How many men does it take to talk a drunk down off a pylon?
Despite expectations that normal weather service would resume shortly after Christmas, the chilly weather continued on well into the New Year. Most of us resigned ourselves to limiting our outdoor activity and making the most of the remaining days off work indoors. This was an excellent excuse to sit on the couch and catch up on all those tv series that may or may not turn out to be a waste of time. Still, there’s always a few brave souls who pay little heed to the dangerously cold temperatures.
And so it was that we were woken in the early hours of the morning by someone loudly screaming obscenities in the darkness outside. We listened to the shouts continue on and on, echoing around the housing estates. Although we were hopeful that whoever it was would lose interest in their incredibly bad serenade, they persisted as the darkness slowly turned to grey. Reluctant to emerge from the warmth of the bed, we were slow to actually get up and investigate. By the time we did there was enough daylight to distinguish the figure that must have roused everyone in the area by now. Across the road on a strip of parkland beside the river, is a small pylon used by the electricity company. Halfway up said pylon was an extremely loud, agitated, and apparently roaring drunk man. Standing a respectful distance back, in case he should consider hurling any bottles at them were two newly-arrived policemen, apparently contemplating the situation while attempting to reason with what was obviously an unreasonable person.
It must really suck to be a cop on the days where you find yourself standing out in the freezing cold babysitting some fool whose safety you’re now responsible for although you have no real means of persuading them to behave. These guys must have been seriously considering a change in career by now, as the drunk raised his arm menacingly and shards of glass and liquid exploded on the ground nearby. It wouldn’t be an easy task to clamber up to where our drunk was staggering about, even with the super-human powers that excess alcohol bestows. Convincing him to get down would require mind control, and getting him down safely might just require a miracle. Attempting to approach him at all could easily result in being sued should he happen to slip and fall at the wrong time. This, despite the fact that every single woken person watching from their window was probably wishing fervently that karma would prevail and the noisy drunk would just jump and get it over with.
Luckily for him, no residents were willing to attempt manslaughter in the presence of the police. While the odd dog-walker stopped to stare at the spectacle, a steady parade of police, paramedics and firemen made their way back and forth for a couple of hours. It seemed that even the leading man in the fiasco was getting bored at the lack of excitement. Suddenly there was a very disappointing and anticlimatic grand finale to the whole affair. The drunk apparently came to his senses (or finally realised he was freezing cold) and decided he would like to get down. A ladder was promptly procured, and he meekly descended. You can only hope the bills for calling out all those services were posted to him. Enticing wayward drunks down from heights isn’t exactly top of the list of priorities for the emergency services at this time of year.