It has been a peacekeeping week, though not on the scale that would have taxed Kofi Annan.
A short walk to the nearest post box brought an interesting and expected outcome as I headed towards a shortcut down a lane where, coming from the opposite direction, I merged with around seventy – I do not exaggerate – pupils, mainly boys, from a city school.
In the blink of an eye, I was in the middle of a non-marauding horde striding purposefully to its destination.
“Where are we going?” I asked the puzzled young man to my left.
“To the shop,” came a reply I didn’t believe, though my thoughts did turn to some poor wifie behind a till, screaming with fear: “Take everything; just leave me with a packet of chocolate digestives for my cuppa.”
No more than thirty seconds later, birthday cards in the box awaiting the next pick-up a week on Tuesday – standards have slipped at the Royal Mail – I walked back up the lane to discover what the gathering was really all about.
Welcome to the main event without the razzmatazz or MC Michael Buffer’s mellifluous tones inviting us to: “Let’s get ready to ruuummble.”
The action had been in progress for only a few moments, but blood had already been drawn from the nose of the boy in the red-splattered white shirt.
Take what he’ll get from his mum, was my first reaction.
His southpaw opponent was still focused as I intervened.
The jeering, cheering and desire from the large audience to see more gore was halted as I stepped in between two big and brawny 16 or 17-year-olds.
I explained that only the barbarism of the spectators was being satisfied in the scenario. They were eager to demand greater injury, as long as it was not to them.
While there were no handshakes, the protagonists listened to my words and went their separate ways.
Meanwhile, my thoughts turned to two burning questions: Will my birthday cards get there on time?
And, when will I hear from the Nobel Peace Prize people?
No Trump card over capital punishment
Donald Trump has tweeted “the leaders of Iran” to try to halt the execution of a wrestler who confessed to murder, though there are thoughts he may have been coerced into the admission.
I do not condone the death penalty, but I wonder how Mr Trump would have reacted had his counterpart in Iran expressed his thoughts on the deaths of the dozen convicted killers put to death in America this year by either injection or electrocution.
Z-list celebs at a modern scrammy
If you’re of a certain age, you may recall when brides and grooms would throw pennies from their wedding cars as they left their respective homes en route for the nuptials.
Kids would scramble on the ground grabbing as many coins as they could.
The health and safety fraternity of 2020 would be shocked.
Today, for a few quid, you can book a celebrity to send a video message to a loved one or friend.
William Roache, pictured top, alias Ken Barlow from Coronation Street, for example, will do it for £35, while H from Steps will do the job for £41.50.
It will cost you £83 for Gary Lewis, the Scots actor who’s in Outlander, pictured above, but if you’re feeling the pinch, I’d go for Paul Chuckle, one half of the Chuckle brothers, a snip at £30.
Sounds like a scrammy to me in which “celebrities” – some you’ve even heard of – are ready to snatch as many pennies as they can.