Waiting for delayed train at Waterloo Station, loitering around giant escalator at top end of
concourse which lead to deserted haven of bars, upmarket retail outlets etc, stuffing face
with burger when small, somewhat tubby, female senior citizen, in jaunty raspberry pink
cotton skirt and sleeveless blue top – producing general air of festivity – tanks by pulling
plastic square wheelie thing like find in garden centres. As wheelie thing has delphinium
poking out of it can easily deduce senior citizen is returning from Hampton Court Flower show well stocked with goodies.
Despite distraction of cheeseburger cannot help but notice senior citizen sporting flush on
cheeks colour of bullfinch chest, which, coupled with general appearance of person
tottering on edge of health, does not bode well.
Not sure precisely what this indicates, but sure senior citizen should not be mounting giant
escalator as observe senior citizen immediately does.
Return attention to cheeseburger when almighty crash sound overhead. This, horrified to see,
is senior citizen plummeting backwards through space and smashing head on floor of
Stop eating cheeseburger and hare up escalator. Note to self as ploughing up escalator that
have forgotten one important technical point, i.e that escalator moving staircase. Thus,
senior citizen being carted skywards, whilst ineffectual rescuer stares in horror behind.
Fortunately, someone with brain see accident on CCTV and stop escalator.
Post Traumatic Commuter run down escalator to gateline in search of help, arriving just
behind faster commuter who also running for help.
20 minutes of very edgy wait ensue whilst a doctor – holding head of senior citizen; the
Waterloo Station manager; the doctor’s friend; two ladies who suggest accident caused by
high blood pressure; Post Traumatic Commuter; station person with radio (harassed by Post
Traumatic Commuter); elderly first aider – not much younger than senior citizen –- and several other interested persons await arrival of paramedics.
As nearest hospital, St Thomas’s, a mere five minutes’ walk away, some terse conversation
ensue amongst gathered about EXACTLY HOW LONG IT CAN TAKE AN AMBULANCE TO GET AROUND THE CORNER.
Wile away time by testing weight of shopping trolley, which weighs ton, and sharing opinion
not the kind of weight pensioner with possible dodgy ticker should be lifting off train.
‘The elderly will insist on taking this escalator’, says the elderly first aider, shaking her head.
Paramedic (one) arrive at last, and having passed on eyewitness report of senior citizen’s
accident to elderly first aider to pass on Post Traumatic Commuter leave for sanctuary of
homeward bound train, pondering just how one paramedic will remove upside down
unconscious casualty from middle of escalator.