I can’t say I was paying much attention beforehand, making it more than possible I was entirely to blame. There we were, queuing at a junction along a dual carriageway. I heard a massive screech kind of a sound, then a massive bang sort of a noise, then a massive screech kind of a thing. Then I saw a car spinning towards us. That I did see. Fortunately it stopped a good ten feet away on the other side of the central reservation; far enough away that we were never in any real danger but close enough for the car to say “Psych.” Turns out the spinning car had pulled out across the dual carriageway at about three miles an hour and a car going along at 60 had slammed into it.
It was then we had to make that difficult decision: whether to be bystanders and hope someone else would have balls or ovaries enough to do something while we watched, or pitch in ourselves and be the heroes that were needed so desperately in someone’s time of crisis. It was then I boldly suggested a quick game of Travel Scrabble.
That having been rebuffed, we sprang into action. I vaguely shouted for someone to phone for an ambulance, heroically passing the first possible buck, and bolted out of the car, leapt over the barrier and tore open the door of the formerly spinning car. I assume it looked indescribably cool. I like to imagine it in slow motion, at sunset. Me all swaggering and cool and sweatless, onlookers gasping and aroused, me giving no hint of what was going on towards the back of my trousers. Inside the car I found two very old, very dazed granny types who clearly could have done without this kind of thing. They were both conscious, both breathing and neither appeared to be badly injured or mangled or horribly covered in blood. Still, they needed a spot of help. Fortunately the bluff my bravado had called on my fairly lousy first aid skills didn’t get anyone killed, one of our party being a doctor who got to the car right after me and knew what to ask and where to poke and what not to bend or twist or otherwise molest. Seems the driver had banged her head on the steering wheel, her airbag having had its mind elsewhere, and was bobbing it around like it weighed too much for her. I got in the back seat and held her head up until the ambulance arrived, making sure she didn’t knacker her neck or her spine. She didn’t like that much and it was around that point the social awkwardness kicked in. Ten minutes passes pretty slowly when you’re holding a stranger’s head and she’s all dazed and scared and confused and in pain. I pretty quickly ran out of ways to reassure her and then ran out of basic chat. You’d be surprised by how little we had in common.
Meanwhile my cohorts were out stopping traffic and checking on the driver of the other car and getting their toddlers out of the way without scaring them too badly and arguing with people trying to drive around the debris because even when this kind of thing happens people are still arseholes. It was all fairly chaotic and scary but that’s meddling for you. Luckily it turned out all right. The two granny types got to hospital and were discharged that night, the guy in the other car had nothing wrong with him past the scare he’d got, we all went home feeling awesome and I had a bit of do-gooding to blog about. Meanwhile you’re sat there doing nothing. Maybe you should go learn some first aid if you’ve not done it already, make yourself useful. Learn how to do abdominal thrusts when someone chokes on the brown vegetarian slop you’ve served up. Learn what to do with broken legs when your mother falls down a lift shaft shortly after making her new husband sole beneficiary for her estate. Learn how to resuscitate your Texan billionaire lover after you’ve sexed their heart to near death, should you want to. Learn that type of stuff and use it. Get on it, people, there’s meddling to be done.
Photo credit: The Zero