Life in the Fast Lane with Russell Dawkins – a friends perspective….
Accompanying Russ to anything really – is always quite eventful, but for some reason gigs at night, is always an interesting one!
So, yesterday started off with the usual delay at the turnstiles at Hammersmith station as the ticket inspector asks us where we are going … we recognise him as we’ve met him before (and you could say – is slightly special needs and often adds 20 minutes to our journey time)… and he does his usual – asking Russ what accessible stations he is intending to use , then repeating it back to Russ about 5 times before going off somewhere and then usually returning a good ten minutes later, and informing us that the accessible stations have lifts working. Russ is always very patient at this stage, however, yesterday, instead of getting the thumbs up, we were told some lift somewhere was not working and that we would have to use another station across the road.
Now, for most people that advice may have been slightly frustrating/annoying, but to Russ, any advice such as this – is seen as his proposed plan being changed, and boy, does he like to stick to his plan!
Anyway, we get on a train and all is good until we change trains and the approaching train is jam packed and rammed full of commuters. I look at Russ and say – ‘we are sooooo not getting on this train!’.
Bizarrely, Russ interprets this as meaning- position yourself in front of the train door and once the door opens, give it full throttle and get yourself into that Mofo spot that is designated to wheelchairs, and don’t worry about any passengers you may knock flying in the process!
I follow behind him, slightly flabbergasted by what my friend has just achieved, and look at him, and he smiles. ‘That worked’ I say, feeling quite puzzled by the amount of space we have around us.
The RussPlan continues to have its moments when he hasn’t quite got his locations accurate and we end up 4 miles away from the venue. I suggest running, as to be honest, I’m now used to taking to running alongside him now as he appears to forget his Triride can be set at 4mph, but on these occasions prefers to go at 6-7mph.
At this point, and under instruction to jump on, I then find myself sitting sidesaddle on his lap, doing nearly 20mph, and after more instructions including: looking out for cars behind us, whilst holding up Google maps on my phone in front of us, and then being told to keep one leg off him as it pushes his leg into the tyre (which he obviously can’t feel)… the journey is far from comfortable, and I can only describe it as feeling all tangled up!
As per usual, there is a comical moment when Russ starts faffing about with something and I lean forward and accidentally hit the throttle.
God knows what this journey looks like to passers by, and given that we are stone cold sober I spend the entire journey reciting what I’m going to say if we get stopped by the police, half the time out loud, leading Russ to tell me to ‘ shut the f*** up!’ so that he can ‘ listen to the road ‘?!
Anyway, we made it, Russ is given yet more inaccurate advice by staff members – but finally relaxed, we manage to have a bloody brilliant time at the gig and get to shout along to Liam Gallagher sing Wonderwall.
Unfortunately, as documented by Russ, the journey home is far worse than the one there, but still has it’s comical moments – including a Rastafarian passer-by who took it upon himself to try and get us on a bus, which to be fair was really never going to happen as the ramp was broken. His determination was impressive though, and after getting frustrated with the bus driver who thoughtlessly positioned the accessible non working ramp – right in front of a bin. The guy actually managed to somehow move the bin?!
Anyway, after a long night and understandably frustrated and cold, Russ had visibly plummeted and eventually makes his own way home. Never the best ending to an evening, knowing what Russ’s plummeting has led to in the past 🙁
What Russ omitted from his account, was that it was my wanting to deviate from his plan – (and not fancying the thought of another 4 mile journey all tangled up, after having consumed quite a lot of alcohol) that buggered up the journey home.
What I’ve learnt from these situations with Russ is: irrespective of what you think and feel about Russ’s plan, it’s best not to suggest an alternative, even when his plan may seem slightly flawed!
Aahh… and equally as important- is to keep highlighting the comical and happy parts of the evening… as there are always loads 🙂