A grizzle-headed, whiskery man with a collar of vivid blue tattoos just visible over the neck of his yellow sweatshirt lies on the pavement. Hundreds of shoppers watch him uneasily out of the corner of their eyes, and decide to give him a wide berth, asking their children not to stare.
Not my two friends. Suddenly they are leaning over him and asking if he’s alright and does he need any help. Between the two of them, they manage to haul him into an upright position. His eyes roll like a fruit machine display for a few seconds and then come to a stop. Not a slight figure, he leans heavily on one of the women and beerily lurches in the general direction of her face to target a grateful kiss. She manages to duck. Insistent, he grabs her hand and in an oddly old-fashioned gesture, plants a Carling-scented kiss on her fist. We watch him as he leans unsteadily on the nearest store window and makes his way up the road.
That was creative thinking in action. My friends refused to make the obvious assumption and instead, asked the man if he needed help. As it turned out, the obvious assumption was in fact correct. They earned the man’s undying love for all of twenty seconds, and my total admiration for being the two people out of all the hundreds in that street brave enough to think differently.