We’ve had some gorgeous spring weather lately and one particularly sunny late afternoon I was called to someone reported as being ‘unconscious’ by passers-by. When I arrived there was a small crowd gathered around a man who was lying flat out on the pavement of a very busy road.
Well as you know I’m not a detective, but the carrier bag full of cigarettes and extra strong lager cans gave me my first subtle hint of what the problem may be. The crowd dispersed and I did some observations on my patient. At about this time a public-spirited and kind young man stopped and offered to help me.
“I’m a doctor, is there anything I can do?” he asked. I thought about his generous gesture briefly and replied;
“Well yes actually, if you want, you could ‘baby-sit’ this drunken man until the ambulance arrives while I go off and attend to a real emergency….” Unsurprisingly he declined and left me to it (in a kind and public-spirited sort of way). Just then my patient, who it transpired called himself Mr Lucky, started to wake up, and once he was awake oh boy, he hardly stopped talking for one moment!
He and I sat next to each other chatting amiably like old friends whilst leaning up against the front wall of someone’s house as we waited for the ambulance to turn-up. Well actually he chatted and I just listened, because he barely paused for breath. There were moments of respite for me however, as occasionally, mid-sentence he would list sideways with his head coming to rest on my shoulder as he momentarily nodded off. When the ambulance pulled up he suddenly sprang to life and said to me;
“Here take this and don’t tell anyone, you can throw it away if you don’t want it?” I felt as he pushed something, which I thought was a piece of paper, in to my trouser pocket. I was just getting to my feet and didn’t pay much attention at the time, but from then on he kept tapping his nose, winking at me and shushing his finger to his lips to remind me to keep ‘mum’.
“Don’t worry, it’s our secret” I reassured him, for at least the umpteenth time.
I handed my charge over to the crew and we exchanged details then said our goodbyes. I jumped back in to my car as they set off for hospital with Mr Lucky on board. Remembering the gifted item, I pushed my hand in to my trouser pocket to retrieve it. I was more than a little surprised to find that it wasn’t the winning lottery ticket I had hoped for, but two small wraps of cannabis! I rapidly pictured a scenario:
The police with sniffer dogs in tow, descend on my car out of the blue – I’m dragged out and slammed up alongside it – the dogs immediately point their noses at me accusingly and sit by my feet - after a quick search I’m caught red handed in possession of the drugs - I weakly try but fail to defend my position – before I know it I’m in a prison cell in bad clothes, unwashed hair, singing ‘Like a Virgin’ with Bridget Jones and the girls – no Colin Firth to save me, no mobile phone or even worse no Facebook access – sheer hell!!!
One step ahead, I phoned our control room to quickly get in my side of the story. I advised them I would be stopping by the local police station to hand in the stash post haste, which I did – and I have the receipt to prove it, just in case you were wondering.