We spent Saturday evening at Brummie Lawrence and Jo’s house. They were having a garden party to celebrate Jo’s birthday, so the usual crowd was there: The Sexton and Pen, Jacko and Nurse Lynn and Mad Kev and Suzanne.
Now, as you probably know, Mad Kev is not known as Mad Kev for no reason at all. It’s because he is impetuous, clumsy, tactless and, well, mad.
This was a man who took the view that a narrowboat could be made to go at maximum speed with very little need to control it, since there were canal banks either side to stop it going anywhere it shouldn’t.
Many years ago, Mad Kev arrived at a gathering with an enormous gash in his forehead. He’d been chiselling a doorframe to take a new lock and decided the most accurate way of doing it was to stand with his eyes level with his working area and hammer away. Towards himself. Still, it was only 8 stitches, he reasoned.
The same Mad Kev, who, on a stag do, after we had been yelled at to leave by the angry landlord, hurled a stone doorstop in the shape of a hedgehog at the beleaguered man’s forehead, scoring a direct hit and rendering him unconscious.
Or the time he gave his first wife a birthday present by hurling it across the dining table where we all sat for a celebratory meal. Again, a perfect head shot. I think she regretted asking for cycle spanners.
Mad Kev tends to be more extreme after adding alcohol. When you see the special look in his eyes, you make sure to keep out of his way.
So it was more than a little surprising when Suzanne, married to Mad Kev for nearly 20 years, told us about Mad Kev’s latest DIY project from earlier in the week. He’d been fitting some worktops.
“Suzanne – hold this piece of wood whilst a saw it,” he requested.
She duly did and Mad Kev went to work with his circular saw.
Which just goes to prove that the love and trust that Suzanne had in her husband would overcome all his previous personal traits and accidents. It was truly inspiring and touching.
Suzanne only lost the tip of her index finger and a slice out of her middle finger. Hopefully the skin grafts will go well.