Posts Tagged ‘999’

Big trucks and Michael Buerk

Did anyone else used to love those programmes where they reenacted terrible/unusual accidents? There was a programme on when I was younger called 999 and the presenter was a guy called Michael Buerk. I loved Michael Buerk. He seemed terribly grown up and in control.

I remember quite clearly a few of the accidents we were shown on 999 (which, by the way, if you asked me the theme tune to, I could easily sing for you). One was a boy who was climbing on some scaffolding near a park fence. He fell from the scaffolding and was impaled on the decorative upward spikes on the top of the park fence. I used to love the reconstructions. Love them! I’m not sure why I was so fixated on this programme and its theme tune and its reconstructions. But I was.

Something that happened with some regularity on 999 was people getting trapped in cars when they had either flipped over and landed in a ditch or something bigger and heavier than them had fallen and crushed them.

The reconstruction would usually consist of someone at an awkward angle, surrounded by crushed metal groaning and moaning a lot while some firemen tried to cut the roof off the car and free the trapped person. Often there’d be a kindly fireman who had wedged himself in at a dangerous angle to talk to the person and try and keep them awake. These talking-firemen were my favourite. Almost as favourite as Michael Buerk.

I bet you’re wondering what on earth anything here has to do with anything ever in the world ever, what am I going on about, etc etc. Well, Emily and Kelly have given their instructions and so I must obey. This week, they want me to write about the time I got scared.

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And this obsession with the 999 programme has had a lasting effect on my adult self. If ever I am driving on a motorway (it’s specifically a motorway), and I’ve decided it’s time for me overtake a lorry in front, there’s a brief fleeting moment, as I pass it by and I look at it’s great mass towering over me (if there’s any wind causing things to sway, the feeling is much more intense) and fear is struck into my heart. The next ten seconds of my life flash in front of my eyes and they consist of the heavy dull crunch of metal, immediately followed by the theme tune to 999 and Michael Buerk’s face.

I put my foot down a little harder, speed past the impending doom and tuck back in in front of it, in relative safety, and breathe a sigh of relief that Michael Buerk can stay at home today.