TRY as I might to lighten the mood with the words in this column, I can’t always keep my “disgusting scum-like attitude” in check.
A trait picked up by a reader Margaret Brown, who took exception to my column on the public’s lack of knowledge in lifesaving techniques like CPR.
On spotting that the CPR training dummy in the new Integrated Critical Care Unit at Sunderland Royal Hospital was the spitting double of Margaret Thatcher, I suggested this might be the reason behind the life-saving malaise.
“Who thought it would be a good idea to model its head on Margaret Thatcher?” I wrote. “No wonder there’s a reluctance to perform mouth-to-mouth with the Iron Lady as your test subject!
“That said, I’m sure there were no shortages of volunteers willing to pummel her chest with their fists. (‘Is it okay if I kick her face too? I think, she may be coming round.’).”
Cue email of fury from Mrs Brown.
She wrote: “I was appalled to read the article by Richard Ord, re the Margaret Thatcher look-alike dummy for medical practice.
“Whether one loved her, hated her or just could not care less about her, to read a ‘respected’ journalist write that knowing the dummy looked like Margaret Thatcher the practice of beating her chest and then, in his words, enjoying kicking her in the head when signs of life was shown was quite disgusting. Not only did it show disgusting, scum-like attitude to other human beings, it showed arrogant hypocrisy as your paper had quite rightly pointed out the bad behaviour of Wayne Rooney.”
She then went on to say that she’d rather be snarled and sworn at by Wayne Rooney than meet me because, clearly, I would kick her head in. Mrs B then demanded an apology.
Just to be clear to everyone: it was a joke! I wouldn’t kick anyone’s head in. But I might kick a dummy’s head in, on account of it not being a real person. I hope this sets the record straight with Mrs B.
I would have added that I never condone violence, but then I’ve actively encouraged my youngest son Isaac, seven, to take up Taekwondo.
For those who don’t know, Taekwondo is the respected Korean martial art of, erm, kicking people’s heads in.
I always wanted to ensure my boys have two things in life: a good schooling in self-defence and that they to learn to play a musical instrument. Mainly for social reasons.
It’s good to be able to defend yourself and to entertain.
As I’ve pointed out before, what better opportunity of winning friends could there be than to find yourself at a party with a piano in the corner of a crowded room standing unattended.
Imagine the reaction if you were able to liven the proceedings by easing your way through the crowd, sitting down at the piano, and then, as the audience looked on, smashing the piano into a thousand pieces with your bare hands? It would impress me.
Our Isaac, shows no discernible musical talent, but seems quite adept at kicking and punching.
Having been learning the Taekwondo skills for several weeks, he was invited along to a sparring session where, padded up, he would be able to kick and punch someone for real.
I was pretty cool about it, but my wife was particularly anxious as he stepped up to fight. “God, I’m shaking,” she said. “I can’t believe my little man’s going to have a fight. I’m so worried.”
Worry for your children’s health can manifest itself in different ways. My wife’s worry revealed itself by her shouting “Go on son, kick, punch, HARDER...!”
An eye-opener for me, our boy, and, I dare say, for the mother of the little girl he was fighting ...