Keystone Ambulance Men

When it was first told to me, I believed the story of the man who guiltily buried the savaged body of his neighbour’s cat – on the assumption that the foul deed was done by his own dog, sworn enemy of that same pussy – only to find that Towser unearthed the corpse and delivered the muddy remains to the other’s doorstep. In similar fashion (am I just gullible?) I also believed the man who recounted the following story, alleging it had happened to him.

Ach, why should I protect him, since he’s such a shameless yarn-spinner?

Eamon McArdle swore this was one of his more amusing experiences when he worked on Daisy Hill’s ambulance crew. 

[The name below has been altered to protect the innocent victim of this tale!]

‘Martin Savage was very proud of his skills as an amateur mechanic – and as a DIY guy generally – and his wife was indeed very house-proud. She had just persuaded him to add a new pavoired patio and on that afternoon, it was out there that he was stripping the engine of his new ‘baby’ – a shining Harley-Davidson motor-bike. 

He had this gem parked on the new patio and he was using some rags and an old chamber-pot filled with petrol to remove grease and dirt.

When he finished, he kick-started the engine to test it. Unfortunately, holding the handlebars to steady the machine, he accidentally engaged the gears and released the clutch. The bike shot off its rest and pitched forward through the new patio doors, finally coming to rest in a spreading pool of its own oil on the wife’s beautiful new snow-white living-room carpets.

His alarmed wife rushed from her kitchen where she had been working.  She found him crumpled on the patio, badly cut from the shards of broken glass from the patio doors. She called the ambulance and dutifully tended his wounds while awaiting its arrival. The paramedics whisked him off to Daisy Hill in their ambulance. 

He had no bones broken so she stayed behind to clear up as best she could. The last thing she did was empty the contents of the chamber-pot down the toilet bowl but she hadn’t time to flush it before the imminent return of her bandaged husband was announced by a persistent ringing of the doorbell below.

Still suffering a slight concussion, Martin stumbled around from room to room. Finally he entered the toilet and lit up a cigarette to steady his nerves. Before he finished he dropped the lighted cigarette between his legs and into the bowl below. 

There was a sudden VROOMMMM sound and a jet of flame enveloped poor Martin.

His wife heard the terrible sound of her husband’s screams and rushed upstairs to his aid again. She found her husband lying on the floor with his trousers blown away and burns on his buttocks.  Again she rang the ambulance and within five minutes the same crew – including my friend Eamon, promptly arrived.

It was after they had loaded him on to a stretcher and as they were carefully carrying him downstairs, that the whole story was recounted to them.

The guy in front laughed so much that he let go his hold of the stretcher and Martin rolled off and down the stairs, sustaining two leg fractures.

The crew was temporarily suspended, pending an enquiry. But within a month they were cleared of any wrongdoing and were back on duty.

I didn’t know whether to believe Eamon, until I heard the story retold from many different parts of the world. 

It couldn’t really have originated in Crazy Hill, could it?


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