Wednesday, November 10, 2010

a cheery wave

Mr Bacton is sitting in a supermarket wheelchair, discretely hidden behind a supermarket mobile screen, on the edge of the supermarket car park. With his neck in a white cervical collar and in his large flat cap, he could be a giant species of mushroom wheeled out for the village parade. A community responder stands behind him holding him by the stem, whilst around him, chatting happily amongst themselves, are the supermarket first aider and her excitable young assistant; the supermarket manager, Mr Bacton’s wife, a police officer, and an anguished middle-aged woman who massages her hands and moves restlessly from foot to foot, looking everywhere but at Mr Bacton.
Frank circulates, playing the crowd; I go up to the responder who gives me the basic story, the injuries she found, the worst being some central neck pain. Mr Bacton remains at the centre of the whole drama, splendidly immobile, deeply unimpressed.
‘Keep your head nice and still whilst I have a feel, Mr Bacton. Is it a bony pain, here, right in the middle, would you say? Or is it more off to the side?’
‘Is it what?’
‘Does it hurt here – right here – in the middle – where I’m pressing? Or is the pain more to the side?’
‘The middle.’
I give him the once over; apart from his neck and some superficial grazes, he seems to have come through remarkably intact.
‘So tell me what happened, Mr Bacton.’
‘I told them already.’
‘I know, I know. I just want to hear it for myself so I can get the story straight.’
He flicks his tongue over his lips and sighs.
‘I was walking behind my wife along the pavement to the supermarket. We stopped at the zebra crossing. Eventually a woman waved for us to go on. I admit we were a little bit slow: my wife had her hip done last year and I’ve got arthritis, you see. Anyway, when we reached the other side, I turned to give the driver a cheery wave.’ He sighs. ‘That’s when she ran me over.’
The supermarket first aider’s assistant bounces up and down behind me.
‘Shall I help you get the trolley out?’ he pants. ‘Do you need some blankets fetching?’
‘Yeah. Good idea. Go get some blankets.’
He bounds off.
‘Because of the neck pain you’re describing and the mechanism of injury, we’ve got to assume the worst and take you to hospital as flat as we can. We’ll put you in a vacuum mattress, and strap you up so you won’t move about en route. Purely precautionary. I’m sure it’s all fine.’
‘Yes. Well,’ he says.
‘I’ll follow in the car,’ says Mrs Bacton.
Mr Bacton stiffens. He tries to turn his head but the responder has a good grip.
‘Keep very still,’ she says, and smiles at me over the top of his cap.
‘Are you sure, Dorothy?’ he says. ‘You know what happened last time.’
Suddenly she doesn’t seem all that sure.
‘Is it difficult parking at the hospital?’
‘This time of day it shouldn’t be too bad,’ I say, picturing the parking Armageddon that is A&E. ‘You’ll be fine.’
The first aider’s assistant has come bounding back with an armful of blankets. He peers over the top of them.
‘Where do you want them?’ he says.
Mr Bacton looks across at him. I could swear he growls.

34 comments:

tpals said...

:) The assistant sounds like a puppy - underfoot and likely to piddle from the excitement.

Spence Kennedy said...

He was great - very puppyish. I think he just really, really appreciated the change to his routine. :0)

Nari said...

New to your blog. Congratulations on the Blog of Note. Your posts are amusing and touching at the same time. I look forward to reading more.

Mr London Street said...

Spence - You have just been awarded Blogger's Blog Of Note for today! Congratulations, really richly deserved.

Baglady said...

Warmest congrats on getting blog of note. Richly deserved.

Spence Kennedy said...

Wow! I can't believe I finally made it onto Blogs of Note! Thanks v much for all your support & welcome to the newbies :)

Flo said...

I'm glad I found your blog..very interesting and in english, which I appreciate!!!

Thrine Life said...

More power to your blogs ...!

Mladen said...

Oh, grats on the Blog of Note indeed!

'...a giant species of mushroom wheeled out for the village parade.'
I can barely sustain my grin. So I won't...

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks v much!

BTW - I must have mushrooms on the brain. I got myself a book to identify fungi you can eat, so I could pick some when I take the dogs out in the morning. But so far the little skull & crossbones icon seems to appear far too often, and I haven't eaten one.

x

Anonymous said...

Good god! you can write.

ixult said...

nice write

Mladen said...

It's just fine as long as you can actually see the skull and bones.

It's best to be taught by someone really; I don't think I'd dare pick some myself by just reading a book.

I often read about people who eat weird mushrooms or want to climb over mountains to get to the coast and stuff like that. Compelling ambitions indeed...

I hope you find a nice (edible) one soon!

madd said...

oopppsss .. you got blogs of note, congrats ..

Malastal said...

Your way of capturing the energies of everyday moments really touches me.

Spence Kennedy said...

Thank you so much for all your warm and encouraging comments! It's been absolutely amazing, appearing on Blogs of Note!

And thanks to Blogger, too, of course. They make it so easy to get started, and to build the whole thing into a routine of writing. Having a blog to maintain is such a great motivation!

Biggest thanks (at the risk of sounding like a cheesy awards ceremony) to all those regular readers who've stuck with me all this time. I feel like I've made lots of good friends. *sob* :0)

Wren said...

Big congrats on the blog award, Spence. You absolutely deserve the recognition.

I loved this story--the mushroom analogy and the eager helper just got me chuckling. And that last line. Priceless.

Best to you, Spence!

RICHSISTAH said...

Great post. Congrats on the Blog of Note. Take care and God bless.

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks, Wren.

It was an interesting crowd - quite a mixed bunch! Poor Mr Bacton. He only came out for a bit of quiet shopping... x

Thanks for dropping by, Richsistah!

I.M.Deluded said...

Usually I try and write something witty or at least smarmy or snide in a comments box. Usually because I have an opinion about the post - the writer has left something out, I have questions, I want to tell them they are annoying. Or something else inane like that. But I am floored. Have expended my friday sleep-in (weekend day here) reading back over your posts. There's no holes. Everything is answered. I am touched. When does your book come out?

Spence Kennedy said...

That's very kind of you, IM. Don't hold your breath about the book. I'm still vaguely hopeful that a publisher might show someinterest, but so far nothing much happening. I must admit I've been putting more energy into a completely different writing project this year, so maybe that'll bear fruit. Meanwhile, thanks again for reading the blog, and for your lovely comment.

uphilldowndale said...

We've know of your talents for a long time now ;)
congratulations.

Seré said...

Congratulations! It's one thing to have a job that gives you great material, but quite another to be able to craft it into such fully rendered stories that are both heartbreaking and heartwarming. Bravo.

Fickle Cattle said...

Congrats on the Blog of Note. You're a great storyteller. Much deserved. :-)

http://ficklecattle.blogspot.com/

Spence Kennedy said...

Hey UHDD! Hope everything's good with you. How's the responding these days? x

Thanks v much for stopping by, Sere & FC.

I really appreciate all your support :)

Brian Bedell said...

Hey there,

Pretty cool blog. I am a fiction writer and it is always amazing to me how truth is sometimes stranger than fiction. Your blog is living proof of this truth. I found you as a blog of note and I commend you on the accolade. I can see why they have chosen your blog. Keep up the good work.

Brian Bedell
Panna Days, Guinness Nights
An Alternate Truth/Fiction Blog

TNBBC Super Mod said...

Congrats on the blog of note. I am new to your blog.. and find it very interesting. My husband is a NREMTP (nationally registered paramedic) here in the states, and has been doing this for over 14 years.

It's interesting to see it all scripted out.

Do the patients allow you to release the information from their calls? amazing!

Jennifer Scavone said...

love the blog! =)
congrats on being a blog of note.

http://jenniferscavone.blogspot.com

Ciao!

DeniseMaddox said...

Great blog.

Tristana Free said...

Interesting blog dude and btw congrats on blog of note even if it's abit late.

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks for your comments - v much appreciated.

TNBBC - I change as many identifying details as I can. I never use anyone's real name, of course; often I'll change the sex (if at all possible!); location details; who was there etc etc. I try to get across the feeling of a scene without identifying it. There are plenty of things that have happened I can't write about yet, because they're so unusual you could prob identify them just from that! :/

Thanks again for all the comments.

ELL-SEE said...

Your posts are interesting, they make me laugh, make me think and make me congratulate you on being put on blogs of note! :)

Spence Kennedy said...

Thanks v much, Ell-See!

Chris J said...

Good job..I really like your blog..It doesn't looks that it is your first blog...Keep improving it....