I was standing in the centre of Hammersmith Roundabout, waiting for the green man to appear so I could cross this always busy road. I checked the traffic to see if there was a gap for me to nip across whilst the red man was still shining, but saw a car and a lorry heading towards the crossing at quite some pace. I looked back in front of me and was surprised to see an old man half way across the road, shuffling incredibly slowly. Judging by the gasps of my fellow pedestrians they had also just noticed him and the screech of brakes from the lorry laden down with scaffolding would suggest that the driver saw him late too. Luckily he saw him in time though and the lorry stopped inches from him. The old fella shuffled onwards seemingly oblivious to how close he had come to death. Death, I feel, was not too perturbed by the escape, probably figuring that hed pick this one up soon enough. But if the lorry driver hadnt been quite as on the ball we could all have had quite an unpleasant day there. He had saved a life and no mistake and yet he wont be getting a Pride of Britain Award tonight. Life is filled with such unheralded heroics.
As the truck pulled away I caught the eye of the driver and raised my eyebrows in a way that suggested I was saying, Blimey that was close! as well as Well done mate. You saved a life! The driver responded by raising his eyebrows back at me as if to say, I know and I know.
Pathetically, this silent communion with this working class hero made me feel slightly manly too. But I am just a writer walking the streets in order to avoid having to work on the script I am meant to have finished, whilst he is a proper man who needed to get some scaffolding somewhere so something could be built. Still for one second and four raised eyebrows, we were brothers.
I bet he can change all th elight bulbs in his house no problem.
WIN A PSP
November quiz - Question 7
When I guest hosted the Andrew Collings show earlier this year, which comedian failed to turn up to review the papers as he had promised?
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