What has happened to us as people? Have we lost our trust in our fellow man so much? Can't we accept a random act of kindness without assuming that person wants something from us? When a passing stranger says "Nice day" why do we just assume that they want to sodomise us? And how come when you pick up a child you don't know from school "The Man" makes you sign a register?
I was in the park on Monday with Steve Gribbin. We were walking our dogs and slagging off comedians when we heard a boy cry out for help. He was about 16 years old, crouching in a river and crying. He said he had broken his arm and needed help. Without a second thought for our safety, Steve and I immediately leapt to suspicion. That crying minor was obviously trying to lure us in to the river so he could rob us, smash our skulls in with big rocks and then make love to the dead us's. The thing is, we soon figured out that he was crouching in the river to keep his wrist cold after he had, you know, broken it and not planned to kill two horrible old men. We still kept our distance though, just in case. After all, yeah, he was crying in a river all alone and in pain but he was also a one minute walk from the hospital. From 900 yards away we asked if he could walk. He could. So, we pointed to the hospital that was right behind him. He told us he had left his bike at the skate park where he fell. We told him we'd get it and leave it with the park keeper. He then got out of the river, thanked us and cried his way to the hospital. Steve and I were crowned cunts.
We felt terrible. A poor kid in trouble and we stopped ourselves from helping him because modern life has made us suspicious. This can't go on. It's a very unhealthy way to live life. I decided then and there to never be that person. If someone needs help, I'll help them.
Later that day I made my second trip to the park. I saw one of our many local Cider enthusiasts sitting alone but in full conversation on a park bench. I threw a ball for Jerk and when I looked round I noticed that the man was now lying on the ground. Had he fallen? No. No, he's probably just having a lie down in the sun and...FUCK, I was doing it again. Finding an excuse not to help. Fuck that. I marched over to him. I was going to help him. I would make sure that he was breathing, I would support his head and I would call an ambulance. In short, I would be a hero. Yeah! This helping thing really seems to have it's benefits. It makes me feel all smug and superior. This is my chance to show that I do care. I care for my fellow man. And, hey, if I end up being thanked, praised and adored by passing models then so be it. And if I can...WHAT THE FUCK? By the time I got over to help the fucking stupid tramp, loads of people had already surrounded him and taken care of him. The fucking thoughtless cunts. I could have got in the Lewisham Shopper newspaper, I could have been given the key to the park, that fucking wino might have been a secret billionaire and left me everything in his will. The evil bellends. Well, that is it, world. You had one chance to accept my love and you rejected it. Fuck the lame, the sick and, in his case, the drunk. You've ruined my one simple hope; to get praised for doing very little.
Then, this morning, my hopes for the human race improved. I was in the Post Office and I couldn't help but notice that there was a slightly mad woman in the queue. She was dressed very oddly (headscarf, wellies, a blanket) and she was smiling. There is never a need to smile in Ladywell Post Office so she definitely stood out. She was old looking but, I reckoned, younger than she looked. She also smelled a bit. When she had done what she had to do at the Post Office another member of staff there said hello to her and they had a chat. He asked how she was and seemed very friendly towards her. This made me happy. I'm glad that there is someone out there there that saw past her blanket and saw the person. I'm glad that someone treated her like a person and, for at least a moment, seemed to make her happy. She left and he waved cheerily at her. It was really nice.
Anyway, as soon as she had gone, he got out a can of air freshener, sprayed it in big circles and started laughing at her. There. The human race is back on track.
Speaking of cunts, John Voce and I are performing The Conversation tonight at 8pm at The Funny Side of Covent Garden. It's a show that I love doing, even though I don't do it enough, and would love you to come along. Hope to see you there. You can book here: www.thefunnyside.info