I had a bit of a tiff with a security guard this morning – or, to give him his official title, which I’m sure he’d appreciate, a Loading Bay Manager.
He had a go at me for riding my bike into the loading bay when a van was reversing, and told me to get off and walk it in in future. I pointed out that this would be much slower, and therefore expose me to the risk of reversing vans for far longer. He didn’t appreciate this logic.
“I don’t want to be the one who has to fill in all the paperwork when you get squashed.”
“You won’t – I spend my entire working day not getting hit by traffic. I’m quite good at it.”
“Well I might just have to ban you from this loading bay then.”
“Oooh – I’ve never been banned from anything before!”
I probably shouldn’t have been so cheeky, but I was a bit hyper, and actually quite amused that someone so normally well behaved as me might be at risk of a loading bay ASBO.
But my flippancy came back to bite me a couple of hours later. I may be very good at not getting hit by traffic, but it turns out I’m even more talented when it comes to breaking rear windscreens using only my head.
I’ve never caused such a scene before. There was broken glass everywhere. I didn’t realize my head was so hard.
Luckily, I was OK. Surprisingly OK, in fact. But that didn’t stop the terrified driver calling an ambulance, and fussing and fretting and wringing her hands over me until it arrived. I’m so glad it was a nice, posh, friendly woman, who said “gosh, it’s only a car!” when I apologized for the mess I’d made. If it had been a cabbie he’d probably have got out, kicked me, called me something unprintable, and then driven off, being careful to run over my bicycle, even if it wasn’t actually in his way.
And then two lovely paramedics turned up (both gay – what are the odds?), stuck a neck brace on me, gaffer-taped me onto a stretcher (yes, really), and took about an hour to drive me from St James’s Square to St Thomas’s (would have been so much quicker by bike), where I spent the afternoon alternately snoozing and being prodded by medical students.
And eventually they let me out, and I rode home.
I’ve been bloody lucky though. Just the other day I was remarking to someone that I’ve had absolutely no injuries of note – let alone hospital trips – in the two-and-a-half years I’ve been couriering. And it could easily have been much much worse. As it is, I have a bit of a headache and I have a dizzy spell every hour or so (there’s one going on now, so this post isn’t going to last much longer). It could have been a broken collarbone. Or neck.
Something to think about perhaps, when my head’s a little less fuzzy.