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A difference a day (Tuesday: Loitering)

[Anytime prior to six months ago]

I’m in England, and it’s lunchtime. I’m walking past my local grocery store so I pop into buy a snack, a drink, and a newspaper to read.

I pay for my stuff and decide to perch on a brick wall nearby, eating my food, drinking my drinking and reading the reports of the football matches the night before.

It’s a pleasant way to spend 20 minutes, I’m not bothering anyone or anything, and everything is fine.

[Today]

Now I’m in America. And it’s lunchtime. I’m walking past my local grocery store and I pop into buy a snack, a drink, and a local newspaper to read. I pay for my stuff and decide to perch on a wall outside nearby, eating my food, drinking my drink and actually instead of reading the paper I decide to call a friend back home.

I’m 60 seconds into the conversation when suddenly I’m aware of someone talking to me. I look, and it’s a police officer – female, who is quite abruptly (not even an “excuse me sir”) telling me to move.

I can’t sit there. can I go somewhere else please. WTF? Since when did sitting, drinking a drink and making a call constitute a crime?

Since … as I walked away, I notice that I was sat about 3 feet away from a large “NO LOITERING” sign that I’d failed to see.

Sigh. You don’t get those back home.

19 responses to “A difference a day (Tuesday: Loitering)”

  1. Mikey says:

    Maybe back home you just don’t hear the mosquito youth deterrent.

  2. geofftech says:

    But I’m not a hoody! Oh hang on, Americans won’t know what a hoody is. Shit. What’s the US equivalent of a hoody-wearing chav, anyone?

    Anyway, yes – they’re being installed here:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/staffordshire/6116798.stm

    Although you still can’t beat classical music being played on the tube to stop youths loitering:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/london/4178765.stm

  3. Andrew says:

    Does it make a difference if you are loitering with or without intent?

    If say you trip on a paving slab and, before heading off to sue everyone you can, bend down to rub your ankle as it is a little bit sore. Is that still loitering? or does it have to be deliberate loitering?

    Presumably in your wall sitting there must have been a point when it changed from just sitting to actively loitering, is there a time limit?

  4. I’m surprised you weren’t arrested for Walking in a Public Place.

    Anyway, in case you didn’t get a chance to read the footy reports, Spurs lost 3-1.

  5. Alan Perks says:

    #4 Don’t worry, Geoff is fully aware of Sundays result, and the salt was rubbed in later that day as the Mighty Gunners wiped the floor with Liverpool 3-0 in their bright, shiny, spanking new stadium! Heh heh heh

  6. Is Lasagne a popular dish in the US, Geoff?

  7. geofftech says:

    I’m well aware that we beat the champions – Chelsea – 2 1 last weekend too, yes.

    ‘definition-britain’ Andrew? Excellent. And love the quiz too:

    How English Are You?

    http://www.gotoquiz.com/how_english_are_you

    Disturbingly, I only scored 50% ! Does this make me half American?

  8. Coco J. says:

    Geoff- You must consider the neighborhood you were in when you were caught “Loitering”. It’s not good for business to have a bunch of intimidating thugs or panhandlers hanging out there. There aren’t any “No Loitering” signs outside of Whole Foods or Eartfare.

  9. See – a little bit of weight gain, and you’re suddenly an intimidating thug.

    50% English just makes you half foreign. Still too English to play for the mighty Arsenal, of course.

  10. Brent says:

    A “Hoody” in America would probably equate to a “Ghetto Thug” or “Skater kiddie” I’m guessing.

  11. ex-bbc rob says:

    in canada, you probably would have been in trouble for ‘mischief’
    how quaint
    and try explaining what an ASBO is to a local.

    – minutes of fun.

  12. Mikey says:

    Got 58% English. It’s not really a fair test, maybe they should entitle it How much of an English snob are you?

  13. Alan Perks says:

    #12 Oh god, does that make me a snob? I scored 87% on the quiz.

  14. jj says:

    #7 – dang, Geoff! i scored 65%!

  15. geofftech says:

    #14 LOL! Show us your RED coloured passport JJ …

  16. Yorkie says:

    Much to my surprise I a ‘No Loitering’ sign today in a market hall in Yorkshire.

  17. TowerBlockTina says:

    Hurrah! I score 74%, but had to guess the cricket one. I HATE cricket. Used to like Buddy Holly when he worked with them. Oh damn and blast it, he died. (Very English swearing)

  18. scottb says:

    I got 68%, and I’m not English! Does that mean I’m only 32% Canadian?

    Of course the only thing that makes you Canadian is making sure that everyone knows you’re not American. See, I just did!

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