Things were bad in the Motor Trade I didn’t seem to be making any headway, to make things worse it was the time of year when sap was dripping off the trees and all over my used car display, if you didn’t get it off quickly pollen and dust would soak in and the mixture would be almost impossible to get off.
I had also dislocated a bone in my wrist a few weeks earlier and it had been so painful that I had just been laying on the settee in my office watching TV, as always happened when I wasn’t too busy my brain had gone into limp mode and I couldn’t be bothered to do anything, however, today would be different I had to get my act together and make something happen, I was in a great mood and no one was going to spoil it, I focussed my attention on a Silver Ford which had got the worst of the sap, the falling leaves had stuck to it and it was so dirty you could hardly see it as it was camouflaged against the background of the trees.
Getting this vehicle back to showroom condition was my project for the day, I was working next to Lance our valeter and because lately it was such an unusual occurrence to see me doing anything he had just asked me what was wrong, had my TV broke or something, we were both laughing when we heard a horrible soul full moan, the type you let out when an England match goes to penalties, the moan came from behind one of the cars on my pitch, we could see a guy talking into a mobile and crying, he was howling almost like a dog, I looked at Lance and said “ignore him and with a bit of luck he will go away,
He didn’t go away, and because he was on my section of the pitch it was deemed that I had by default drawn the short straw and it was me who had to go and speak to him. For those of you who don’t know me, I don’t think I can be described as the sensitive type and I had enough of my own troubles, I didn’t want to hear about his, and I didn’t want to get involved so I just said, “Oy mate you can’t sit there you’re frightening my customers off, and making the place look untidy! But that just seemed to make him worse and he set off howling again, I turned to the rest of the guys who were all watching from the workshop and shrugged my shoulders as if to say “if that didn’t cheer him up I don’t know what will”
“Come on mate surely things can’t be that bad, or are you in the Motor Trade too?” I asked, he let out another howl, and said “I’m waiting for my tablets to work” Oh!, have you got a headache? fearing an answer I didn’t want and sure enough, I got it. “No I have taken an overdose, I am going to kill myself” Not here you’re not!, FFS why have you chosen my pitch? I asked, while I was furiously dialing 999, I Grabbed his shoulder and shouted at him, What have you taken, how long ago and how many?, 52 Paracetamol ½ and hour ago.
That’s a strange number I thought, and started calculating the permutations in my head concluding that as you can only buy them in packs of 8 or 16 over the counter he must have bought 3 cartons from different shops and had 4 leftover from something else otherwise surely he would have taken 64, there was also a half-drunk can of Iron Bru besides him, and again my mind wondered thinking why would you chose Iron Bru as your very last drink? his eyes were starting to shut, and his head had dropped to his shoulder. I feared he was going into a coma.
Even though I say so myself I am pretty good in a crisis, you have one nearly every day in my job so it becomes second nature not to panic, I had always thought the thing to do was to make people who had taken overdoses sick before the tablets could totally dissolve in their stomachs, So I barked my orders, “ Lance get a glass of saltwater quick,” we haven’t got any salt, he said, but I was like a well-oiled machine, “Go to the draw in my desk, there’s a load of those sachets that you get in boxes of KFC”.
It was taking an age to get through to the emergency services. I hoisted the guy on to my shoulder and tried desperately to make him walk, knowing that it was important not to let him lose consciousness Fortunately the emergency services answered and were taking all the details, They despatched the Police and Ambulance services, I asked if I should make the guy sick, I was told not to do anything just wait for the paramedics to arrive, which was a good job because Lance was struggling with the salt sachets, and my new mate was getting heavy, I shouted To Lance “leave that, come and help me, take his other arm, and help me march him around the forecourt”, He was cold and clammy but very sweaty, I had my overalls on so I was alright, Lance wasn’t so lucky and I saw him grimace as the guy’s armpit touched him, we marched him up and down trying to keep him talking.
Again his head sagged to one side, and I said to Lance we cant let him die can you imagine the headlines in the local paper, Man Commits Suicide at Barrie Crampton Car Sales, everyone will think that I’d pendled him (forced him into a sale, see controlled selling techniques blog) and he’d rather kill himself than take delivery of one of my cars! “What have you done that’s so bad you want to kill yourself?” I asked. His answer just made me want to put him back where I had found him and get on with cleaning my car, however, he did say, He’d been accused, not that he had actually done it, but still I thought to myself that if this was just “A cry for help” he had better hope that the Ambulance got here quick as I wouldn’t be giving him the kiss of life anytime soon.
The Police and Ambulancemen arrived and it turned out that the guy was well known to them, they took over and as far as I know he survived, I hope he was innocent of the crime he’d been accused of because I wouldn’t have lifted a finger to help him otherwise, except perhaps to get him more tablets or Dr Kevorkian’s telephone number.
As they carted him off, I said to Lance “He was lucky we heard him, because he had chosen a Renault Megane to Top himself behind and they didn’t exactly fly off the shelves, by the time I sold that thing, we’d have just found a Skeleton, clutching a mobile phone and a can of Iron Bru.”
5 police cars and an Ambulance attended, One of the Policeman had noticed a car I had for sale and returned at the weekend to buy it, all my advertising had come to nothing that week and the only customer who was in the market for one of my cars was also on duty and called to the incident on my forecourt, I hadn’t read my Horoscope that morning because I never ever read them, but even so I wondered how many planets needed to align to cause a chain of events like that to occur?