60 Seconds

The dirty little man was nervously hopping from one leg to the other:

"If you touch me, I will kill you."

I tried to look right through him and smiled coldly.

  • "It is not ... a matter ... of violence. It ... never is."

It was the 1st of January, the day right after New Years' Eve. Sylvester itself, and the days before that were marked by constant explosions of fire crackers. Annoying and nerve-wrecking, especially when at 3:00 in the night.

It had started right before Christmas, with a first climax directly at Christmas evening. And it seemed to be the way the people with "migration background" predominantly spent the most quiet time of the year.

Two days before sylvester there was no holding back: Vienna felt like under siege. And maybe it was.

Zero Tolerance

On Jan 1st I was executing my zero tolerance policy and was patrolling in "my park" almost the whole day. After 25 encounters I felt pretty confident to have brought the pyromaniacs under control.

Just when I had thought I could call it a day, I heard the massive explosion right outside the park. On the passage way under the railway bridge a man ignited powerful charges, definitely not Klasse II. Each detonation resulted in an intense flash, a deafening boom, followed by a huge smoke cloud. Even for the firebug it must have been too much as he ran away 50 meters before each explosion.

First I was uncertain to engage, because of the inherent risk. But the outlook of having this maniac continue left me with no option other than to attack and destroy.


As soon as he saw me approaching he started to fiddle with his plastic bags. I stopped right besides him:

  • "I give you exactly 60 seconds to leave."

He was shorter than me, maybe 10 years younger. And he must have been used to be pushed around and being threatened.

"Ha, and what will you do? Ha? Because, I tell ya: If you touch me, I will kill you!"

Touching the person had actually not crossed my mind. But I was too polite to point that out.

  • "I guess we will find out after 55 seconds. Find ... out ... together."

I began to unnaturally stretch the words, especially all the vowels. And I was almost whispering.

"I have done nothing illegal! You want to call the police? Then do so! I am not scared of you!"

My whisper developed into some singsong:

  • "Do I look ... as if ... I would need ... police?"

Again I was looking directly down at him.

This was the first time I could notice him getting insecure. He was moving from one leg to the other.

"So how many seconds is it now? What will you do? Because if you touch me I will ...."
  • "It is 10 more seconds. And it is ... never ...a matter ... of violence."
  • "And it will be beautiful."

I found it appropriate to throw in a quote from Space Odyssey 2001.

Delivering The Threat

After 10 more seconds, I broadened my artificial smile:

  • "Congratulations. You have won an evening with me. We will drink together. And I might even sing for you."

His eyes widened. Without a word he grabbed all his bags and hastened crossed the road. I slowly followed him back into the park, humming a very strange song in a very strange language. When he noticed me, he started jogging and then disappeared into the night.

There must be someone who would want to hear me sing.

Meet me in the park. And it will be beautiful.

Posted In