Guess what I have in my backpack, mate!

Zdenka ŠímováNymburkAugust 2000
Mrs. Vejtrubová works in the social department of our district council. Through her work she often meets Romanies and she has told me a few stories drawing on her practical experience with them. I probed further, wanting to know whether she had also had some experience with skinheads. In response to that question she told me the following story:
“A Romany acquaintance of mine works as a consultant in another district council. He’s about forty, father of a family. The other day we were having coffee together and I asked him what he thought about skinheads and whether he had ever met any himself. He started to describe something that had happened to him only a short time before.
‘Normally I never go to the pub on my own but not a long time ago I was spending the evening at home and it felt so hot and close that I told my wife I´d nip into the pub for a beer and would be back in no time at all. In the pub I sat down at a free table and ordered a beer.
Then, out of the blue, a skinhead appeared and sat down right next to me, saying: “Guess what I have in my backpack, mate!”
I told him that I was a bit too old for him to call me mate and that I wasn’t in the least interested in his backpack.
Still, the skinhead went on: “You might want to know that I have some sturdy military boots in this backpack, mate.”
“So you have military boots, who cares,” I said.
“You should, mate, ´cause I’m going to put them on and kick the shit out of you … and every time I kick you in those boots you might as well say good-bye to two of your ribs, mate!”
Once again, I told him to leave me alone and said I wasn’t interested in what he had to say.
But the skinhead continued in the same vein.
Eventually I told him that I had a son his age and would not have him calling me mate any more. I told him to get off my back: “Stay out of my way and I will surely stay out of yours. I’ve come here to have a beer and want to drink it in peace. I certainly don’t want to spend my time talking to you.”
The skinhead, however, would not leave it at that and kept harassing me. He started one of those litanies about Gypsies, you know what I mean.
And guess how it all ended! To my great surprise, some people at the next table stood up and simply made him get out of there.'”

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