Week 53 AKA Week 1 Year 2: Gate Crasher

Friday, 4 January 2019

Reading time 2 minutes 22 seconds 

Embarrassment is where growth happens – Jaylen BrownI volunteer from time to time in my local Hospice. If you are unaware of the great work they perform, in essence it’s where you may end up just before you die, a lot like me at a some comedy nights. I’ve clearly a fascination with death. 

It’s an emotionally tough place to be, the Hospice that is, but it’s very rewarding. If you wish to know how precious your life is go spend a moment or two with someone who hasn’t many moments left.  

A Hospice survives by using a huge network of volunteers. We are rewarded at Christmas with a carol service and a lovely little Christmas party.

The Hospice Christmas carol night is an event I love. It’s held in Rochester Cathedral and is very grand and posh. I fit right in. I was a little late arriving so walked with my girlfriend up to the main door and tried to sneak in.

An arm came down like a car park barrier. “Ticket please sir” said the arm. I followed its source and found a man in uniform. I put on my most professional tone and said. You what? The command was repeated.

Then the little, aggressive, angry man who lives inside me popped up. I tried to shove him back down deep within but he’s a wily and tenacious little creature.

I looked at the arm and the uniform. Didn’t the big bicep know me? I was kitchen Mat, the funny little man who worked at least 7 shifts a year over Easter and Christmas. This Carol service was being held in mine and my fellow volunteers honour as a mark of gratitude for our service. This bloke had a bloody cheek. 

I reached into my coat pocket and produced my NHS Volunteers badge. It had a smiling face which showed me in a much happier state.

I shoved my badge in his face like an American cop. Wills, Volunteer! I announced and followed that with – I don’t need a ticket. I’ll go find a seat, that will be all sir.

I then pushed the car park barrier arm up a small fraction, slid underneath then rudely but purposefully strode off. My girlfriend followed, apologising in my wake.

This was an incredibly dull night compared to previous years. Where were the Volunteers Choir? Why were there lots of people with Cellos milling about? Why was everyone dressed so incredibly well. Then some posh looking dude stood up and announced the interval.

I wandered around the Cathedral. There were Canapés and Champagne being handed out. The Hospice had really gone to town for us this year. Budgets be dammed seemed to be the message. 

I then noticed that someone had a programme and I had a peek. That’s weird it didn’t mention me or the Hospice. I sat back down and while finishing off my marvellous Canapés opened the invite on my phone.

The carol concert started back up while I read in horror. I was in the wrong place.

My carol concert was located in the Hospice building due to NHS budget cuts. I had gate crashed what turned out to be a fund raising night for a charity event at £50 a ticket.

I didn’t have £50 and I doubt if my Mrs did either. I showed her the email.

She supressed a giggle. Which in turn made me laugh. I motioned for us to leave.

We very discreetly left which is hard when you have 400 pairs of eyes staring and you’re trying but failing not to laugh like a maniac. 

It reminded me of the time at a friend’s funeral where I gave a mate a fit of the giggles as I mentioned that I’d once jumped into a train carriage as the doors were closing in a supermanesque pose and by mistake punched a nun. 

I was so embarrassed, not of knocking out a nun, she wasn’t very nice to me when she came too afterwards and my ex had taught me that nuns are not very nice people. 

I was embarrassed as I had to walk past the man with the arm. I should have apologised. I should have done lots of things. I didn’t. I burst into laughter and tried to say sorry while everyone watched me being dragged out the Cathedral by an also giggling and very embarrassed girlfriend.

If the quote at the top were accurate I’d be much taller.

Picture: This is how to hide my double chin