Catching a Break

Do you ever look at some folk and wonder how they do it?  How they get positive recognition for something done over the rest of us.  How they always seem to be in the right place at the right time?  Like, there really is an element of genetic luck to peoples’ success?

And does anyone then wonder bitterly (like me) why it is they don’t!?  I mean, if ever there was the opposite to the hero type mentioned above, then I am certainly it.  I am the man with the anti-Midas touch.  Murphy’s Law incarnate.  An anti-hero at best.

Three examples immediately come to mind for this, some I have “touched” upon on previous posts.  The last of which happened not too long ago and completely sums up my whole existence.

Example 1 – “defensive prowess”

I was dispatched to attend a patient suffering a mental health crisis in the street.  I recall finding my patient at a bus stop being rather abusive to those around her.  The crew had arrived at the same time and I quickly set about calming the patient with my amazingly charming personality.  So amazing was my charm, and so impressed was the patient receiving my dazzling onslaught of dulcet tones, that she promptly told me to,

“Fuck off!”

And forthwith produced a knife!

Now, not two weeks earlier, one of my good friends had sent me a text advising that a similar type of patient had pulled a gun on them.  In his text he merely stated, I disarmed them.  I could only imagine in what form “I disarmed them” manifested seeing as my good friend is an ex-kick boxing champion of Europe – twice!  He got a commendation for his actions in “disarming” that patient.  I say it was nothing more than the right place, right time – nothing to do with his years of hard training.  Nothing at all.  Just lucky!

Anyway, I digress.  My patient pulled a knife on me.  Before it was fully out in the open my mind had worked out everything that would happen.  This was it!  This was MY moment!  MY chance!  MY time to earn a prize.  MY time to get a commendation.  I’d be a hero.  People wouldn’t laugh at me (any more).  In that split second as she was whipping the blade from her pocket I’d sussed out exactly how I would disarm her, take her down, and apply a suitable lock to restrain her until the police arrived.  I was set!  I was ready!

There was a long pause as we all looked down at the “blade” she had produced.  It was a normal, every day, butter knife.  And appeared about as sharp as a bowling ball.  The pause continued.  Enough that the patient felt it necessary to shake the knife a little, as if that would emphasise the fear factor.

All I thought of in that pause, looking down at the tooth pick she brandished, was how disappointed I was.  One job.  That’s all.  My patient had one job.  And failed miserably.

“Seriously?!”  I mocked, “What do you intend to do with that?  Spread butter over me?”  I gnarled my teeth, “Give me that!”

I snatched the knife from her hands. There was no attempt to stop me.  I sighed, deeply saddened that my one chance at heroism had been reduced to robbing a poor woman of a piece of kitchen cutlery.

“Get on the truck.”  She followed on with her head hung low, like a school child being led to the head teacher for a bollocking.

Example 2 – “saving a life”

I was just finishing dealing with an old drunk man in the street who’d fallen asleep on a bench on a busy London street of an evening.  The police were on scene also.  The gentleman, well in his 60’s, wanted nothing to do with either of our services.  And was quite vocal about his disapproval.  This was fine with me and as I was tying up the loose ends by subtly pointing the man back away from the edge of the road, he lashed out and told me to,

“Fuck off!”

At which point, his foot caught on the edge of the curb and he fell sidewards into the oncoming path of a double decker bus.  With super lightning fast reflexes, I snatched forward and grabbed his shoulder, swinging him back round just as the bus shot past barely brushing the old man’s hair.  A nano second later and his head would have been spread across the side walk like a spilt slush puppy.  But, as it was, his life was spared and in the same motion it took for me to swing him round, saving his life of course, the old man turned to face me and delivered a beautifully timed, wind sucking punch to my stomach before repeating his decree, and disappearing off into the night.


The police, after attempting to chastise the old man turned to me and chuckled, “you’re a hero” before also leaving.

Example 3 – looking good

Now, the reason I have been amusingly thinking of these moments, is down to this last example.  This happened a few months ago in London.  And this typically sums up the difference between the likes of my good friends – the ones who are always in the right place at the right time; the ones who’s efforts always appear golden and who never step in dog shit, ever – to the likes of myself; the ones who always seem to trip over something that isn’t there; the ones who somehow always leave a piece of toilet roll hanging from their trousers after leaving a public loo; the ones who just can’t seem to catch a break.

It was raining and I had just finished helping an old gentleman up from falling in public.  Being a large man it had turned into a bit of a tough show to get him up and onto the ambulance.  Once finished I said goodbye to the crew and left them to it.  Brushing myself down and attempting to tuck my shirt back into my trousers, I became consciously aware of someone watching me.  It was a middle aged woman wearing a plastic rain coat sitting on a mobility scooter.  Naively thinking she was about to applaud my efforts in the public service I smiled.

“Alright luv?”  I beamed.  My clothes were sodden from the rain and I was squirming about tucking my shirt in.

The lady stared for a few seconds more before offering the slightest shake of her head, and moving forward.  As she passed she looked me up and down and uttered her thoughts driving off into the rain.

“You really are a fat bastard aren’t you”

Maybe one day I’ll get to catch a break eh.


9 thoughts on “Catching a Break

  1. Awwwww I love you and appreciate what you do! Keep up the great work, stay safe and thank you. Love your blog, always entertaining. x

    • Thanks Kelly. Having this hero cape is a curse sometimes . . . especially when the cape is a bit tight fitting

  2. Welcome back 🙂
    You have been missed LOL but, as I too am in the middle of a house move, I totally understand…

    • Ha ha thanks Izzy. Aye lots to write about and moving house and jobs has had its toll. Good luck with yours

  3. You are not alone !
    Do a great job, save a life, save a limb deliver a baby by torch light and nobody but nobody gives a toss, no thank you, no hint of recognition nothing. Drop your drug box that scatters and the whole word and his wife and the bloody dog are there applauding and tutting ….. no mate you are not alone!

  4. Saved a life once (one of the rare times we actually do). Worked my backside off to do it (then much to my relief the grownups showed up in their helicopter to take over and fly the patient to the major hospital).
    The town gossip for that week?
    Not the helicopter coming to town, and someone’s life literally being saved.
    No, it was that I knocked on the wrong door early in the morning, on a street with no house numbers.
    They talked about it for weeks, yet nary a mention of the helicopter job.

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