Posted on Tuesday, August 27, 2013
in Family, Humourarse, Jobs, Strange and Unusual
Normally in my line of work, they would refer to a missing child by its name which is in my opinion a very stupid idea because there could be journalists listening, but that’s beside the point.
I was bored. I was staring at a monkey and wondering if I could induce it into yawning (which I couldn’t… only wolves are susceptible to this from my experience) so when a rather distressed lady approached me, she found me wearing a really stupid expression but I suppose in hindsight, that doesn’t really matter to anybody.
She had lost her child.
I have children. I have three of them. I lost one of them once, so I appreciate the panic. If you have children, maybe you can close your eyes now and bring yourself back (or forward) to a time when losing them could probably be the most catastrophic thing you can ever experience. You’re responsible for that child. You’re most likely failing them, your imagination goes wild and you’re thinking of the worst possible thing that could happen… the imagination can be a horrible thing sometimes, especially where wolves and monkeys are involved.
She had a wild look in her eyes, wilder than those of a lion. I recognised it immediately.
“Do you work here?” she asked.
“Yyyyyyesss.” I replied. I sort of did, and I sort of didn’t.
“Maybe you can help me?” She implored; “I’ve lost my son! I don’t know what to do! I was looking at this map here and I was wondering where the elephants were and next thing I knew he was gone and I told him before not to wander off but he wouldn’t listen and now he’s gone and I told him but he wouldn’t listen but I told him and now I don’t know….” this line of thought trailed off.
“Don’t worry!” I says. “This is what I do.” I put my hand on her shoulder. “If I can’t find your son in fifteen minutes I’ll be a monkey’s uncle.” She relaxed, and smiled, but still bit her nails nonetheless.
I sat her down. And I sat beside her and I took my radio into my hand and I pressed the big red button.
“First aid to control? Over.” I hate cellular band radios.
“FIRST AID TO CONTROL, OVER!” I said. I felt silly now.
“FIRST AID TO CONT.. ” fuck this.
“FIRST AID TO STEVE, DO YOU READ ME? OVER!” Did I mention that I hate cellular band radios?
Steve read me. He picked me up and he heard my voice and I loved him right there and then on the spot for that.
“Steve I have reports of a missing child. He’s eight years old, he’s wearing a blue t-shirt, yellow shorts and black trainers. He has brown hair and is carrying a black back-pack. Can you watch out for him and alert security please? Over!”
“Will do, first aider. Have you got a name for this kid? Over.”
Now… the mother had already given me a description and a name, but this is where it got complicated.
“First Aid to Steve… yes, the name is Penis. Over.”
“Penniz!” The kid’s mother shouted at me. Jesus. Fuck. She had told me, too. I had heard her pronouncing the kid’s name and something in my dirty mind had deliberately instructed me to mispronounce it. How unprofessional am I?
“I MEAN PENNIZZ!”
Fuck. I forgot to give my call sign and forgot to sign out with ‘over’. My world was falling apart. Firstly because I’d forgotten to say ‘over’ at the end of the message, secondly because I’d said the word ‘Penis’ over CB radio which at least twenty people were listening to. Thirdly because the mother of a child named ‘Penis’ was standing beside me glowering because I’d undoubtedly cemented an error that countless people had already errored before and she was entrusting me to find same. Semantics can be cruel sometimes.
(Let that be a lesson to all ye parents naming your children odd names in the future!)
But this is not for me to judge.
I didn’t care, to be honest. I saw the panic in her eyes and it reflected in my own and I understood. The kid could have been called Vagina for all I cared, I wouldn’t have cared what word was blasted over the radio as long as the child was found.
“Security to first aid? Over.” Came the call after an eternity (thankfully only three minutes, they’re THAT good here).
“First aid receiving, go ahead! Over.”
“Security to first aid, I have an eight year old here matching that description… blue t-shirt, yellow shorts and black trainers. He has brown hair and is carrying a black back-pack. Over.”
Normally, security wouldn’t have that good a memory. They would normally use the kid’s name, but they didn’t now.
It reminded me of a song that I love…
Sometimes a long day can be relieved by a good deed and a funny name. Y’know?
Over and out.