Sunday, December 1, 2013

Foo Fighters -- "My Hero" (1998)

There goes my hero
Watch him as he goes

I like to think I'm a good neighbor, and someone who cares about his fellow man.  But a hero?

I would never call myself a hero.  But if you choose to call me one after you read today's 2 or 3 lines, I won't argue with you.  (How the hell could I stop you?  Why in the world would I try?)

The day after Thanksgiving dawned mostly clear but very, very cold at 2 or 3 lines headquarters in Rockville, MD:

For years now, I've been riding my bike to work on the day after Thanksgiving.  The distance from my home to my office is about the same as the distance that marathon runners cover -- which is 26 miles and 385 yards.  

I cover the distance in a little over two hours, which is roughly the same time that is takes an Olympic-class marathoner to run it.  In other words, I go at the same speed as an gold-medal-winning Olympian.  (Pretty impressive, n'est-ce pas?)

I admit that I have a slight advantage over Olympic marathoners, who aren't allowed to take a break for a nice breakfast at McDonald's.

"I lift my lamp beside the Golden Arches"
My arrival at McDonald's was delayed until it was too late to get breakfast because I had to perform what I would modestly describe as a small feat of heroism en route.  (I'd like to think that the operative word here isn't "small," but rather "heroism.")  Let me tell you the dramatic tale, and you can judge for yourself.

I was about six miles into my ride, listening to Tru Fax & the Insaniacs -- which is fabulous music (I especially love their chick singer) -- when I saw a male lying flat on his back on the trail, like a corpse laid out in a coffin.  My first thought was that he was dead.

The man was lying on an icy stretch of the trail.  I had seen several icy patches already:

I dismounted from my bike, and approached the body.  I spoke to the man -- "Sir, sir!  Can you hear me?  All you all right?" -- but he didn't respond.  However, I could see he was breathing.  

I called 911, but the call didn't go all that well.  The dispatcher insisted upon me giving him an address.  Bike trails that go through public parks don't have addresses, but the dispatcher seemed incapable of understanding that.

The man lying on the bike path started to stir while I was on the phone with the 911 dispatcher, and eventually managed to push himself up into a sitting position.  This was obviously good news, but also somewhat disappointing, because I had planned to get a dramatic photo of the man stretched out corpse-like on the trail.  (I'm always thinking of my loyal readers.)

Instead I got only this much less dramatic photo of him sitting up:

I went over and spoke again to the man, who did respond.  I got him to his feet and helped him negotiate his way off the ice-covered part of the trail.  We exchanged a few words -- he lived in the neighborhood, and I'm guessing was out for his morning constitutional when he slipped on the ice and went *ss over teakettle and banged the back of his head on the paved trail, knocking himself unconscious -- for how long, I have no idea.  

He was a little confused and a little wobbly as we walked down the trail, but seemed basically fine.

Which is what I told the EMTs when they arrived a couple of minutes later: 

At this point, it was clear my work was done.  I left my charge in the hands of the experts, and went on my merry way, speeding down the trail in the hope of reaching my destination in time to have a Sausage McMuffin.

Alas, that effort was in vain.  But no worries, mon.  I got a double cheeseburger off the "Dollar Menu" instead.  (By the way, that double cheeseburger cost $1.49.  So maybe it should have been listed on the "Dollar Forty-Nine Menu.")

It was a small price to pay for saving a man's life -- don't you agree?  (I thought you would.)

If you've never saved a life, I highly recommend it.  No matter how many times I do it, it never gets old -- it's always a deeply satisfying experience.

It's always a classy touch to end a post like this one with a little poetry.  So permit me to quote John Donne, who famously said, "No man is an island/Entire of itself';

Any man's death diminishes me
Because I am involved in mankind
And therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

I hope you're not waiting for a punch line, because there isn't one.

Here's "My Hero," which was the third single from the Foo Fighters' 1998 album, The Colour and the Shape:

Click below to buy the song from Amazon:

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