Shared a moment

A doctor came to see me at work here in south London, he needed some tech support and noticing my accent he asked me where was I from? I told him a little fishing port in Northern Ireland, a longggggg time ago.

I looked at him and knew immediately he was ex-army. When you grow up through ‘The Troubles’ you know instinctively who’s army/police and who’s not, it’s a survival instinct.

He said to me “I lost a few mates over there in ’85, all at the same time”.

And he looked at me, I looked at him and we both know what he’s talking about, I’ve heard this before and there’s very little you can say apart from “I’m so so sorry, it was a terrible terrible time..” and we shared the moment..

And he continued, in a very sombre tone “Aye, they were in an army truck…” and I know what’s coming next, a fucking massive roadside bomb..

“and a tree fell on them..!”

“apparently the IRA planted it”

Fuck me! Bastard! IT’S THAT OLD JOKE! I burst out laughing, more out of relief, thinking thank Christ!

He had me going there for a minute, SUCH an old joke! I just didn’t expect to hear it in a hospital in south London of all places, he well and truly caught me out. I wonder just how long he’d been waiting for that moment, 35 years?? His life is now complete, I bet he punched the air when he left the office!