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The Good Samaritan Advert

We are watching television and it is an advertising break.  Onto the screen comes a dark picture, rain, dim streetlights.  We are outside a London Underground Station, most likely on the fringes of the Northern line.  The camera moves to a close up of the gutter, water running along towards a distant drain but interrupted by what we now make out as a man lying there, his head at a strange angle on the pillow of the kerb stone, his Mac, scruffy, grubby, torn, one shoe missing his long hair now damp from the runnel.

Into view at the top of the screen comes a pair of well-polished man’s shoes.  We hear the quick, confident steps.  They stop to turn and face us, their owner bends down to look into the gutter, hands on their knees allowing us to see the Bible in his right hand.  He turns and walks swiftly away, in the distance the sound of the underground train leaving the station.

The rain continues, maybe even harder than before, the man in the gutter has not moved, breathing rapidly, eyes closed.  A sound now of quick tapping footsteps, a woman, again we see her kitten heels, a smart skirt and as she too bends down to stare.  We glimpse a handbag with its little Scotties dog logo dangling from the strap.  She taps off out of shot in the opposite direction to the man and as the camera follows her receding form, we see her go through a tunnel a sort of brick underpass the stonework black and glistening from the rain curving away out of sight.  The man in the gutter has not moved.

The tube train sound again this time arriving followed quickly by the loud unmistakeable banter of drunken teenagers, amplified and reverberating down the tunnel.  The leader comes into view; leather jacket, a sharpened polished motorcycle chain in his hand, tattoos, and piercings, in his ears a long safety pin in one cheek.  His mates are a couple of steps behind, he stops, slips his hand into his jacket pocket flips open a knife, drops to his knees by the man and, cradling his head, places the slice of apple into his mouth before reaching for a mobile and calling an ambulance for the diabetic who is now in a coma.

Across the screen two lines of script

“Love your neighbour as yourself” - Luke 10:27



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