Going to Town: An Argyle Street Mugging

Glasgow in the 90’s: As kids, we were pretty much free to roam our neighbourhoods. One of our limitations was the city centre. Under no circumstances were we to go into town.

The first time I went into town without my parents knowing, I had only enough money to buy a return ticket on the subway and bag of sweets. In a sugar-induced haze I accidentally threw away my ticket along with my sticky sweet wrappers. I was stranded a hundred miles from home in any direction, or so it felt.
After my initial panic I put my best hobo hat on and asked strangers for money to ride the subway home. No older than 11 years old and I was ignored for an hour until one woman grudgingly threw 50p my way.

The second time was when me and my cousin David had some legally acquired pocket money which we wanted to spend, hard. So we got on the subway to Argyle Street and strolled on up to the HMV megastore like a couple of cool guys, and it was great.

Until we came out of the store.

On our way out we were met by a squad of hard cut, battle scarred 13 year olds. The leader of the gang approached us, “mate, you got a spare pound you can loan me?” The leader was the shortest and skinniest of the team, bleached blonde hair and a worn-out Le Coq Sportif track-suit, that was likely soiled.

“No, sorry,” I responded in the toughest voice I could manage, at the same time trying to hide my HMV bag from the leader’s pit-bull eyes.
“Any money I find on you I keep?” he suggested.

That was my cue to start walking. David followed but he was no longer my concern, there was no way I was going to lose my limited edition import of ‘Boom Shake The Room’ by DJ Jazzy Jeff and The Fresh Prince. It sounds harsh, but please understand that the cover art was black and all UK editions were white!

The squad followed us, keeping a proximate distance while the leader pushed between me and David like a Killer Whale trying to separate a Humpback calf from its mother. “See if you don’t geeze aw yer money, right?” The leader pointed to his fat cross-eyed friend, “ma mate there has a knife and he’ll stab ye. So geeze AW YER MONEY NOO!!”

Picking up the pace, I try to ignore what’s being said. I looked down to see David terrified, and so he should have been, I was about to ditch him.

“Geeze yer money,” the leader hissed. We were closing in on the subway station, I needed to delay the potential stabbing, say something, Jedi mind-trick this trooper.
“You don’t need our money,” I said calmly and not slowing down at all.

“Geeze yer money ya wee dick!”

Films are bullshit.

“Geeze yer money, geeze yer money.” The leader looked down at my shaking hands and spotted my treasure, “geeze yer bag or your gettin’ stabbed!”

“NAWWW!!!” I screamed in tears as I went into a sprint towards the subways escalator.
Terrified, I looked briefly over my shoulder to see I was running alone.
They had got a hold of David.

Cut to; a few minutes later, I’m waiting downstairs next to some unsuspecting adults (just in case shit went down again). I spot David running towards me, sobbing. He looked different, I thought.

“They took my jacket,” David cried.

I stood there for a moment, sympathetically looking down on my little cousin. I put my hand reassuringly on his shoulder like an adult would.

“Don’t worry, we made it,” I said.

“…If your mum asks, you lost your jacket.”

2 Responses to “Going to Town: An Argyle Street Mugging”
  1. Fraser Welsh says:

    What about the part where you shouted TONY before you bolted? Or the fact you told our parents it happened on Dumbarton Road so you didnt get busted, which I believed to this day haha

    Really good man, keep it up

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