So it was that time again, after several months, to get my hair trimmed down. I had let it grow far too long and the result of this was looking like I’d walked through a bush backwards.
Much to my dismay, there was only one hairdresser out of the regular three, which meant there were a quite a few men all waiting. As I looked at them I couldn’t help but feel a prickle of annoyance, because all of them had short enough hair and by my standards did not even need a haircut! The temptation to inform them of my views on their hair was great, but I fought the urge and slouched in the next seat with my iPod plugged in.
Just as I had made myself comfortable, another man walked in yapping away loudly on his phone. He took a seat next to me and I could tell from his constant tapping on his legs and his inability to sit still that he was in a rush. I thought of the possibility that maybe he had a cake in the oven, or more likely that he was late for an engagement. I also had a hypothetical thought that it would be funny if he offered me money so that he could take my place in the queue. I’m not quite sure why I thought that would be funny, but there you go. Anyway, two minutes and 3 seconds later (I like to be precise) he taps me on the shoulder, immediately grasping my attention – and I really do hate it when someone interrupts me when I’m plugged into my music. So to my annoyance I pulled my earphones out and put the song on pause (I won’t tell you what song I was listening to, or artist for that matter).
‘Sorry mate’ he said, I wasn’t quite sure why he called me ‘mate’ because he didn’t even know me. ‘I’m in a bit of a rush’ he continued ‘and I was wondering if I could take your place in the queue if I gave you a fiver.’ I frowned to myself as I couldn’t believe that I had already foreseen this moment. my mind drifted into a daydream as I begun to think my career as the next Darren Brown was indeed taking shape. He looked back at me and raised his eyebrows, he was probably wondering why I hadn’t said anything. After snapping out of my daydream, I looked at him for a second thinking of a suitable response. The truth is I couldn’t help but start to feel really annoyed. I had come to the conclusion that I now knew how the production team of Stuart Little 3 felt when Columbia Pictures put the film on hold for a year.
‘Well’ I replied. ‘I am also in a rush, I have quite a few things to do today.’ Which was an obvious lie, I just didn’t want to miss the afternoon’s episode of Diagnosis Murder. ‘Ok, I understand.’ He replied very unhappily. ‘I just thought I’d ask because you never know without asking.’ He mentioned with a weak smile. I started to feel that maybe I was being a bit unreasonable and decided that my dosage of Dick Van Dyke and his adventures could wait. I explained to him that he could go before me and that he needn’t give me money for it.
He was very appreciative of my generosity and said ‘I was a good person.’ I doubt that, I thought to myself – besides he didn’t know about the time I stole a pen from the Post Office. This man went on to explain that he was late for an interview with BBC Radio Kent. Intrigued I asked him what it was about ‘Well…my nine year old son saved my life.’ He replied.
This man told me that one day he was sitting on his computer whilst his son was having a bath and out of nowhere a blood vessel in his head burst causing a gory explosion of blood and his heart to flatline.
This man’s young son had come downstairs just in time to see that his father was unconscious with blood all over him. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. I mean, you don’t go to a barber shop quite expecting to hear a story like this. The young boy apparently rung the paramedics and explained in every detail where he lived and what had happened.
When the paramedics arrived, they were just in time to resuscitate him and he was whisked off to hospital where he went into surgery and recovered after a week.
I sat there, gawking and throughout his story, I didn’t really know what else to say other than ‘oh really?! My God! That’s incredible. Oh wow.’ I felt a bit stupid to be honest. He also explained to me that the BBC wanted to drive him down to Southampton where his story could be featured on a show about real life rescues. However that was all too much he had decided and that he was just going to do the radio interview. His son was also going to be rewarded by the mayor of Tunbridge Wells for his heroics.
In the end I was glad I had allowed this man to go before me and not take his money, besides he’d only just got out of hospital that very morning!