Saturday, August 16, 2014


Hilary was heading home, drunk, when she stumbled over a kerb, landed on her arm and broke it.
As we pull up in the ambulance she’s propped up against a telephone junction box, leaning forwards, her left arm and her long, blond hair hanging down in front of her.
‘I’m sorry. I’m sorry,’ she slurs, lifting her face approximately in our direction. ‘Mr Ambulance people. I know you’ve got better things to do. I’m sorry to take your time, okay? But I’ve been well and truly fucked over by this stupid kerb and I don’t know what to do it hurts so much.’
We help her on to the truck and settle her on a seat.
‘Don’t cut the jacket,’ she says. ‘The fucking kerb’s not getting that as well. I’ll take it off. Okay? Just wait!’
She makes a couple of drunkenly ineffectual moves, then slumps forward again.
As gently as we can we ease the jacket off, then gauge the extent of the injury and splint the arm.
‘How was your night, then, Hilary?’ I say as I work. ‘Apart from breaking your arm?’
She squints up at me through a haze of alcohol and hair.
‘That’s outrageous,’ she says. ‘I can’t believe you just said what you said.’
‘You’re right. That was outrageous. What was I thinking?’
She stares at me some more. Eventually she says: ‘This just gets worse. You’re not even hot.’
I make a Soprano-style Ohh! and we carry on immobilising her arm in silence.
Finally we help her over on to the trolley and do what we can to buffer her with bags and blankets for the journey. When she’s reasonably comfortable, Rae jumps out and goes round to the cab.
Just as we move off, Hilary squints at me again.
‘I can’t believe you said what you said,’ she says. ‘Out- fucking-rageous.’
‘Never mind. Least said soonest mended.’
‘What? Oh – and a c**t as well, apparently.’


Sabine said...

Manners! You could despair these days.

Spence Kennedy said...

Weeelll, I'm never my best in the early hours. I know she was steaming drunk, but still... :/

jacksofbuxton said...

Of things to say to a man about to assist me with a broken arm,I suspect that would be quite low down the list.

Spence Kennedy said...

I suspect that alcohol was working it's magic in all aspects of her life that night (but not mine, I have to say) :/

Cassandra said...

Well, I never!

Seriously, though, I don't see how your comment was outrageous at all. Then again, maybe the kerb said something that you didn't hear and she was responding to that? In all seriousness, her response was *incredibly* rude, regardless of the level of courtesy of your previous comments. One of the fundamental lessons in life is "do not be mean to and/or piss off the people with the syringes".

Also: "kerb"? Here, we spell it "curb".

Spence Kennedy said...

Me too! I was shocked - that's one of my top ten lines sigh.

Note to self: Learn a bunch of new lines.

I think that lesson about meanness and syringes is definitely worth remembering. I'd certainly be mindful of who was holding the needles, no matter how many drinks I'd had.

Interesting about the spelling difference. Kerb your enthusiasm wouldn't work so well as a title, would it?

Cassandra said...

I dunno. "Kerb" sounds like some sort of food… perhaps a diet product?

Spence Kennedy said...

I'll have the chicken mayo with the kerb and rocket salad, and a Coke.

Cassandra said...

The Coke ruins it. Diet Coke, silly! :P