Walking through the park this evening on the way back from work, a most unusual sight struck my roving peepers.
A guy in a shop-mobility scooter was ambling along the uneven grass and suddenly became stranded upon a raised manhole cover.
Naturally your humble narrator resolved to help him out of the tricky situation.
Right hemisphere: Ignore him. Look at those seventies trousers. He’ll be a total nutter.
Left hemisphere: Shame on you, my conjoined friend. “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing”. Edmund Burke.
Always come armed with a quote when wrestling with yourself internally.
I went over to help the guy.
Having learned from an incident with a guide dog earlier in the year, I knew that some tact must be employed before getting tactile.
“Do you need some help?” I asked.
“Aye,” he rumbled gutturally, rear wheels spinning pointlessly. He was a beetle on its back, mandibles flailing.
I gave him a push and he bumped soundly over the protruding piece of metal. A good day’s work. I would probably get to meet Esther Ranson now.
He extended his hand for shaking purposes. Trite, I shook it.
“My name’s Roy,” he growled, “What’s yours?”
He said this drunkenly through yellowed teeth. Just great. He was one of those lonely nutjobs to whom you show one iota of affection and you become their spunky valentine for life.
Right hemisphere: Now look what you’ve done. You’ve engaged with a handicapped drunk. You’re in deep trouble now. You’ll have to write a terrible blog entry about being a “nutter magnet”.
Left hemisphere: What was I supposed to do? Ignore him? He was capsized.
Right hemisphere: You should have left him. He was clearly a drunk. He’s probably come all the way on that thing from the East end.
Left hemisphere: You leave the East end out of this. You’re always having a bash at the East end. It’s not that bad there. They have a cathedral. The Irn Bru factory is out there.
Right hemisphere: They have a plague pit as well. The streets are paved vomit and dog poo. And they like it like that. Vomit and dog poo is sweet ambrosia to an Eastender.
Left hemisphere: This is all academic. What are we supposed to do now? He’s still shaking my hand and asking for my name. Shall I tell him it’s Graham?
Right hemisphere: Just smile and pretend you hadn’t heard.
I smiled and pretended I hadn’t heard. If only I had listened to my inner Daily Mail in the first place and I wouldn’t be in this mess. “Nice to meet you, pal.” Jovial. “Have a lovely day.”
I began to walk in a westerly direction. Walk/Sprint, whatever.
“Come back,” I heard Roy say in desperation. I wonder now if I imagined this but I don’t think I did.
Left hemisphere: God, did you hear that? He’s desperate for friendship.
Right hemisphere: Of course he is! He probably ran over than manhole deliberately. Don’t you see? It’s a trap!
Left hemisphere: Christ, you’re probably right. Better not look back.
On this, I hear the sound of urgent tires approaching.
Right hemisphere: Shit, he’s coming after you. Act like Doctor Who and find some stairs.
Left hemisphere: I’m scared.
Right hemisphere: Humourize him. Give him an hilarious nickname.
Left hemisphere: Okay. Um. Rolling Roy.
Right hemisphere: That’s the stuff. Nothing to be scared of. He’s not one of the Wheelers from Return to Oz. He’s just a harmless old man.
Left hemisphere: You’re right. I could have taken him in a fight.
Right hemisphere: You da man. You could take anyone in a fight.
Left hemisphere: I could have punched him in the face and taken his wallet.
Right hemisphere: Whoa, too far.
The sound of wheels transpires to be that of a bicycle courier. I afford a look back and see that Roy is still where I left him. He is talking to a tree. I am safe.