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Saturday 6th September 2003

I was having dinner with my friends Matthew and Selina in the cafe du Marche (a French place, presumably somehow dedicated to walking, but they haven't really decorated it with pedastrian images yet. It's no Hard Rock Cafe), which is on Berwick St.
The food was very good. I recommend it.
We were sat in the window and I had deliberately sat facing the street because I wanted to check out the view. It turned out the view was just some white hoardings around the building opposite, and a dirty looking road (there's usually a market there).
But I could at least watch Londoners passing by on their way out to London's fashionable Soho, or possibly to some of the seedy strip clubs up the road.
As we were chatting and eating and drinking, I heard a big splash from the road outside. A couple were looking down at their wet feet and then up at the building next door to us. I guessed they had been the victim of a water bomber (America gets the Unibomber and the Washington Sniper, we get some students throwing balloons full of water - my guess is a country gets what it deserves!).
Intermittently for the next half hour the attacks continued. I thought the perpetrators were taking a bit of a chance. It didn't take a genius to work out where they were. They might find themselves on the receiving end of a brick through the window.
I was also a bit disappointed by their choice of targets, which seemed fairly random, but were mainly elderly couples or confused looking old men. A trendy man and woman passed, in slightly ridiculous and extremely fashionable clothes. They'd made a real effort for the night that was just beginning. Had I had balloons, water, a central London first floor residence and the inclination, these would have been the first ones in line for a soaking.
But they remained unscathed and dry.
Shame on the anonymous water bomber.
Later they foolishly targetted a burly looking man, heading towards Oxford Street. Providence intervened and the balloon did not burst. The man looked up at the window and menacingly snarled, "Watch it!"
He looked like he had access to bricks.
The water bomber had a death wish. Perhaps this was some elaborate suicide attempt.

I drank more wine and forgot all about the menace outside. Some time later we spilled out into the street in search of a bar that would serve us more alcohol (there seemed to be plenty in the vacinity).
And as we nonchalently stepped out into the road, can you guess what happened?


We were not to be the insane balloon flinging mad-person's next victims. They were not interested in seeing us get slightly damp.

I didn't notice at the time, but in hindsight I'm slightly disappointed.
What was so special about us that we should be spared?

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