people but as my dad always says “always be polite unless there's no choice.”

I can't work today and maybe tomorrow because of my back still hurting so bad.

The reason I'm posting this story is because I'm not proud of what I did, to be honest I'm glad I got out of there before things got really bad. I wanted people to know life isn't all roses being on the streets I just tell the funny side of it.

Thank you for reading.
Grant the Polite Guy.

P.S Please know I would never hit anything if there was a choice not to.
Thank you to all the people who have sent there postal address to my email for me to send them a Christmas card. For those who would like one please send postal address to grantthepoliteguy@gmail.com .
If anyone wants to send me a christmas card please send to.
To Grant Richards
C/O The Big Issue Office
62 Peel St
South Brisbane, 4101


  1. Oh Grant you poor thing. I was talking to a homeless guy last week and he was beaten up for just sitting in the park. Poor fellow. As I say what goes around comes around.

  2. I am utterly appauled that people would treat someone like this. I know it doesnt make you too feel good Grant but I am glad you knocked him down! You're a good person, dont let people like this bring you down.

  3. Grant it sounds like you blame yourself for this. People get tough when drinking and even tougher in packs. By the sounds of it they only wanted to pick on someone weaker so they feel more manly. Hitting that guy was a good thing. I would have done it but I would have hit more then twice.
    This is the first time I've read your blog. A friend told me about it. Your doing a great job but I like the funny story's more.
    Jack from W.A

  4. Grant don't blame your self some people are just Arsehat's either on the drink or not. Hope u feel better soon

  5. Grant, I came and said hello to you on Monday for the first time. It was so hot and you gave me a Christmas card and your note with the details of this blog. You made my day. When I went back to the office I told everyone how lovely you are. Even though I had bought a big issue calendar about an hour earlier, I bought one off you too, because I thought you were just great.
    Anyway, I've spent the last 2 hours reading your blog. It's amazing. Your stories are wonderful. Your kids must be so proud of their Dad. Don't worry about that thug who hit you. I bet his kids don't even like him.

  6. Hi Grant, I've just found your blog via a comment you left on my BFF's blog (Spring Blossom Journey). I'm enjoying reading your tales so far.

    I'm absolutely disgusted at these four blokes trying to pick a fight and treating you so badly. Good for you for trying to keep things light, I think you did really well given the circumstances.

    I hope your back feels better soon! Take care.

  7. Grant, the best thing you can be is yourself and that is pretty impressive. Politeness is one thing but being a doormat is entirely another. You did exactly what you needed to do and with dignity (as usual). Pieta

  8. Grant, you have an internal dignity that that LOSER obviously wouldn't know the meaning of. You know the meaning of the word moral inside and out, yet I'm sure he can't even spell it! Keep trooping - you'll last longer in this world with your positive attitude and wit :)