Robin Scranton, an office manager from Orpington, Kent, has finally relinquished his long-held fear of being blown up by terrorists and finishing as a white-shrouded corpse on the ten-o’clock news. His decision comes after years of diligently following government advice to remain vigilant against the threat from al-Qaeda, and particularly the rise of fundamentalist extremism in Kentish dormitory towns.
‘I gradually realised that they were never going to come for me,’ said Mr Scranton, a note of disappointment in his voice. ‘I realised they were never going to come for my wife, or my kids, or my friends. I’ve been lied to. The useless bastards aren’t even going to come for my boss. I feel cheated, frankly.’
‘It’s difficult to let go of the dream,’ he continued. ‘There’s something romantic about the idea of being scattered to the four winds as scraps of bloody flesh by a bunch of religious nutjobs. It was nice to think, as I went about my daily life, that maybe they were thinking about me in their Afghan cave, or plotting my demise from their secret underground cell. I really thought I meant something to them, you know?’
Despite his disappointment, Mr Scranton admits that there has been a good side to letting go of his fear. ‘I’m less twitchy on the train to work,’ he said with a wry smile. ‘Whenever they make an announcement now to look out for suspicious packages, I just ignore it. In fact I wouldn’t have a clue what a bomb looked like. It’s so much more relaxing not to be looking for something I wouldn’t even recognise if it came up and pissed on my shoes.’
Sadly Mr Scranton proved unable to adjust to a life without the constant worry of being attacked by terrorists, and he passed away last week. He was shot and killed by police firearms officers after leaping on an unattended suitcase at London Victoria and screaming ironically, ‘Run for your lives, this baby’s going to blow!’
‘It was what he would have wanted,’ said his family.