Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Help out? Stroll On!

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Help out? Stroll On!

Article excerpt

Byline: COLUMNIST Like us on Facebook GARY BAINBRIDGE One man's struggle with the 21st century

I WAS walking to work briskly, cutting through the other commuters like a hot commuter through butter commuters.

I am no great shakes at most things - barely a wobble, generally - but I have been walking for S 40 years and I'm not bad. In fact, people often say: "Slow down. You're walking fast."

And I reply: "Yes, S and that is with plantar fasciitis, the chronic pain in the heel. Imagine how fast I would go if I didn't walk like Kevin Spacey in that film."

And they say nothing because all conversations have to end, especially made-up ones.

Perhaps if I had been less single-minded about getting to work I would have noticed the woman who was about to cross my path, recognised her as Nothing But Trouble, and altered my course to miss her, like a heat-avoiding missile.

But I knew if I didn't speed up I would be late for work, and I do not like being late if I can help it. Public transport had already done its best to hinder me and I needed to make up time.

"Excuse me," she said, stepping in front of me. I screeched to a halt like Road Runner in front of a small mound of grain on a desert road, while behind the rock of circumstance the coyote of misfortune held a rope from which was suspended the 10-tonne weight of grief. "Are you local?" she asked, in a northern accent. "I'm standing in front of you right now," I thought. "I doubt I could be more local without having to marry you."

"Yes," I replied. Maybe I was gulled by her salt-of-the-earth-I-know-my-way-around-a-pie accent. She asked me if I knew the way to a high-rise building which is situated next to my office. I could have given her directions, although they were quite tricky, but I was going her way. "I'm going your way," I said. "I'll show you."

And the coyote of misfortune let go of the rope.

Einstein is often attributed with the assertion "the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results". Of course, he kept telling people he didn't say it, but nobody believed him. …

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