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The Death of a Hitch Hiker

 The snow has completely cleared as we arrive in Welshpool.  Even the sun is trying to poke its face out from behind a cloud.

‘Here we are then Mister Thompson.  Now where do I need to drop you off?’


‘Hello Mister Thompson.  We’re here now, back in Welshpool.  Can you tell me where to go?’

More silence.  Her Ladyship nudges Mister Thompson’s arm.  He slumps forwards against my dashboard.  The colour fades from Her Ladyship’s face.

‘Oh my God.  He’s bloody dead.  This is all I need.’ 

That comment was rather thoughtless.  No concern for our passenger.  She pulls us over to the side of the road and nudges him again. 

‘Oh shit, damn, bloody, bugger, cuss.’  We’ve killed him Old Girl. 

Don’t try to blame me Your Ladyship.  I didn’t invite him to take a trip in me. Her Ladyship gets out as the others drive past hooting their horns and waving.  Her Ladyship starts to run after them waving back.

‘Stop, stop, stop.  My passenger has kicked the bucket.  He’s dead.  Come back!’  My relatives disappear into the distance.  ‘Now what are we going to do Old Girl?’ 

Don’t ask me, I am merely a pawn on the chessboard, and if you remember, you did tell the others to carry on after Weslshpool and that you’d catch up with them up this evening. 

Her Ladyship peers at my passenger again, hoping in vain that she had been dreaming and Mister Thompson isn’t dead after all.  She gives him another nudge.  There’s still no response.  She looks around to see if she can flag down some help, when she sees a sign indicating that a hospital is nearby.  She quickly gets back into my driving seat and rolls her rear end on the seat.  Obviously the effect of the drawing pin is still causing discomfort.

‘Hospital sign.  Over there.  And it’s got an A&E.  Come on Old Girl, let’s take him there.  They can deal with him.  I just hope we don’t have to hang around to talk to the police.  That will really put the kybosh on our trip today.’ 

We drive off, following the signs to the hospital.  Madam swings me into the ambulance parking area.

‘Oi, you can’t park there.  Can’t you read?  Ambulances only.’  The newcomer taps vigorously at the sign.  ‘The car park’s over there.’

‘But I need help.  My passenger has dropped dead.  I need help.  I don’t want to drive to Scotland with a dead body sitting next to me.  He’ll get smelly after a few days.’ 

By now others had wandered out of the Accident and Emergency door to see what was going on. 

‘Oh, can you help me?  I think my passenger’s dead.  I’d given him a lift from Builth and about half way here, just after the snow, he didn’t speak to me.  He’s quite old and this car doesn’t have a heater.  Has he frozen to death?’

‘Don’t worry.  We’ll take over now.  Is that dog dangerous?  What’s his name?’

‘Oscar.  Why do you want to know the dog’s name?’

‘Not the dog.  What is the gentleman’s name?’ 

‘Oh, Archibald, Archibald Thompson.  Is he dead?’

By now, The Asthmatic Barking Dog has woken up.  He’s absolutely fascinated by the attention that our passenger is getting.  A trolley arrives and the medical people start to ease Mister Thompson out of his seat and put him on the trolley.  Her Ladyship is pacing up and down and occasionally rubbing her backside.

‘Hello Archibald, Archibald, can you hear me?  Has anyone checked his pulse?  Are we certain he’s dead?’  The man who spoke feels Mister Thompson’s neck.  ‘There’s a weak one.  Come on team, let’s get him inside.’  The medical people along with Mister Thompson disappear through some doors.

‘I said, you can’t park here.’  It was the man who confronted us when we arrived.

‘What?  Oh.  I am sorry.  I am so, so sorry.’  Oh dear, Her Ladyship is angry now and sarcasm is switching in.  She walks over to the man who is about five inches shorter than she is and looks down at him. 

‘I am, so, so, so sorry.  I’ve only had what I thought was a man dying in my car for the past twenty miles and for all I know, it may still end up with him dying and I am only doing what any good citizen would do by delivering the said dead or not so dead body to a hospital.  And...’ she leans even closer to him.  What a shame she had garlic bread with her lunch.  The little man winces. 

‘...and all you can bloody do is tap at a sign and tell me I can’t park here.  Well I have news for you, you little Hitler.  I am bloody well going to leave this car here while I go in through that door there and find out how that man is.’ 

At that she spins on her heel and heads inside.  Do you know there are the odd occasions when I rather admire this woman.

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