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This is a question My Saviour

Labour leader Ed Miliband recently dashed into the middle of a road to save a fallen cyclist. Who has come to your rescue? Have you ever been the rescuer?

(, Thu 9 May 2013, 13:29)
Pages: Popular, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1

This question is now closed.

This was about ten years ago now
I had gone down to the Reading festival - it was generally a fantastic time, and I don't want to do the event a disservice, but stuff like this can happen. As is par for the course for these things, I was looking to experiment a bit with some illicit substances, and one of my mates who I was with said he knew someone that was there who we could buy some stuff from.

Well, we met the guy and I immediately wanted to get out of there. You know when the atmosphere around someone is wrong, sort of tense? It was like that. I don't know if he'd been dipping in his own supply or something but he looked ready for a fight at any moment. I'm not good with conflict so this guy scared me. I don't remember much of what set him off - I think he took offence to my friend taking a closer look at one of his toby jugs - but something did, and he pulled a knife on us - naturally we ran, and he gave chase.

Unfortunately it had been raining that year, and almost instantly I slipped in some mud. The guy was on top of me, and I genuinely though that this was it - I'm going to be stabbed to death. But someone pulled him off. When I saw who it was, I was amazed.

It was Sir Trevor McDonald.

I found this out afterwards, but Sir Trevor is a huge festival fan, and as quickly became apparent - he is fucking RIPPED. The two got into an intense fight - the drug dealer swinging his knife, and Sir Trevor dodging it every time. At one point he caught the blade with his BARE HANDS. Blood flowed down his wrist but he just squeezed tighter, looking right into the looney's eyes with the cold stare of a predator. It was clear to me that Sir Trevor was done playing defence - it was time to move into attack mode.

He immediately head-butted the druggie, breaking his nose, but not to be outdone the nutter managed to get in a few swipes at Sir Trevor in response, cutting off his neon green tank top and exposing his beautiful chiselled body to the sunlight. The gathered crowd gasped in awe, and Sir Trevor, bouyed by the attention, swung a perfect punch at the belligerent's face. "BONG" he boomed as it connected. "BONG" another one, this time a gut punch. "BONG" a kick to the chest, and the monged up abuser fell to the floor. Sir Trevor stood with his combat boot on the idiot's neck. "Today's top story," he announced, before bellowing, "I WIN!". He stamped down, instantly killing the scum. The crowd erupted into polite applause, as Sir Trevor walked over to me, and tenderly, lovingly, picked me up as we kissed a kiss to end all kisses. He carried me back to his tent, where we made beautiful love for the remainder of the festival.

True story.
(, Tue 14 May 2013, 0:10, 35 replies)
This honestly happened last Wednesday evening
I was walking up Highgate Road, came to a T-Junction and while I was doing my Green Cross Code a woman on a very flash mountain bike, with all the gear on, stopped at the junction.

Suddenly she toppled sideways, landed on her shoulder with the bike on top of her. Being the nearest person, I naturally helped her up and said "Are you OK?"
"Yes" she replied, a bit embarrassed, "it was very silly of me"
"I expect it was your cleat that got stuck, eh?" I asked
She gave me a look, shouted "YOU FUCKING WEIRDO!" and cycled off.

By the time I'd crossed the road, it dawned on me that she must have misheard.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 15:54, 9 replies)
TLDR: I saved a small girl from downing while on holiday
When I was 18, I was lucky enough to find myself on the Balearic Island of Gran Canaria.

I'd managed to get into a tight nightlife posse during my first week and our drill went like this: sunbathe off the hangover at the beach in the morning, swimming pool in the day and hit the bars and clubs at night. Rinse and repeat.

During the swimming pool sessions I'd muck around, dunk some girls, show off some dives, anything to catch the eye of a sun-baking-beauty...I was 18 remember ;)

I was also aware that this was a family pool, so there's no sordid takes here. In fact, I'd race against all the little kids in the pool and this quickly became their daily entertainment.

One little girl no older than six, a confident swimmer, would always be the first to take me on. Of course, I always let her win. This was her domain, she was in that pool when the sun came up and was still in when it went to bed, I would not spoil her fun.

Entering the night part of my routine, I met up with all my new-found pals and headed towards the hotel's bar, near the pool. The place was fairly deserted, many out for the night already, the rest in bed, but there was one familiar face: the little girl. She was still splashing away, while her parents went inside for another drink.

That's when it happened. I still see it as I saw it then. Hasslehoff Baywatch-style slo-mo vision. The little girl was visibly tired, scrambling desperately towards the edge of the pool under the weight of her own exhaustion. Her head bobbed above the water, then below, above the water, then below, above the water, then nothing. She was drowning and no-one had noticed.

Here I was in all my splendour: my slick gelled hair, my chino pants, my pulling shirt, beer in hand...all forgotten...as I dived into that pool and scooped her up from the bottom.

I put her on the side, no breaths coming from her tiny frame, so I gave her CPR, and she spluttered into life, just like TV.

I looked up, suddenly aware of a crowd. Her parents were there, my friends too. There was no applause, celebration, no fist-pumping, no high-fives. I had just saved a little girl's life.

I headeed into town soaking wet but the generous climate of the island dried me out.

The next morning I skipped the beach and started my hangover/tanning/sleeping duties next to the pool. I didn't get to complete any of those tasks though as I was visited by my new best friend: Sophie.

Not only was Sophie a great little swimmer but she was pretty acomplished climber too: hanging from my legs and on my back, like a little chimp, for the rest of the holiday.

It probably didn't help my chances with the sun-baked-beauties but I didn't mind one bit.

The most amazing thing was that very day - Sophie got back in the pool and kept her head above water - while she raced me for the 100th time. She beat me once again, of course ;)
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 2:48, 21 replies)
Pussy in peril.
Note: Lacks LOLs and puns and is highly likely to be tl;dr

I had travelled to Cardiff for some meeting or other. When it had finished, it transpired that one of my colleagues – who I’d only met briefly once before – and I were going to be getting the same train back. Louise was going to Hereford, me to Crewe.

We got to the station platform just in time to see our train accelerating out of sight, leaving us with an hour to kill until the next one. As unappealing as station buffets are, it was better than standing on a windswept platform, so we went in for a coffee.

About twenty minutes into our wait, a large family bundled into the room, speaking loudly with Irish accents and looking like they’d just come from tarmacking over some lucky heather. One of the children was a little girl of about four years old who was carrying a tiny black and white kitten. I say “carrying” but she was actually holding the kitten up by gripping its front paws between her thumbs and forefingers and bouncing it up and down like you would when trying to make a doll ‘dance’.

I’m not normally squeamish, but watching this was turning my stomach so I suggested to Louise that we might be better waiting outside. I’d considered confrontation – very briefly – but given the belligerent vibes being given off by the adult members of the family, my fat yellow streak had taken over.

Of course, once we were outside, the mental image of the poor kitten wouldn’t leave me and nor, it would appear, Louise.

“How much money do you have on you?” she asked. Once the moths had flown out of the coin pocket of my wallet and the portrait of the Queen had stopped blinking at the bright light, I determined that I had five one pound coins.

“Right,” she said. “Give them to me, we’re going to buy that kitten.”

And with that she marched back into the buffet and started telling the matriarch of the family some bullshit story about the kitten being the spitting image of her recently-deceased and much-beloved moggie, and would they be prepared to sell the kitten?

“Ah well, it cost me fifty pounds,” announced the Pikey princess.

“I only have five,” countered Louise.

“Ah, go on then,” came the reply. I was happy to see that no spitting on and shaking of hands to seal the deal was required as the kitten was unceremoniously grabbed from the young girl and thrust into Louise’s hands.

Once we’d taken our leave and retreated outside, Louise turned to me and asked, “Do you want a cat? I have two dogs and they hate cats.”

And so it was that I found myself on a three hour train journey with a kitten that preferred to be held than kept in the makeshift carrier of an empty frozen chip box donated by the buffet manageress. At Crewe station my wife met me and we transferred the kitten to a proper cat carrier ready for a trip to the vet for a check-up.

Aside from being only about six weeks old and a bit under-nourished, probably from being separated too early from its mother, the only thing the vet could find wrong with the kitten was that her front shoulder joints were stiff, almost certainly from being put under strain by the ‘dancing’.

And then when we got the kitten home, it fell out with our cat, so we had to dump it on the in-laws, whose own cat had recently died.

Fifteen years later, Rosie the cat is still around. She can still jump on top of the kitchen cupboards but doesn’t really like going outside any more.

tl;dr – rescued kitten finds loving home.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 16:51, 7 replies)
a running joke
I took part in an organised charity run and managed to keep pace with a raise cute looking girl. My only goal was finishing the race before her. That was it.

Sadly I was unfit and fat, and she quickly shook me off her tail. Imagine my surprise when, near the finish line I see her lagging. I reclaimed that lost distance and just as I glided past her, she stops and vomits all over her trainers.

I'd love to say I stopped and helped but I just thought "Fuck that..." and carried on running. And, like most encounters I have with women, I finished before her.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 13:53, 10 replies)
Rolling back from a club one morning in a mildly chemical state
my mate spotted a cat bobbing in the water. With no thought for his own safety or comfort he plunged in to the murky depths and spluttered his way to the distressed animal. And that's how he rescued a block of polystyrene from the Leeds Liverpool canal.
(, Mon 13 May 2013, 10:40, 12 replies)
Hail Seizure!...

Please have this pea...that is only mildly relevant at best.

Many moons ago I was but a fleeting young Cheeky, and my only skill consisted of being a bit of a techno-geek (as in technology and suchlike, not the ‘boom-boom-bloody-boom’ music sort of thing)

In any case, one day, my parents had decided to buy a new telly, due to the unforeseen circumstances of their previous one bursting into flames. (This was the olden days, remember – that used to happen a lot)

Anyhoo, in their ultimate wisdom they took me along, for my ‘expert’ 14-year-old opinion on what would constitute fulfilling the bare requirement of a 'bargain-tastic new-fangled TV-a-tron'.

One megastore later, as I wandered around the electrical shop pretending to know what I was doing, we were distracted by a 'bit of a kerfuffle'…

A young girl, about 10 years old…started positively freaking out by the wall of televisions that tends to line such establishments. Screaming wildly with arms flailing, the poor kid was acting as if she was either being electrocuted, demoniacally possessed, or could just no longer contain her excitement at the sheer magnitude of shoddy blenders and wotnot on special offer.

Her poor flustered mum didn’t know what to do – so she opted to 'flap a bit'.

Displaying the very worst type of human nature, like when driving slowly past a car crash, the entire population of the store decided to stand perfectly still…and cowardly observe what was to transpire. For fuck's sake, I could’ve sold popcorn to the amount of lazy-arsed, agog faces, gawping away as they turned their heads away from their potential purchases so they could watch the events unfold.

My Dad, however, had other ideas. Like a crusty, slightly wiffy old superhero, he decided to pause on humouring my increasingly fumbling ‘expertise’, and he strolled straight up to the poor girl and his distraught mother.

As the little lass continued to gibber endlessly, everyone else just stood and stared. I did too. If this had happened nowadays there would probably be phonecam videos of it on youtube…but nonetheless, everybody stayed rooted to the spot as my Dad cheerily approached them, and gently placed his hand on her shoulder.

“Are you alright love?” He enquired gently, (edit - without even a whiff of 'Yewtree' about it before you start) as the girl uncontrollably wibbled. The distraught mum seemed quite stunned as she watched this bumbling old fellla amble over in the middle of a crisis…but immediately, before anyone could comment, the girl incredibly started to calm somewhat in the presence of this total stranger. He was like a crusty old Jesus...from the Midlands.

“Would you like a sit down?” my Dad then enquired, before heaving some big object over (using the strength that only Dads have - it could have been a MASSIVE fridge, but might have been a chair), and he reassuringly ushered the poor girl towards it.

She nodded her head tentatively, and started the slow journey towards being compos mentis.

The flummoxed young mum was obviously still startled, but she soon composed herself, stepped in and joined my Dad as everybody looked on, watching this blithering old fart involve himself…and completely take control of the situation. Thankfully, the girl continued to slowly calm down.

However, at this point, (if I remember correctly it was the store assistant manager…but either way he was some cunting lickspittle), decided to assume that my Dad must somehow be related to the poor girl, who must only be throwing a big girlie tantrum, and he promptly decided that he didn't want such an embarrassing display driving his precious customers away. He approached my Dad, straightened his corporate badge and barked: “Oi!, You!” before pointing his finger at the door and exclaiming: “Get her out of here!”

Now - I cannot state enough - my Dad is a kindly, wisend old bell-end who has lived a bit, and thusly it takes a lot to rile him. However, the actions of this insensitive management mongoloid seemed to be almost precisely the exact amount of wankerishness it took to boil my old man's piss. He manoeuvred the girl's frantic mother closer towards her daughter and clasped their hands together, before briefly leaving his post to step away; just a couple of strides towards the utter fucking twat who was thinking of nothing but his sales figures.

To this day I can’t remember how something spoken so quietly by such an unassuming man could be so intimidating. But Lorks…I mean, I nearly shat a brick, and I was only ‘watching from the wings’ as it were. I’m afraid my typed words do not do justice to the next thing that happened…My Dad calmly stepped towards the ass manager, looked him straight into his beady eyes and said:

“She will leave when she’s ready……but as for you……..you will fuck off…...NOW!”

The jobsworth jobbie proceeded to take huge backward steps in the fashion of someone who had just found a freshly severed horse head in his underpants drawer. Visibly crumbling like a freshly attacked World Trade Centre, the shop assistant simply slithered away and melted into the background, as some onlookers dared to glare at him from afar.

My Dad then turned and went back to the girl and his mother, speaking gently, yet confidently, and over a few minutes, managed to calm everybody down and then accompany the girl and her mother to their car. After ensuring their safety, the mum then asked for my Dad's number (silly sod probably thought he was 'in there') before she added that she would call later and let him know how the young girl was doing. With the panic now subdued, the mother then burst into floods of appreciative tears – heartily thanking my Dad for his heroic assistance. He merely beamed at her and answered: “No problem love. now if you don’t mind, I have to get back inside before my lad makes me fork out for some bloody crap over-sized telly”

The mother duly called later. It turns out that the girl was diagnosed epileptic, but her previous seizures had only been very mild. However, the strobe-like flashing of a veritable wall of TV’s managed to set her off like a cheap Chinese firework. It was a very real, proper emergency, yet nobody thought to do anything…except my Dad.

I was already proud of him…that was just some more icing on the cake.

To round this off, I would dearly like to big my Dad up some more with something like: 'Of course, this behaviour was natural for him because he used to be a Colonel in the army’ or ‘He used to be a Doctor / Psychiatrist’, or even something like, ‘He’s built like a brick shithouse’, but I’m afraid I can’t. He’s just a normal sized guy who, before he retired, was a forklift truck driver in a shitty warehouse in Coventry. However, He just so happens to be quite staggeringly good with people – and I consider that a genuine gift - so I won't try to add any more facts, bullshit or credence to my tale. He is just a quite phenomenal human being.

…but I still call him a silly old bugger.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 15:42, 5 replies)
Three years ago on a cold evening in March a baby starling
fell out of its nest in next door's roof onto the path. I tried to walk past but had to turn back and pick him up. He didn't appear hurt, apart from being pissed off with the sibling who pushed him out, so I took him indoors.
He was christened "Sidney" and given dog food off the back of a teaspoon handle and water from an eyedropper. I kept him in a cardboard box with scrunched up paper inside. He was quiet when the lid was closed but would respond energetically when he heard me start to open the lid.
There was no-one at home daytimes so I took him to work with me because he needed feeding at least every hour during daylight.
One morning after about two weeks I heard frantic rustling as I went to his box. When I opened it he tried to fly out so I took the box outside on the lawn and let him take off. His parents were sat on our fence and he went straight to them and started begging. They looked surprised but they seem to accept him and they flew off together.
His siblings didn't fledge until three days later so chicken in jelly appears to be more nutritious than grubs and leftovers.
One of the most rewarding things I have done; people asked me why I bothered, there's millions of starlings? But it's like I said to Sid, "A mate's a mate, right?"
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 12:19, 11 replies)
I am a super hero that quite often comes to the rescue of others, well 4 times so far anyway.
I call my alter ego "Carrier bag man"

It all started about a year ago when I spotted a woman in the city centre, she was struggling with a load of shopping that had fallen all over the floor because her carrier bag had broken, I knew I had a carrier bag in my pocket, so quick as a flash I walked over and handed her the bag and said "would this help?" she looked back and smiled and said "Thankyou" I then seamlessly melted back into the croud from where I had come.

From that day forward I vowed to always carry a carrier bag around with me to come to the rescue of those unfortunate enough to suffer the
same fate as the poor woman did.

So far I have helped 3 others appart from her.

No one knows my identity, no one knows where I come from, no one knows where disapear to, no one knows if I'll be there to help if their bag brakes, all the know is that I AM CARRIER BAG MAN.
(, Sat 11 May 2013, 13:32, 15 replies)
One pleasant evening many years ago
I was walking along Upper Street opposite the Union Chapel in Islington, and cycling towards me was a boy who can't have been more than three years old, on a little bike with training wheels, his mother walking a few metres behind him. He looked like he was enjoying his bike ride, right up to the point where the camber of the pavement got the better of him and he toppled off, rolling down a couple of steps to land on his back like an upturned turtle in the gutter, arms and legs flailing with his head directly under the front wheel of a refuse lorry that was being revved ominously and appeared about to set off.

It would have been splat, basically.

I ran down the steps, frantically waving and shouting at the driver who somehow remained oblivious to any of this, and I grabbed the kid from under the wheel just as his screaming mother arrived to snatch him from me. As she held him, making sure he was alright and showering him with kisses, I said something like 'bloody hell, that was close - glad he's ok", but she was too preoccupied to hear me, so I carried on my way feeling a little rattled.

A minute or two later I heard a "Hey mate!" and turned to see some bloke running up to me.

"Excellent!" he said, "I saw what happened there and I just wanted to say that what you did was brilliant."

"Oh, it was nothing really, anyone would have done it," I replied, using the standard English format.

"No, I just wanted to tell you that because she thinks it was you that knocked him off his bike."

I carried on walking.
(, Mon 13 May 2013, 13:02, 8 replies)
Winnie the Pooh was playing football
Yeah. With Tigger and Piglet and that sad donkey one. Right. So Winnie's been shoved in goals (like the fat kid always is). Trouble is, no matter how bad the shots Tigger and co punt towards the fat honey-gobbling ursine, he never saves them. No reflexes. Right? So finally the melancholic donkey runs up, blooters a fierce shot towards the greedy bear, and Winnie manages to dive in installments to the bottom corner and keep the ball out. A triumphant Winnie the Pooh shouts:

(, Mon 13 May 2013, 10:58, 1 reply)
Blood Donors.
Everyone who gives blood rescues someone every day. They deserve a click.
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 12:03, 16 replies)
Houseboat + Kittehs = fail
Slight pearoast.

Got back from the boozer on a cold December evening, several pints down. Heard a desperate yowling from the towpath as we approached our boat - our 6 month old birman kitteh had fallen in the brent and unable to get out due to the sheer steel pilings holding the bank in place, had swum to the relative but very cold safety of our neighbours' rudder pintle.
For comparison, the next door luxmotor was four times the size of ours and there was no way I could hang over the stern of the boat to rescue the little bugger in the same manner as his slightly older ginger brother some months previously.

I did what any concerned parent would do - I stripped to my keks, lowered myself in over our stern, swam to our neighbours boat and detached the cat from the rudder. I then swam back to our boat where the future ex Mrs Magictorch the first leaned over, plucked him from my cold hands and wrapped him in microwave-warmed towels.

Id like to say he learnt his lesson, but he did it again a week later.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 17:14, 8 replies)
Hero to zero
When I was about 14 a girl approached me at school and said that she had seen be heroically cross the road to help a woman who had been knocked over by a large dog in the local high street. I had indeed done this the day before so happily accepted the praise. She went on about how kind it was and that not many people would have done it. I began to think I might be in there until she added a few extra words to the end of that sentence: 'especially as she was obviously a drug addict'.

It was my Mum who I had been helping.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 15:09, 4 replies)
I'm a member of the local Mountain Rescue Team
so have been involved in rescuing many people from various places some in better health than others. We are all volunteers and have to raise the money to run the team which is about £30k per year.Some of our fund raising is through bucket collections in the local town centre and outside supermarkets. For some reason it seems that little old ladies are the most generous group, they are also the most likely to stop to chat. Mostly, this is along the lines of "You do great work" or "You rescued my friend/ brother/daughter".

However, some have a slightly different tale to tell.

Recently one came up to me and put a £20 note in the bucket the conversation went something like...
"Thank you very much, that was very generous."
"Well, you were called out for my husband."
"Really? and how is he?"
"Oh, he was dead."
"Oh I'm sorry..."
"Oh no, he was pissed, so he was happy and now he's gone, I'm very happy."
"Er...Right... Thanks again!"
(, Sat 11 May 2013, 21:32, 2 replies)
Travelling on an escalator
A few years ago I was travelling on a long long up escalator at some random tube station. I was chatting to some friends when the lady about 10 steps ahead of me started to wobble. Seeing her tumble backwards head over heels I braced myself to catch her. She hit me harder than I thought but I managed to hold on with her on top of me legs akimbo. She was going commando and her lady garden was bald. I got a good view until we reached the top.

She hurried into an upright position, pulled her skirt down and swore at me for looking at her minge before rapidly making her getaway. Considering she was lying with her minge about 3 inches from my face and I was holding on for dear life there was much I could do apart from look, sniff and wish for a 4 inch tongue.
(, Sat 11 May 2013, 18:42, 16 replies)

You can fund Pokola on Google Earth; it’s a small town in the middle of the Congolese jungle close to the border with Cameroon. Because a large French logging operation is based there it has an airstrip, electricity and a mobile phone signal which is utterly bizarre given its location. The only road into town comes from the North, and after that the only way to get further into Congo is by taking the river Sangha, a tributary of the Congo itself. It’s an amazing place – in the market you will find pygmies dressed in tree bark who have walked for days to sell carcasses of all sort of animals (this is where I saw and probably ate this: b3ta.com/questions/bestandworstfood/post1216834). The pygmies are wary of white people – as children they are told that if they misbehave a white man will come and eat them, and if you’re the first one they’ve ever seen you can imagine their reaction, but a smile to their mother will be rewarded by a smile back – complete with teeth that have been filed to points. It’s a place where the law is power and justice is rudimentary, where extortion and bribery are part of the tax system.

This is where I met Paul. He was a slight Nigerian who spoke English but no French, and he was travelling overland to Malawi to spread the Christian word. He was travelling with a small satchel containing his toothbrush, a bible and a pristine spare white shirt, and not a lot else. He had had his money, papers and everything else taken at the border, but somehow managed to beg passage on a trading barge that we were taking down to Brazzaville. Getting my car onto the boat ( www.camelworld.com/images/PICT1092.JPG ) involved the use of a large crane courtesy of Michel from the logging company, and once aboard this was my home, with my roof tent offering more privacy, space and comfort than all of the other several hundred passengers and crew.

It’s impossible to describe how crowded it was – I couldn’t get into my boot as a family of four had set up a makeshift shelter against the door, and there was a dispute over the crocodiles underneath the Land Rover which had displaced the man sleeping there; moving around the barge frequently meant climbing over the railings and walking on the three inch ledge on the outside of the hull. The cargo, mostly illegal timber and live fish and animals took up the rest of the space, and people slotted into whatever space was left, grouping into messes to cook together. There were only four Anglophones; myself, Paul, Cameroon, and Joseph, and we naturally gravitated together; apart from Paul we all spoke French, so we adopted him. The inside of the car was largely full of crap from the boot, but as I couldn’t leave the car unoccupied without appearing to be a complete arsehole I offered Paul the use of the driver’s seat as a bed; at least I felt I could trust him.

Each morning Paul, or pastor Paul as we called him, would climb to the top of the massive mountain of lumber and deliver Matins to a huge congregation, in English with Joseph translating into French. He kept one pristine white shirt in reserve for his services, but the other was definitely suffering in the filthy conditions of the boat, so I lent him one of my dark shirts to better hide the grime. As he had no money to buy food along the way I shared my fresh water, tinned tuna, pilchards, and manioc with him. I even leant him my umbrella to protect him from the torrential rain when we went ashore one evening, but he slipped in the knee deep mud and broke it for which he was mortified. When the heavy weather gave him a headache I even slipped him an aspirin when nobody else was looking.

One morning he came to me with a serious face and said he had to thank me for helping him. He opened his bible to Matthew 25:35 and read:
“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me”. I thanked him, and had to smile at such an apt passage, but now that I write this story down I find that here is one more line: “I was in prison and you came to visit me.”

A week later at Brazzaville port I was doing my best to get my vehicle craned off the boat without paying a small fortune (and failing); this involved lots of shuffling between offices with superfluous bits of paperwork so that everybody could get their cut. I came across Paul in the Gendarme’s office where he was being grilled by one of the senior officials. As he had no paperwork and no money they were giving him a particularly hard time, mostly in French which he couldn’t understand anyway, and when he appealed to me to help I’m ashamed to say I did nothing – I was far to preoccupied with my own problems. I’ve often returned in my mind to that last encounter - I could at least have tried to berate the officials for interfering with a man who answered to a higher authority, but the truth is that I was deadly tired; my own journey into the heart of darkness had left me as drained as Mr Kurtz, and I had no reserves left for anybody else.

I still hear from Paul by email from time to time – he got to Malawi, and is still out there somewhere spreading the gospel.

Length? 18 months and 70,000k
(, Sat 11 May 2013, 11:42, 3 replies)
Dulce domum
A couple of years ago I was in Portpatrick, a pleasant small seaside village in SW Scotland, when I saw a cat was going loopy beside a flower bed outside a pottery on the quay. A bit of investigation showed that the flower bed was actually in a big old sink, and some frightened creature was running around in it and occasionally trying to burrow away from the cat. To no avail, of course, because while many creatures can tunnel through soil they are all stymied by a couple of inches of glazen earthenware.

With a big of care I coaxed the creature to me, and to my surprise was soon holding a rather frighten mole in my hands. Saved from the cat! Hooray for me!

Of course I still had to find somewhere for the little chap, so I deposited him gently in the nicest looking flower bed of the best tended garden in a row of posh seaside cottages on the other side of the road.
(, Sat 11 May 2013, 0:06, 2 replies)
I've already told you all about saving a woman from a knife-wielding maniac (here), preventing a suicide (here) and rescuing swimmers in trouble (here). So today I shall relate a tail of inadvertent noncery.

Walking to work one morning, I saw up ahead a small girl, about 5 years old, hiding behind an upturned table outside a pub. She was giggling, clearly playing a joke on mum. But as I got closer, the smiles faded and she started to look scared: it seemed that mum was no longer anywhere in sight.

This was near a very busy intersection in a crowded town centre, and I didn't think she should be left alone. So I approached her and talked to her, and confirmed that she'd lost her mum as I'd suspected. I knew where the school she named was, so I decided to take her there and see if I couldn't find a policeman on the way. As it happened, a few minutes down the road, I spotted a frantic-looking woman in the crowd up ahead, and so reunited them safely.

As I left them, it occurred to me rather worryingly how easy it had been to get the girl to come with me. I wondered what the two old women standing nearby - who hadn't bothered to try to help the girl, they were too busy gossiping - had made of it. And I had a long talk with my own daughters that night, too...
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 14:57, 4 replies)
drunken rescuer
I'd been out drinking for a friends birthday. Had gone out at lunch, visited many a pub, gone to the footy, more pubs, then called it a night about half ten. On my stroll home I walked through the town centre. Out of the corner of my eye I spotted 'something' run past me, I looked round and a small puppy was sitting just up the path, head tilted, looking at me.

'Awww' thinks I, 'that little fella looks lost, he'll get squashed or freeze if he's not careful' (it was January and cold). So I walked over, picked him up and sure enough the little scamp was shivering away. Luckily I was round the corner from the old bill, so I thought I could just drop the dog off there and get home. But they were shut.

A nice lady on the emergency line informed me to take it to a vet. The vets was also shut but 'open at 7am'. I rang the wife and told her I was coming home with a puppy. She later told me her initial thoughts on this. They were a mix of annoyance and intrigue. I knock on the door and she soon changed her mind when she saw the little puppy shivering in my arms.

I made a little bed for the scamp and got some sleep. Next morning, 7am, I was back at the vets.

About two days later a lady rang to thank me for handing in her dog. She also informed me it was 14 years old and a miniature Yorkshire terrier, with a heart defect. Basically she wouldn't have lasted the night. She also explained that she was looking after it for her mum so was quite relieved that she hadn't lost the dog.

And that's about the only heroic thing I've ever done.
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 14:04, 4 replies)
Anyway, just got back from the Off-Licence,
and on my way, there was this really old bloke (90 at least) who lives round here, standing in the middle of the pavement with two full Tesco bags on the floor. Engorged with goodwill after reading this thread, and drinking 5 cans of Europiss©, I stopped and said "D'you want a lift back with your shopping there?"

"Oh thank you," he wheezed, "I'm a bit tired nowadays". As we shuffled towards his flat, the stories started: Arctic convoys...sweetheart killed in the war...invalided out of the pie factory in Colliers Wood, all that kind of thing. But then as we were going up the stairs of his block it turned a bit dark: "It's all immigrants now, my pension's worth sod-all, young people got no respect, makes you wonder what we were fighting for".

But as we got to his front door, suddenly he perked up:

"Mind you," he said, "I do like that dubstep".
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 22:50, Reply)
Slightly tenuous, and more than likely going to attract a stream of bile from the regular moaners, but here goes.
I have a problem at work.

He's a guy who has the office a little way down the corridor, and with whom I've worked on a number of projects. And he's a chaotic alcoholic.

When he's on form, he's great; he's very likeable. But for the last couple of years, he's really not been on form at all: there's been the odd good day, but nothing more than that.

People who've been here longer than I say that he's been a drunk for many years; I've known him since I came here in 2006, and I'm beginning to wonder if I've ever seen him sober. Recently, though, he's been much worse than anyone can remember.

Not only is he destroying himself; he's wrecking everything he touches as he goes. He's not doing his job; he's alienating clients; he's alienating all the rest of the staff. He's already demolished his family.

We've been covering for him for a long time, because he's not well, and because of a residual, but fading, memory of him being one of the good guys. (The upper management is staffed by vampires. None of us wants to give them the satisfaction of sacking him, because we hate them more than we're troubled by our dypso colleague.)

I know that to stop drinking suddenly can be dangerous; and I've therefore found myself praying that he has a minor heart attack or something - not bad enough to cause long-term harm, but bad enough to put him in hospital for a few days, so that he can be away from booze under medical supervision.

I hate thinking this way.

I know some people here have written about their battles with the bottle; and so I'm asking - at risk of sounding like I have a Messiah complex - Is there any way any of us can intervene to save him from himself (and the rest of us from him)?

Or should I just look for a job somewhere else and forget him, leaving him to pickle?
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 10:32, 36 replies)
Old Man Down!
Years back, I was making may way through the dark, dangerous backstreets of Wakefield to the sanctuary of my car when I noticed an old guy lying in the road. He was barely conscious, barely coherent and unable to stand up but somehow I managed to move him to the pavement.

I didn't have a mobile at the time so ran the mile or so to my car, drove back at speed, and with great difficulty sat him in the passenger seat ready to take the guy home (he was refusing hospital).

We got to his house and I helped him out the car. He looked directly at me as though he was going to say something profound - then burped in my face! The vile aroma of too many double whiskies, beers, pork scratchings and pickled eggs hit my nostrils and I suddenly realised he old cunt was fucking drunk.

I almost kicked the old bastard through his front door, told him to take it fucking easy next time and drove away. Halfway home, I noticed something dark on the grey seat fabric so reached over and put my hand in a cold, wet puddle.

He'd fucking pissed himself.
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 9:05, 1 reply)
Have a pea
A few years back, I was enjoying a few post-work boozes with my colleagues on a Friday. The crowd slowly started drifting away, and as was usual, a mate Stu and I were to become the last men standing. Kind of an unwritten rule between us that once everyone else had gone, we’d carry on, stay out and get well and truly mashed.

However on this particular occasion, a new girl, Alice, asked if she could stay out with us. She’d only worked with us a couple of weeks but seemed a good sort and was clearly relishing being off the leash a little – she’d had a few already by this time (around 9pm; we’d gone out straight after work). ‘No worries’ we thought, and stay out with us she did.

As we moved to another pub it became clear Alice was very VERY pissed. An attempt to get cash out the cashpoint saw her fall flat on her arse, she was slurring her words and all the rest of it. In the next pub we were in, she was phoned repeatedly by her boyfriend – she hadn’t told him she was staying out and he was understandably worried (and, when he found out she had just stayed out and got pissed, angry).

They argued for ages – her in that way that only a pissed person who is completely in the wrong can. She hung up on him repeatedly and he kept calling back, only for her to tell him to fuck off and hang up again etc etc.

By now we were moving on to another pub, but Stu and I were concerned with how drunk she was, so we agreed Stu would nip into the next pub and order the beers up while I saw Alice to a cab (which we agreed we would pay for as she had no cash left).

As I walked Alice to the cab rank, alone, she decided she would walk home. She lived on the other side of town, would have had to walk through a park at midnight to get there, and – crucially – could not actually stand up unaided.

‘Don’t be daft’ I said. ‘We’ll get you to a cab’.

‘No, she insisted, ‘I want to walk’.

As we got near the cab rank, Alice decided to ‘make a break for it’ and tried to run away from me. She’d have gone headlong into traffic (if she stayed on her feet long enough) so I grabbed her arm and, getting a bit fed up with her, shouted at her: ‘For goodness sake, just get into the cab!’

‘I just want to walk home!’ she yelled back.

‘Get your fucking hands off my missus’ came a third voice from behind us. That’s right, her fella had come to find her in the car and had alighted to see me trying to force his drunk girlfriend into a taxi against her wishes. His anger was reflected by the many passing revellers who all clearly shared this misconception and I was convinced I was about to get a shoeing.

Luckily for me I’m a reasonably big bloke so the boyfriend didn’t fancy having a pop, but the looks of disgust from the people on the street as I trudged back to the pub after they had departed was not a particularly pleasant experience. A failed rapist – is there any worse kind?

And all from chivalrously trying to stop a girl putting herself at risk, and even offering to pay for the taxi myself. Bah.

Length? Well if her boyfriend hadn't turned up she'd have found out etc
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 14:16, Reply)
Brake Fade
We were returning from a summer holiday and the weather turned bad. The highway flooded and in one dip we drove through about a foot of water over about 50 yards. The old Simca Aronde had drum brakes and just over the next hill was another stretch of water. Dad put his foot on the brake but the drums were full of water and they hardly worked at all. So there was an almighty splash and the engine snuffed. There we were in a foot of slowly rising water and only about 25 miles from home.

After maybe ten minutes of stuffing around to no effect a bloke in a truck came along, said something about water in the cylinders and offered us a tow. He had a good rope and we tied the old Simca to the truck. He took off quietly enough but soon it seemed like he forgot we were behind and he must have been doing 60 mph which was faster than Dad normally drove.

After about three miles of this the rope broke and we coasted to a halt. The truck just kept on going and vanished. But we were out of the water. Dad's never been known for his mechanical instincts but he got the idea of taking out the spark plugs and cranking the engine. Water sprayed out and we waited a few minutes and did it again. Dried off the ignition, put the plugs back in and the old girl started on one or two cylinders. After a few moments it was all four and we got home only an hour or so later than expected.

Thanks, Mr Anonymous Truck Driver.
(, Wed 15 May 2013, 7:18, 4 replies)
Old dears' car broken down on a hill.
While down in the West Country visiting my daughter I popped into town to get a paper, and driving out up a very steep hill, encountered a massive queue of traffic. Slowly they all nudged forwards and it became apparent what was holding everyone up- an old dear's car was stopped half-way up the hill with the hazards on and the constant downhill traffic was making it very difficult for the uphill drivers to overtake.

Thinking that I'd do everyone a favour, when it was my turn to get around I pulled in and then backed up in front of the car (some kind of piddly little hatchback) and leaped out to offer a tow to the car park at the top of the hill where they could await recovery in some greater measure of safety, and incidentally freeing up the traffic flow as well.

Looking a bit dubious about the offer, I asked the lady if she had been towed before and she thought she had- I explained the steering would be heavy and the brakes would be ineffective but I'd take it slowly and all she had to do was steer.

Hooking up the tow rope I drew it taut and then proceeded to set off with lots of revs to keep the forward momentum up the 1:3 slope and we were away.

After about 50 yards I could feel a dragging to one side on the steering, and looking in the rear view mirror, saw that she had the nearside wheels up on the grass verge- what was she doing? I thought she must be trying to let people overtake by providing more room. But this was adding more drag so I countered by pulling out towards the centre line- still, she was on the grass verge and now had clipped a road sign, leaving a nasty scratch on the nearside wing.

Still wondering what she was hoping to achieve, I got to the top of the hill and pulled in to the car park, then got out to detach the tow rope.

Going back to see what had happened, she admitted that she'd had the ignition key turned off, and the second she turned the wheel left the ignition lock engaged, making her veer off the road- and naturally, having a panic, didn't think to turn the ignition on to release the lock. So much for having been towed before.

Feeling a bit of chagrin I left my number in case she needed to contact me about insurance and went to unscrew the towing eyelet. Fuck me, it's bent 45 degrees off true.

No good deed goes unpunished.
(, Mon 13 May 2013, 15:30, 2 replies)
Holding out for a hero...
In the immediate aftermath of the London 7/7 bombings, the city was in chaos.

The tube was closed, all buses were called in and the trains were not running. As the working day ended, what seemed like 100,000's of people were aimlessly walking the streets, fighting over the tiny number of taxis still on the roads.

With no plans to get the transport system up and running any time soon, the huge logistical nightmare of stranded commuters became more and more apparent.

I was lucky. I was working in Camden at the time and traveled to work on my trusty Vespa ET4. I could escape.

But not wanting to go home, I cruised the streets taking in the apocalyptic scenes, you could not move for TV crews, whilst all the time sirens continued to blare from every direction.

Near Euston I was suddenly overtaken by a posse of moped riding chavs. They screamed past me in a blur of souped-up Gileras and Yamahas, heading at break-neck speed to the station.

Thinking something major had just occurred I tagged behind and followed them to the main entrance. I watched as they all dismounted and then began shouting at the large crowd milling about outside.

'Anywhere within five miles, £20!' I heard one of them scream.

Suddenly a scrum of people charged the bikers. Literally fighting them off, each scooter owner selected a passenger, passed them a helmet, helped them on the back and then rode off at terrifying speeds.

Wow! I thought. These kids are geniuses. They'd seen an opportunity and jumped on it. Calculations ran through my head, they'd easily be able to do 20-30 journeys - and at £20 a pop, some of them would clear over £600 via their impromptu taxi service. Clever bastards.

No! I thought. This is blatant profiteering. A disgusting, cynical attempt to make money from a horrible situation. These kids should be ashamed of themselves, screwing fellow Londoners for cash when the city was under attack. What happened to the Blitz Spirit?

Filled with righteous outrage, I pulled up alongside the melee and shouted at the top of my voice:

'Anywhere within five miles, £10!'

There was a split-second of silence as the crowd looked my way. A lovely looking blonde ran over and straddled the rear seat, wrapping her arms instantly around my waist.

'Can you take me to Hampstead?' She begged. 'I've been waiting for three hours.'

I explained that I didn't have a spare helmet - but reasoned that the police would have more important things on their mind. And as I pulled away, leaving the gang of chavs to deal with an almost violent bidding war, I caught a proper glimpse of my passenger in the rear view mirror. She was gorgeous!

As we sailed up the near empty streets towards the sumptuous surroundings of NW3, my mirrors were filled with a vision of blonde hair billowing in the wind. She grinned happily as we tore past angry mobs of permanently stranded working folk. And I grinned too - as every time I braked, she squeezed me tighter and her lovely breasts flattened against my back.

We were at her place within 10 minutes. She hopped off and fished inside her bag for a tenner.

'Thank you so much,' she said, 'would you like to come in for drink, its been a hell of a day?'

I politely declined, as by my calculations, I'd be able to clear over £300 if I kept at it.
(, Mon 13 May 2013, 11:45, 84 replies)
Not Me
but, like the blood donor story below, I'd like to give a heartfelt thanks to cyclists and motorbike riders. In the medical profession, they're know as organ donors.

It doesn't matter how good a rider you are, how quick your reactions are, you have to face the fact that the roads are full of dickheads in cars and trucks. Eventually, your luck will run out. - But you'll make a few families very happy when they harvest your organs.

If you think this is a pop against riders - it isn't. I challenge anyone who rides a bike or a hog, on a daily basis, to deny that they haven't had a near miss in the last year.

(, Fri 10 May 2013, 13:11, 26 replies)
I caught a girl when she fell over in the street the other week outside Archway tube station
She was trying to run in heels, caught herself awkwardly on the kerb and performed an inelegant ballet of wobbling, skittering, tottering and flailing before finally spinning on one foot and pitching over backwards.

It was completely by pure chance that I was in exactly the right place to put my arm out and catch her before she hit the ground, but I did get to look like a bit of a hero for about ten seconds.
(, Fri 10 May 2013, 9:40, 13 replies)
Was knocked off my bike at a roundabout by a bloke in a car who was overtaking a minibus.
Both vehicles stopped, holding up the mid-Saturday afternoon traffic, and while the car driver apologised profusely ('I honestly didn't see you!' Yeah, obviously) the minibus driver was quietly checking my bike over and loading it into his 'bus.

He gave the bike and me a lift home. I wasn't hurt, just bruised a bit, and the bike was OK. As I thanked him he just laughed and went on his way.

Next day I bought a thank you card and a nice big tin of Celebrations or something and dropped them off at the minibus office.

I explained it all to the woman I handed them over to. She said said 'Ooh, sweets? The fat bastard'll LOVE them!'
(, Thu 9 May 2013, 20:13, Reply)

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