It's just been announced that local man, Martin Shuttlecock, survived a terrifying ordeal on the morning of the 13th of January on his way to work. He hasn't made the story public until now, because it was quite traumatic, and because in his own words, he feels "a bit of a twat."
The details of events leading up to the incident are quite complex, but Shuttlecock attempted to condense and present them as a warning to others, who might find themselves in the unfortunate circumstance of fighting a train.
On the 1st of January, 2011, after feeling terribly ill since Boxing Day, Shuttlecock attended a local hospital and consulted with a doctor. The consultation, originally scheduled for 21:30 hours, eventually took place at a little after midnight. The doctor mumbled something about a chest infection and prescribed a seven day course of antibiotics. It was the soberest New Year Shuttlecock had spent in recent memory.
On the 5th of January, Shuttlecock reported for work as usual, but as he was feeling decidedly unwell, he asked his immediate supervisor if he could take a few days holiday. This was granted, so an extremely feeble Shuttlecock made his way home and went to bed for four days.
On the 8th, Shuttlecock telephoned work and explained that he was still basically feeling like shit, and could he take a further four days of holiday. He was told by his supervisor that he couldn't authorise such a request because it would fall into the classification of extended leave. Shuttlecock couldn't be arsed appealing to somebody more senior, because historically they have always maintained a strictly PC front. Considering his supervisor is a homosexualist, Shuttlecock reasoned that senior management would back his decision to the hilt. Apparently, whatever gays say goes. Even when they forge countersignatures on official documents. Allegedly.
So, Shuttlecock set off for work on the morning of the 13th. He got up at 04:30 am, washed, dressed, had toast and coffee, and then proceeded to the station to catch the 05:42 train. As he made his way to the platform in the freezing cold, he picked up a copy of the free daily newspaper, Metro, for something to read on the twenty minute journey.
The journey itself was uneventful. Shuttlecock had a look at the paper, and as he came to his stop he folded the paper and popped it in his bag as he stood up to disembark the train. Which is where the fight started.
Unusually, the train's lady conductor was standing by ready to operate the doors. Unusually, because Shuttlecock was travelling in the rear carriage, and the conductor usually operates the doors from much further up the train.
Everything was routine and normal up until the point where the conductor opened the doors. Shuttlecock himself takes up the story:
"As I stepped off the train, everything went black. It can't have been for longer than a few seconds, but it was like somebody had flicked a switch and the world had stopped turning. I regained consciousness as rapidly as I'd initially lost it, and discovered to my horror that I appeared to have fallen into the gap between the train and the platform. I panicked for an instant - as you do - and then started trying to pull myself out. The conductor was tugging frantically on my arm - and quite frankly proving more of a hindrance than a help, so I shrugged her off and scrambled up onto the platform. Then like a good little trained first aider, she asked if I was on any medication? I told her rather grumpily that the only thing I was on was the fucking floor.
"As I was walking the final mile and a half to work, I had to stop for a sit down. On a bench by a bus stop. It wasn't until I went into a local shop to buy my regular daily newspaper that I saw that my right hand was bleeding. I went in to work, and a first aider approached me. I went home in a taxi. A later conversation with my GP revealed that I had actually been stricken by influenza, followed by second degree pneumonia. Before I left work that morning, my supervisor tactfully reminded me that I ought to phone in to confirm that I wouldn't be attending work because I was ill. Fucking idiot."
As a result of Shuttlecock's fight with the train, he was left with ligament damage to his left knee, and associated pneumonia symptoms. His GP conducted a thorough investigation, and a blood sample was taken. Shuttlecock received the results on the 23rd of January. All clear, everything OK. Jubilation ensued.
Shuttlecock will not be resuming his employment with his 'World Class' employer. It's a gamble, but Shuttlecock has always been a risk taker.
He told us that he'd rather "shovel shit."
More as we get it.