A true story from 20 years ago…
Your date is supposed to protect you from harm. When I’m walking and lipreading, I’m not looking at the ground. Or ahead of me. I’m paying attention.
This means that I’m vulnerable to plunging down unmanned manholes. This manhole was unmanned because the man who was supposed to be manning it had sodded off into McDonald’s without leaving his warning sign up.
Thankfully I only dropped seven feet to the first platform, but bashed my elbows, ribs, forehead and shins on the ladder on the way down and was feeling rather delicate in both body and soul.
My date appeared periodically at the surface of the hole, but was laughing too hard to be of use to man or beast.
My hero of the hour was the guy who was working on the manhole, as it happened. He zipped down, helped me out—full of apologies, turns out his little warning triangle had been kicked away to one side—and relocated me on terra firma with a nice warm bomber jacket to wear until the shock wore off.
My date’s laughter made me think of stinging nettles and throwing knives.
Manhole guy punched him quite comprehensively in the face, in a way that made me think of Arthurian Knights and other snoggable men.
Manhole guy then closed up and drove me home.
It was such a shame his other half was called ‘Brian’.
But he restored my faith in nature, that day.
Manhole guy, Matt, if you’re out there, thank you.