I put the phone down with a weary sigh and performed a precautionary save of the revolutionary Word document I’d been working on all day which described a plan that, if implemented immediately, would save the council millions of pounds in these cash strapped times (sack ALL the managers and the executives. To be honest I’m not sure if my bosses will be willing to embrace this radical approach – curse them and their shortsightedness).
Great, I thought. Another vomit laced drunk with a scabby top lip and trainer bottoms that have failed to act as an emergency colostomy bag. I’ll have to call out the paramedics to scrape him off the floor.
I headed downstairs to investigate and for once was pleasantly surprised to find a young man in his early twenties merely asleep on the floor of our topnotch (cough!) baby change facilities. No smell of booze. No smell of vomit. No seepage of bum gravy warranting calls for BP to come in and clean up the immediate environment.
He was just asleep. Sound asleep. Breathing deeply and contentedly. His head lying on his carefully folded jacket and the nappy bin strategically placed between his head and the door so that should an unwary mother with a pewling toddler rush in to avail themselves of the baby changing mat he wouldn’t wake up to find his brains had been twatted out of his skull and splattered up the wall behind him.
Some considerable thought had obviously gone into this.
Although the phrase “let sleeping dogs lie” came into my head he just couldn’t stay there. This is a baby changing facility not a doss-house (Leamington’s drunks please take note).
So I tried to rouse him. I tried calling politely. I tried calling rudely. I tried shouting like Gerard Butler in 300 (this is not a youth hostel – THIS IS SPARTA!) but ol’ Rip Van Wrinkle wasn’t waking for anyone or anything. I even tried the old armpit poke but that had no effect whatsoever. He was so deeply asleep he was in danger of being kidnapped by 7 dwarves.
Part of me felt envious. As someone who is continually woken before 6am by my eldest boy bouncing action figures of the metal bars of his bunk bed I admired this youth's ability to shut out all external stimuli and remain furiously, passionately asleep.
Another part of me just thought he was a git and I therefore rang the police to see if a bit of politically incorrect truncheon action might encourage him to move on to his own bedroom or at least the nearest furniture store.
The police were amused and said they’d send someone out as “a priority but not an emergency”. I don’t blame them. It was plain this guy was in the best of health. He was just asleep. Asleep on the cold hard floor of a public amenity immersed in the sweltering odour of about 30 overflowing nappies.
While I waited for the police I thought I’d give waking Mr Sleepyhead another go. I returned to the baby change. I saw the sink in the corner and inspiration struck. A good handful of ice cold water was summarily dropped at great height straight onto Coma Boy’s head.
Boy did he wake up. I stepped back just in case he barked but he just looked nonplussed. He wiped his face and looked around at the immense puddle that had suddenly formed around him. I could see his brain formulating the question but thought it best not to be too forthcoming as to the source of the deluge.
I checked after his well being and suggested he move on. With much grunting (that surely only his mother could love) he concurred and shambled from the building a darn sight cleaner than when he came in.
I returned to the phone and called off the fuzz. I then returned to my Word document and felt... strangely buoyant. Strangely wired. It had been fun. I’d enjoyed it. Tipping water onto someone. Hmm.
Dear readers, I fear a cruel appetite has been awoken in me. Should you ever find yourself in my neck of the woods suffering from exhaustion or even narcolepsy don’t expect any sympathy or understanding from me. You see, I’m just waiting for the call. I have a large bucket under my desk now and a 2 litre bottle of water in the fridge. It’s chilling nicely.
And it has your name on it.