May 22 2016 is a date that will be forever engraved on Gerald’s mind. To be fair, I have no idea what his real name is but as the story unfolded beneath our apartment either myself or HG called him Gerald and the name stuck.
It started with a loud bang outside on Sunday afternoon. As I’ve mentioned before Main Street is a busy street with two or three lanes each way and a set of traffic lights 100 metres down the road. I am surprised we don’t have more of these loud bangs! Looking down from the fourth floor we saw that Gerald had driven into the back of a Mercedes whose driver was looking rather dazed, and was rubbing his neck. Having spent 20 years in the Fire Service it was a natural reaction for HG to go down and see if he could help. Staying with the driver of the Mercedes until the ambulance, firetruck and two police cars arrived HG was able to tell me when he came back up that the driver of the Mercedes was called Bob and he was ok – just a little shocked and not so happy that this had happened as he had just collected his car after it being detailed!
It was with relief that we saw Bob walking about after been assessed by the medics. Poor Gerald looking shamefaced sat in his car for half an hour being interviewed and having his ticket written up by the police. With the police having completed their checks, Bob continued on his way, the fire appliance and fire department ambulance returned to their stations, and Gerald ticket in hand proceeded to drive off home ………………. reversing straight back into the Police Car!
There were two police officers present – one burst out laughing, the other (whose car it was) just kept shaking her head. Gerald just sat in the car…………staring straight ahead. His mouth never moved, his head didn’t turn around, he didn’t wipe his eyes. I don’t think I have ever felt so sorry for anyone as much as I did at that moment.
It took a full two or three minutes before the police officer was able to face Gerald and ask him to get out of the car. The police car’s bumper was torn, and the push bar bent. Phone calls were made and after a visit from a Police Lieutenant, a Police Sergeant (who wrote another ticket for Gerald), and a tow truck which towed the police car away, Gerald’s wife arrived. It was at that point I think, that I saw Gerald wipe his eyes. I’m not sure if it was because his wee daughter was carrying a magic wand innocently waving it around (the magic maybe being already spent that day?) – or because he had to give his car keys to his wife who drove him home.
As we watched the riot pack and the very large assault rifle being unpacked from the police car before being towed, I thought I’m glad at least one police officer had a sense of humor!