“It started off pretty easy, writing this blog. I mean there was always plenty of material, people would fall over and injure themselves and I'd write about it. I mean, for God's sake – I work in East London it's not as if we are short on stabbings and shootings?”
The author looked down at the half drunken bottle of cheap cider.
“But of course, as the number of readers increased they demanded more from me. It wasn't good enough for them to read about some bloke falling off his bike and skinning his knee. They wanted blood and gore. Failing that they wanted 'heartwarming', or 'shocking'. I mean, I try and do as little work as possible, but now I found myself having to go looking for patients. Interesting patients at that.”
Taking a swig from the bottle he looked around, as though frightened that someone walking their dog across the deserted park would overhear him.
“Well, it started off pretty simply, but then most bad ideas do. We'd be driving down the street and I'd see some old woman looking a bit unsteady on her feet – I'd give her a blast on the sirens and see if I could make her fall over. Did I mention that the readers liked little old ladies being injured? I'd get some good comments from a nice 'Nan down'. But it still wasn't enough, they demanded more. So then I graduated to pushing small boys heads through park railings. I'd go to a house and the first thing I'd do was to go into the kitchen and look for a nice large pot. My crewmate would look after the patient while I worked on jamming onto a kids head.”
“It went well for a time being, but those readers, those damn readers, they demanded more. So we took to cruising the streets at night looking for drunks winding their way home from the pub. My crewmate would hide the ambulance around the corner and I'd jump out from behind some bushes and beat up the patient. Then we'd 'discover' another case of 'inner city violence'.”
The author took another swig from the bottle and stared at his hands.
“Of course, people started putting two and two together. I suppose publishing the evidence was a bad idea. The blog had became a kind of confessional, detailing my crimes against humanity. Where once I would have dry spells without an interesting job, now I only had to stalk the night carrying a root vegetables, some stockings, an orange and a length of garden hose and I'd have a post worthy of the Boingboing.”
“My station-mates started asking questions about why I kept getting such interesting jobs. I thought I'd thrown them off the scent with a few blatantly made up stories – but who would believe that I'd go to a drug addict with a heart of gold, or would find myself trying to save a pigeon with a broken wing? So I got found out. The service couldn't stand the shame, so they quietly 'retired' me.”
“Still it wasn't all bad – the BBC needed a replacement presenter for 'Animal hospital' after the incident with Rolf Harris and the badger. A TV programme where vets would look after cute little creatures is pretty simple, I could get viewers crying over injured little animals, I mean, people cry over sick animals a lot more than sick people.”
“Now if you'll excuse me, I have to prepare for tonight's programme. I have a baby deer to kneecap. These things don't run out in front of cars on their own you know.”
The author stood up and walked off into the sunset swinging his favourite claw hammer while whistling a happy tune.