Sunday, 2 October 2016

In which it is demonstrated once again that Persephone is rubbish in an emergency

I had just crossed a side road and was heading east, so all I heard was the thump. The next thing I heard was the cyclist. He was livid.

"Jesus Christ!! I don't believe this!"

So I knew he was okay, sort of. I turned to see a fella in his fifties sprawled on his back in the cycling lane. His bike seemed to have slid partially under one of those tank-like grey cars.

A lady with long blonde tresses, evidently also in her fifties, crept out of her vehicle and gingerly picked her way around his supine body. "Omigod! Are you all right? I'm sorry!" I guess she'd tried to pull into traffic and somehow had not managed to see him, despite his bright blue helmet and reflective vest. No wonder he was cross.

As people approached, I saw no one on the phone, so I darted into a shop, where the proprietor tried to hand me her cellphone. I gathered she wasn't going to make the call, fished out mine, trying to remember how to access the keypad, as I mostly use the thing for texts.

Then, of course, I couldn't hear the operator, who ended up shouting over my babbled explanations that I needed to tell her if I needed police, firefighters, or an ambulance. She transferred me to another operator, and I had to go out on the veranda that edges the line of shops to see how things were. While I was gibbering away, the cyclist had been helped to the curb where he sat shaking his head and a firetruck pulled up.

I gave the operator my details, and slunk on my way, my ego almost as bruised as the cyclist's elbows.

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