Thursday 29 April 2021

Almost a stranger seeing some danger

A man in a park

How the familiar can easily rob you of the peculiar is sometimes the spectacle of living in Manchester and watching the interplay of people, property, and services. My local Sainsbury had closed when I got up from my nap and I needed to get some essentials leaving the shop at the Manchester Piccadilly Station the closest that is open until midnight.

Donning my walking gear as I was just a two-score steps short of my daily 10,000 step threshold, having aborted my walk, earlier because it had begun to rain and I was not wearing suitable apparel. Out by the Vimto monument in Vimto Park, a police car was parked on the kerb and I spotted two policemen apparently chatting to a man sitting on the bench.

A man on a limb

Maybe to eliminate the strange and wary, one of the policemen called out a greeting to be me as I passed, and he waved as I acknowledged him. Minding my own business I trotted down the rather quietly deserted road that has a few student hostel blocks until I got to the main road and crossed it into the station.

Up the escalator and via the one-way system in a station that was for years familiar and now remote as to be changed into the unknown. I have not boarded a train there since the first week of December 2019, I got to Sainsbury’s and picked up a shopping basket. A couple of bananas and then an altercation between a member of staff and a customer, whether it was a power trip or something else, the customer was being thrown out and the guards were ready to manhandle him. Some things he said were borderline unprintable.

A man to be cuffed

I continued with my shopping, some milk, tea, and sparkling water, using the self-service till I walked out seeing a man grab about 10 shopping bags that go for 10 pence each, that would be stealing or shoplifting, to put it mildly. I must have missed where he went because as I reached the bottom of the first escalator, I could have sworn those bags were a pile of litter caught in the teeth of the moving steps of the escalator.

On to the main road and back on the route I plied on my way out not expecting to see the policemen I saw earlier, there was a police van parked in front of the police car and 4 men in uniform apparently trying to get a hold of someone lying on that same bench, like he did not want to be taken away. 

I doubt the person had a medical issue, else the van should have been an ambulance. As to why the policemen were there in the first place, considering the road is private with a lifting bar gate, one can only surmise someone alerted them to the presence of a strange man in Vimto Park.

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