So this lunchtime my neighbour took a tumble. You’ve met him before, in a previous post – Conversations With my Neighbour #1. He’s got health issues and so is a bit dodgy on his feet, and ending up going arse over tit is nothing new for him, unfortunately.
I didn’t see him fall as I was in the kitchen sorting my dinner out – chicken and mushroom pie with puff pastry, peas, new spuds, and gravy. Very tasty. When I eventually got around to eating it, that is.
There came an almighty banging and a crashing at my front door so I made haste to open it. Sunlight streamed in as the door creaked open, and framed in the opening, silhouetted in the daylight like the Angel of Doom, was the little old lady from around the corner.
“Neighbour’s on the floor,” she informed me. “I can’t get him up because he’s too big. And my bunions.” She was right, too. He was indeed on the floor, and standing at a tad under six feet tall and weighing somewhere in the region of twenty stones or so he is definitely too big for her to lift. About her bunions I have no clue, however. I’ll have to ask her one day over tea and scones.
I stepped across the threshold and into the great, untamed outside. Ten yards away is my neighbour, laying on the ground, an arm waving in the air asking for help. His legs are on the pavement, his upper half in the road, and he bears a striking resemblance to a beached whale.
Despite everything he does have a sense of humour, and so found it funny when I told him I wasn’t sure whether to help him up or harpoon him.
All in the name of science, of course.
I did a quick, visual inspection while asking if he felt any pain anywhere. Fortunately everything seemed to be tickety-boo. Well, as tickety-boo as anything can be while you’re laying on the side of the road imitating a previously undiscovered creature of the whale variety.
“Help me up, Alen. Please,” he implored me, holding his
fins hands towards me in an almost pleading manner. With a hint of reluctance I ceased sharpening my harpoons, put them away for a later date, and got to the business of getting him back on his feet again. After much pulling and pushing and heeing and hawing and moaning and groaning, Neighbour was finally upright again, albeit a bit unsteady on his pins.
I checked him again for any injuries – there were none, not that I could see or he would admit to – and helped him to his place. Once he was settled in his favourite armchair I headed home to my belated dinner.
And what’s the point of this story, you ask?
Well, the point is, people are fucking, ignorant arseholes, that’s what.
Neighbour told me he counted eight cars that had driven past him while he was beached in the gutter, before the
Angel of Doom little old lady arrived on the scene. I recall two more passing while I was being told what was up and made my way to help. Four people walked past – two singles and a loved-up couple – while I was getting him back on his feet.
And not one of them, not one single, solitary fucking one of them stopped to ask if all was well or if any assistance was needed. Not one. Nobody.
Now, I’m not perfect. Far from it. But I do know what’s right and what’s wrong. And helping those in need is definitely on the right side of rightness. It’s just the decent thing to do. Is that so hard to understand or even to do?
These days, far too many people feign righteousness while hanging out in the virtual worlds of their favourite social media platforms. They’re quick to judge, always ready to berate with harsh words those who don’t live up to their imagined high standards. But put them in the real world and where are they? Looking the other way, pretending ignorance, unwilling to lift a finger for anything unless they think they’ll get something out of it.
It’s just not cricket, is it. Nope, not at all [insert sad face emoji].
So your god help you if I ever see you turn your face away and refuse to help somebody who is clearly in need. Your god had better help you because I certainly won’t. Piss me off at your peril.
That being said, I probably would help you out. Because despite my flaws I can be nice. And the human race is in dire need of as much niceness as it can get in this not so glorious modern age.
As always, that shallot. Oh, wait… one more thing. Helping a twenty stone man back to his feet while you’re recovering from a torn muscle in your lower back is definitely not the cleverest thing to do. Looks like it’s an afternoon of munching painkillers for me. Ah well.
That’s shallot for real.