FRENZY a Daniel Jones story
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Life can have the habit of slapping you around the face. Sometimes it hurts, sometimes it can bring you out of a stupor, sometimes it will wake you up to reality, sometimes it can shock you, sometimes it doesn't come as a surprise, and sometimes it can leave you numb.
I try to be positive in my own out look on life although there are always things you wish you could improve on. I wish I could loose some weight, I wish my football Norwich City F.C would win the F.A cup before I die, and I wish I could be more relaxed when the children wind me up; just to name a few, but generally I try to look on the positive, and not the negative.
This hit home to me last Friday when I popped into my local pub the Fat Cat and Canary. I was early and there weren't many people about except for John. I know many people called John and this was John the plumber, not John who I have talked about in earlier posts who goes by the nickname of Dangerous John. Please note there is nothing dangerous about this John because he is a soft as a cuddly teddy.
I call him John the plumber because low and behold he is a plumber by trade. I have used his services many times over the years to work for myself and others. He has worked all if life although the back breaking nature of his profession has taken its toll. He is 68 years old and has worked through any illness thrown at him, and never claimed a penny off anyone. He retired last month after the arthritis, angina, poor blood circulation in his legs, and Hernias to name just four finally told him he shouldn't carry on.
He has also been a drinking partner over the years down the pub and is a natural comedian. He always has a string of new jokes that makes everyone laugh, and is one of those people you don't mind spending time with. His back may be bent from all the hard work, but his clear blue eyes, and cheeky smile, are as fresh as they were the day he was 18.
So there I was in the Fat Cat and Canary supping on my first pint of Honey Ale. I had pulled up a bar stall and sat next to John. He had been in hospital two weeks earlier for an operation on what he thought was just a hernia.
'How are you enjoying your retirement ?' I asked. He shrugged and smiled, and we both took a sip from out pints,
'How did your operation go?' I asked. 'I've got cancer' he replied as he shrugged and smiled, and we took another sip from our pints.
Cancer is the most scary and horrible word in the English language. It is also the most numbing of words. How do you reply when somebody tells you they have cancer? Especially for a man! Women can hug each other, they can cry together, even if they hardly know each other. But what can two men who only casually know each other do?
All you can do is shrug your shoulders and sip your pint together. I tried to cheer him up with some kind words of encouragement, and bought John another pint.
I knew it was troubling him because he normally drinks Fat Cat bitter which is 3.8% but now he was on the Wild Cat which is 5%! He talked for about ten minutes about how the moment he was told over the phone, and how it had left him shocked; then he announced he was coming out of retirement because sitting at home thinking about the cancer was driving him crazy. He had phoned up a mate to see if he had any work, which he did, and then went to the post office to get some new road tax for his old work van. So first thing Monday he was back to work fixing leeks and toilets.
Now that is what I call positive thinking.
Fuck the cancer I'm coming out of retirement.
The saddest moment for me was when he was ready to leave. He told me than finally he was going to go abroad for a holiday. Somewhere nice like a cruise or to a tropical Island. It hit me hard to think that it took something as shocking as cancer to finally inspire him after 68 years to do something he had always wanted to do.
It also brought home to me once again that if you want to do something with your life you need to do it now; it's no good waiting because in the long run we are all dead.