Scratch by Michael Keeble


“It’s just a scratch” said my wife

Of course, when they say that in the movies, they have endured a barrage of bullets from any number of generally incompetent antagonists and at least one of them will have penetrated a useful limb.  Having been thus injured, hero would reach for his rolled up newspaper and put them off their already poor aim by using it as a blowpipe to blast the nearest gunman with peanuts from a handy nearby bowl.  Having dispatched all his enemies with deadly peanuts and newsprint jabs, he uses his newspaper to bind up the flesh wound that has rendered his left arm useless, and coolly makes his way out of the building and into the crowded streets. 

Despite the newspaper binding, the scratch is bleeding profusely and leaving a trail that any villain can follow.  Unperturbed our hero easily spots that he is being followed and sets off through the streets at a pace that would have been the envy of a world class parkour practitioner.  He soon leaves his pursuers behind by leaping streets between tall buildings and jumping aboard trains and boats from bridges, all the time nursing a now useless limb.

The scene moves to his safe hotel room where he is being tended by a scantily clad and beautiful young lady who, in spite of her relative youth, is highly skilled in dealing with scratches like his, and manages to dig the bullet out of the flesh wound with the hotel courtesy pencil, sterilizing the wound with the whisky from the mini bar.  At this point you realise that despite the indomitable spirit that the hero has shown, he is still human as he winces in pain while his nurse rummages around in the wound to pull out the biggest bullet ever fired from a handgun.

A day later he is well again, and apart from a sticking plaster on his left upper (magnificent) bicep, you would not have known that he had been in a skirmish.  This is just as well as the baddies have checked the hotel register and shot the receptionist, concierge, and any number of other residents, and are now on their way to the hero’s room.  Fortunately for them, there are no police in this city, so they have plenty of time to approach the hero’s room.  One of them knocks on the door and calls out “room service”.  Our malefactors have taken the precaution of borrowing a bellhop’s hat and jacket from one of the corpses in the lobby (but not a key to the room), so when the hero peeks through the spy hole he is completely taken in and opens the door.  The thugs burst through the door and easily capture the girl who has tripped over the empty whisky miniature.  The hero is thus disabled and allows himself to be tied up and taken, with the girl, through the blood spattered lobby and into a waiting car.  Now we can hear the unmistakeable sounds of police sirens.  This is the prelude to a car chase which shows up the incompetent driving of the local police force and the superior road skills of the crooks. 

After the police have destroyed more cars than they knew they had, and the crooks have got away with our hero and the pretty girl the scene shifts to the super villain’s mansion….

I got my scratch from picking blackberries.  It hurt like hell and I couldn’t do any more picking until it was washed, disinfected and a substantial plaster stuck over it.

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