Brooke Willis

Posted: February 23, 2011 in The World Needs More Canada

I am in a box.

A yellow box.

The Yellow Box, the training centre for all LifeFORCE teams.

It’s Friday night and most of the guys have gone home for the weekend. I’m the only Englishman here, along with a bunch of life-full Canadians. Apart from Craig they’re all girls, which is just fine. We’ve got some delicious pizz and are three quarters through a Die Hard half-marathon. We’ve finished Die Hard 2, and are revelling in the partnership of Bruce and Samuel L. This is great! I am Die Hard-ed to the bone! If Alan Rickman burst into The Yellow Box right now I’d be able to bloodily wriggle my way through some vents and flippin’ ‘ave him.

My ears yawn at the sound of a few doors clattering open in sequence as Christophe bursts into the room. He’s Canadian with a ridiculously obviously fake genuine accent and looks nothing like Alan Rickman.

I turn back to the TV. He asks a question. “Erm, guys? What do you do when someone needs help?” There is a moment of silence. Most of the things he says are confusing.

Hang on.

The heck? What kind of a question is that?! You help them! Why on earth would he come in here and ask such a ridiculously obvious question?

Hang on…someone must need help!!!!

Cameron explains that he’s heard screaming from the brook next door to the building. Craig and I immediately activate our default action man settings. I run to my room and grab my phone. My vest hangs bloodlessly before me. I look down for a moment at my shirt. Suddenly it doesn’t seem quite so bloodless.

We storm out of The Yellow Box and max speed our way towards the screaming. There’s a gang of guys laughing and walking away from the bridge over the brook. Suddenly it all makes sense. These guys must have pushed someone over the bridge!

For a laugh!

They must be taken down!

I rip off my shirt to reveal my rippling muscles barely concealed by my soon-to-be-bloody vest. I dive at them and one by one snap their necks screaming “Mohito!!!!”

I cough.

I’m standing still. The gang has gone. I may have been daydreaming.

Craig, Estelle and Rachel in her slippers have found their way down a slippery, muddy bank to The Scream who’s immobilised in a freezing stream in a fearful stupor. I scan the slippery bank. It really is muddy. But I’m a hero! And Rachel went down in her slippers! There’s no time for thinking! Mud or no mud! I will save this man’s life! It’s time for ACTION!

“Hello, emergency services?”

I’m barking directions to the uber-calm lady on the other end of the phone when I realise that I have no idea how to get to where we are. We’re in Halesowen. I think. This is a brook under a bridge in a back alley by a brown building.

Together we piece it together, and Uber-Calm Lady reassures me that they will be here shortly. I relax.

I’ve dealt with the police before. They care. They really care! They’ll send 100 police cars, a bunch of fire engines and all the ambulances ever! Then they’ll throw in a cheeky chopper for good measure. I will never complain about our government.

Our fine government.

I applaud.

I am a man standing alone in an industrial park clapping.

I stop clapping.


Minutes later I hear a siren, and sure enough, there’s a police car. A single police car. A single policeman. Strange. Wait! I know they know that I know how they work! This is all just to throw me off guard! Any minute now we’ll be stampeded by pandas.

The cop gets out of the car. I give him a knowing wink. He looks oddly at me, and approaches with caution. “Alright mate, I’m Agent Johnson.” I look at him. My brain’s a little kid pulling at the bottom of my trousers trying to get my attention. I’m talking to a policeman, so tell it to tell me later.

“What’s the sitch?

He doesn’t really use the word ‘sitch’ instead of situation, but he well should’ve.

“Look Sarge, here’s the 10-4. We’ve got a 19 year old Jimmy with a broken swinger Han Solo’d in a freezing Kelly. We don’t think he’s packin’ a shooter.”

The Fuzzman smiles, and speaks into his walkie-talkie.

“We’ve got a code four-twelve.”

He doesn’t really give it a codename, but he blatantly should have.

He looks at the ladder down the brick wall, and hesitates.

I am confused. I look at him.

And understand.

The ladder has a safety ring around it to stop you falling. His belly has a fat ring around it to stop you climbing down ladders with safety rings. If the ladder’s Saturn, then he’s The Borg going around eating planets.

“Sorry mate, can’t do it.”

I am Die Hard-ed! Bruce Willis’d! And now… I’m… P’d off! The rubbish rozzer radios for an ambulance and a ladder. Then bites into a doughnut.

Not really.

The guy screams in pain. I suggest to The F-at-ve O that he could run down the bank. He refuses! What a fathead! Even Christophe has managed to navigate the bank. He’s also tried to help calm down The Scream by offering to knock him out. Really. That actually just happened.

Rachel’s got rid of him and successfully calmed down poor Brookboy. I’m having an awkward conversation with a man I’ve lost all respect for, and there’s still no sign of a helicopter.


Sirens! At last! My ears duck and cover as Johnson brings with him the brute fury of the Metropolitan police service. They construct a fat-man-able ladder and winch Brooker T to safety. He’s cold and at risk of pneumonia, but will now be taken to hospital and kept alive. If only Samuel L. could see me now.

The ambulance drives off and I walk with the Canadians back to The Yellow Box. A couple of the girls stayed behind to pray.

“How did it go?”

We describe our heroic story of saving a man’s life, and celebrate by finishing watching Die Hard 3. I grab the last slice of delicious pizz and hold it aloft.

“Yippee-ki-yaay, meat feast!”


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