Friday, 1 April 2011

Blood Quite Near The Tracks.

This blog will start with something brilliant, then something really horrible, then something brilliant again. Just warning you, that's all.

On Monday, my good friend Jeremy Limb was kind enough to treat me to a day out. It was pretty much the perfect day out for a 42 year old man like me. We went to the Doctor Who Experience in Olympia. It was a lot of fun. We walked into a room filled with props from the TV series and after about two minutes the 11th Doctor appeared in front of us asking for our help. The Doctor asked ME to help him! ME!!! Me and my companion, Jeremy, who's just there for the Dads. He asked us if we could see the TARDIS anywhere but it wasn't there AND THEN IT WAS. The TARDIS doors opened and we got inside and it was really big and we steered it. We steered the fucking TARDIS. What were you doing on Monday? Going to work, were you? Commuting to the office like a good little robot? Well, we were doing something a little more important, thank you very much. Leela and I (I call Jeremy Leela now) steered the TARDIS away from the Starship UK.... into the clutches of The Daleks!

Somehow, mainly by just standing there doing nothing, we defeated the Daleks and found ourselves face to face with the Pandorica that tore a hole in time and space that let in all our enemies. The Daleks, the Cybermen and the Weeping Angels all tried to destroy us but we very cleverly defeated them and sent them spiralling into a black hole. The Doctor was really pleased with me and Leela and praised us for all our good work which, again, felt a lot like just standing there watching. After all this excitement we got to see all the costumes of all 11 Doctors (you can just imagine how incredible the 9th Doctor's costume looks in real life) and hung out in the 80's TARDIS control room. I held hands with the K1 Robot and I have never felt happier in my entire life than I did in that beautiful moment. I couldn't recommend it more to any other 42 year old manchildren.

Because I'd been a good boy all day, Leela and I went to the pub and had a few drinks before going back to real life. Real life turned out to be horrible and messier than I hoped.

Leela went back to her own planet (that's how I like to think of it) and I walked to Hammersmith Tube station. I was on the Piccadilly line platform, my train pulled up, the doors opened and that's when I heard screams behind me. I looked around and saw a woman lying at the bottom of the concrete steps. Now, I'd like to say that I bravely sprung to her aid immediately but I didn't. I paused. Just for a second. There were lots of people much nearer to her than I was. But that one second was coming to a close and still people were just staring at her. "Fine", I thought. "I'll do it".

I ran over and saw a lot of blood coming out of her head. I took my coat off and used it to support her head while I asked one of the staring doing nothing people to get an ambulance. Tube staff appeared pretty quickly and one look on all their faces said all I needed to know. "You deal with it", they said. Great. I know very little about First aid but I know that supporting the head is important. But she was bleeding a lot so while one of the Tube staff ran off to get a First Aid kit I thought it would be best to talk to this woman. I held her hand and asked her to squeeze mine. Nothing happened.

Of course, it was then that I totally understood why everyone just stared at this woman and did nothing. As I held her hand and asked her to give mine a squeeze I thought "Oh, fuck. What if she dies?" These are concrete steps and she's clearly hit her head on them during the fall. That could easily kill someone. Holding this motionless hand was a million miles away from the joy of holding the cold, motionless hand of the K1 Robot. I knelt there talking to her for maybe two minutes before she responded with a groan. That's normal for me but it's the happiest I've ever felt hearing it. I asked the woman her name but she only groaned. I asked her to squeeze my hand but she only groaned. A bit more asking and worrying that she was going to die and finally she squeezed it. YAY!!

I asked her name again a few times (I've got her blood on my hands, jeans, t-shirt and it's completely caked on my coat, the least she could do is tell me her name) and she opened her eyes and said "Michelle".

"That's a great name, Michelle. I'm Michael" I said.

"Well, it's the same name, isn't it?"

That's when I knew everything was OK. We talked for a bit and I vaguely explained what had happened while convincing her to stay still. Then my 15 minutes of being a Doctor was up and paramedics turned up and I let them take over. They took another 10 minutes to look after her before stretchering her away but when they turned up Tube staff said I could go. I couldn't. Her head is on my coat. It's only a coat, I realise, but I need it. It was an interesting 15 minutes. I rarely speak to complete strangers on the tube but it was definitely interesting to meet Michelle who was on her way home to Richmond and was more concerned with her handbag than her head. When she left I went backstage of the London Underground and cleaned up in their solid gold VIP bathroom. They put my coat in a bag and gave me their number. I could call them and they'd let me know how she was. I'm never doing that. When I rescued Gary the seagull and took him to the vet pretty much everyone said "You know they'll probably just put it down". I never checked on Gary for that very reason, I'm sure as hell not doing it for Michelle from Richmond.

So the reason why you DON'T help someone who's had a horrible accident is clear: They might die while you're holding their hand. But what reason would you help that person? Well, I can tell you. There are perks to this job. I had to take my blood soaked coat to a dry cleaners and you can't just give a bloody coat to them without explaining what's happened. I explained. They said that I was lovely and there would be no charge.

Hear that, COWARDS? Save someone's life, get free dry cleaning. Oh, the 9/11 firemen are praised as heroes but I know why they really did it.

www.michaellegge.net

ps. Robin Ince and I are performing Pointless Anger, Righteous Ire at the Glasgow Comedy Festival this Saturday. You can buy tickets here: http://bit.ly/f9Wghe

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3 comments:

Michael Legge said...

An interesting thing:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

BLaCKouT said...

I suspect your free dry cleaning was down to the shop person secretly thinking that you may have bludgeoned someone to death and thought of a detailed alibi. Anxious to stay on your good side, they offered free dry cleaning as a bribe.

You could probably have held out for a handjob.

Jane said...

Very interesting - I'd like to attend bystander training! Us humans are so weird...and when you are the only one helping someone, you cannot understand why everyone else is just watching...Your blog has stayed with me and you are clearly a very nice man, not afraid to lose face, or use rude words! Keep up the good work, both in comedy and when walking around in your life!!!