Last night I received a phone call from my good friend Meagan who I have not spoken to in a very long time (she's responsible for the little photos of me you see before each entry). It's always great to catch up, but I find my jealousy soaring because she's been mucking about Asia for the past month and I've been stuck at home. She then tells me that her next vacation will absolutely include the UK, which (oddly enough) is someplace she has never been, despite a lifetime of extensive international travel.
Dave: Well, just be careful when you go... I don't want your picture turning up on the internet from a "Happy Slapping" incident!
Meagan: What the heck is "Happy Slapping?"
Dave: Haven't you heard? It's all the rage in the UK... angry youths run about slapping people in the face and recording it with their picture-phone. Then they pass the best photos along from phone to phone.
Meagan: Whaaaaaat? Are you kidding?
Dave: Oh no. It's a serious deal. They're apparently banning phones in schools to stop "Happy Slapping" bullies.
Meagan: That's so... strange. Can you imagine just walking along and somebody runs up and slaps you in the face?
Well, of course I can. And being in the UK, it's probably all very civilized after somebody has slapped you...
But it's when you start thinking about what would happen if something like this were to become popular here in the good old U.S. of A. that it starts to get interesting, because the reaction could end up being very, very different...
And please don't think that I'm making fun of the British here... on the contrary, I think it must be liberating to live in a place where you can go around slapping people and not have to worry about somebody pulling a gun on you. Heaven only knows I'd be bitch-slapping a heck of a lot more people if I weren't so worried about having a cap popped in my ass from some trigger-happy redneck.
Oh well. It looks like I'll have to travel abroad to do all my slapping. I wonder if there are organized tours for things like that? Or at least a guide book... "How to Slap in Europe on Just $50 a Day" and "A Bitch-Slapper's Guide to London" for example. I'll have to give Frommer's a call.
And, in other news... dang I look good in a bowler hat!