We had just left our station at the beginning of this night shift and were on our way to a call when I spied a someone having a spot of bother in the middle of the road ahead.
He was a young skinny man who only had one leg. As we drew closer we could see he was having trouble keeping balance whilst using his crutches. And in one epic finale his one leg flew into the air – closely followed by his crutches, resulting in a classic “banana skin” type fall.
We couldn’t just drive past him and leave him there. So, we pulled up beside him and wound down our windows.
“Hiya. Are you ok?” The poor man was sat in the road with his back to our truck and hadn’t noticed us at all. He was still trying to get up but every attempt was a fumbled failure resulting in a collapse back down to his bum. At that moment a random bystander walked past and believed it necessary to chip in his wisdom.
“You look after him, right?!!!” This wasn’t a suggestion . . . it was an order, spoken with distinct disdain toward us, the Ambulance Service.
I desperately wanted to retort back with, “No, sorry. I was just going to goad him with sticks instead if that’s ok?” But of course I didn’t, I simply smiled warmly and replied calmly, “Of course we will. Thank you” . . . whilst at the same time, out of view, I repeatedly stuck my fingers up at him.
I got out and approached the one-legged man. He was very gaunt and laced with dozens of tattoos varyingin sizes and aggressive styles.
“Do you need any help fella?” I held my hands out as he appeared very unstable on his leg.
“Thanks man. I have MS, which I know makes me look pissed, but acutally I’m not at all, I’ve . . .” He was cut off by the arrival of a female version of himself, except that she had two legs.
“Oi, Tommy*, what the fuck ya doing on the floor ya daft cunt” I gathered by the tone in her voice she was being light humoured in her approach. Holding up a bag containing several Special Brew beers she aimed her next delightful oration at myself, “Don’t listen to this daft cunt,” she giggled, “he’s been facking drinking all day. He’s facking pissed aht of ‘is ‘ead!”
“Right” I ventured, “well then, I’ll erm, leave you two with it then. See you now”
“Thanks for all your help,” she smiled, revealing a set of dentures that had suffered many years of neglect.
Once in the truck, and thinking I could be helpful, I leant out the window and smiled, “You might want to get him off the road though eh”
With a sudden flash of venom from a side ward glance, Tommy spat on the ground, “Fuck off!”
Charming, we thought, and left them to it.
*Not his real name of course