See, there's two types of risk management. Either a) Preventative or b) Curative.
But, who necessarily says that they can't be the same?
With the things that I got up to in my time at boarding school, neither me nor any of my friends could afford to be caught out due to loose lips or big mouths. By enforcing this rule, we could both prevent and cure the problems at hand. We could cure it through vengeance, and prevent it by setting an example. It may seem harsh, but we'd learnt through trial and error that when someone crosses you in this world, you've got to take them so far down that they'll never even consider wronging you again.
The first was Pinga.
Pinga was fat. And a mess. And he smelt. He had the personal hygiene of a barnyard animal and the social skills of a brussel sprout. Because of this, he was prone to "toot his own horn" in front of his peers.
Pinga had somehow made it into my group of acquaintances because he was a smoker. Yes, we were on first-name terms. No, I did not like him.
See, we were in the "clean up" process of one of our nights of ruckus (as described in The Nights, an earlier post of mine), and Pinga had managed to deduce what we were up to, and wanted in. Naturally, it was easier to give him a few alcoholic beverages than to refuse and run the risk of his resent turning against our group.
That was our first mistake.
Within 24 hours, word was spreading about our activities. This was the first time that we'd had this problem, so we evaluated the entire situation as a whole, and deduced that the most likely leak of information was to come form Pinga, he was the unknown variable in the equation.
After deliberation with the group, it was decided that Yeah Man and The Bird would converse with Pinga, and aim to stop this leak. Within an hour they had come back, after a verbal warning and slight interrogation of Pinga, and told us that we had nothing more to worry about.
That was our second mistake.
He was a fucking good liar, old Pinga. I'll give him that. While we were thinking of how we could be more discreet than we already were, he was desperately trying to raise his social profile with tales of our exploits. Imagine a fat, greasy, mess of a man reading you all the stories that are on this blog, changing details as he sees fit. Oh and before you ask, I'm not fat, and I'm not fucking greasy.
Anyways, to cut a long story short, myself and The Chaser ended up stumbling upon a lead with regards to Pinga. Turns out he had been pilfering our supplies of alcohol and sharing it with other undesirable fellows. We confronted one of the people he had drank it with, and they confirmed this. With concrete evidence, and a solid reason to punch someone, The Chaser was in his happy place.
See, The Chaser never liked Pinga. But what The Chaser did like, was punching people. Coupled with the anger over the stolen alcohol and the huge huge danger that Pinga had put our group in, The Chaser was in an almost blind fury.
Pinga was in trouble.
So soon after school had finished, The Chaser and I started the hunt. We started at The Dairy, the smokers frequenting ground, but to no avail. The same with the ovals, and the more common bong-spots. However, Pinga was nowhere to be found. Deflated by this, me and The Chaser started walking to The Fortress in order to consume some leafy greens to lift our moods a bit. But as we were walking down the path, the unmistakable form (and smell) of Pinga became apparent. How he managed to get down there never ceases to amaze me.
Looking up, you could almost see a glint in The Chaser's eye as he started running to The Fortress, with me close behind. As he ran up, you could watch Pinga's facial expression go from surprise, to concern, to shock, the absolute ball-numbing fear as The Chaser drew his fist back (whilst still running) and threw it full-force into Pinga's cheek. Never have I seen a more distinct look of satisfaction on The Chaser's face, than after that moment.
You also have to remember that The Chaser was by no means a small boy. standing at 6'0 at age 16, and weighing in at 85kg, as well as being notorious for fighting around the school and town, a punch from him would quickly put all but the largest of men on their backs. Immediately after, Pinga was stunned, on his back, bleeding from his mouth and a near-instant black eye forming. But after that, nothing was said. Pinga left The Fortress, and obviously thought about his misdeeds, as he came to me later and apologised for his mistakes. He begged me for forgiveness, to be given another chance to be in our circle.
Did I forgive him?
I sure as hell wasn't going to make a third mistake.