I should be given a knighthood | Steve Canavan

I don’t like to blow my own trumpet – for starters I don’t own a trumpet – but I did something heroic last weekend.

Saturday, 8th February 2020, 12:00 am
What would firefighters have done without Steve's help..?

This is not something I do often as I try not to get involved in anything that needs heroic deeds as usually danger is attached.

For example, if I were passing a lake and saw a woman desperately waving for assistance, I’d wave back and shout ‘give me two minutes, I’ll go and look for someone to help’. But on Sunday I became a hero.

I’d nipped to Sainsbury’s (Mrs C had run out of Veet Upper Lip Hair Removal cream) when, walking back, I heard a cry. I looked up and saw a woman with her head out of the window gesturing at me.

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This wasn’t a surprise. Women constantly try to attract my attention – it’s one of the perils of having devastatingly good looks...

Although I didn’t recognise her, I assumed she knew me. This happens a lot. People engage me in conversation and call me by my first name and talk for ages while I stand there trying to place them. I usually remember who it is 10 minutes after the conversation ends, by which time it is too late.

Anyway, I wandered over to the woman expecting her to call me by my first name and start chatting, when she said, in an awfully British kind of way, ‘I wonder if you’d be so kind as to help? I was trying to fix the front door handle when it fell off and now me and my 85-year-old mother are trapped inside’.

‘I’m sorry, I can’t help,’ I replied, ‘I’m in a rush and there’s football on the telly at four.’

I didn’t really say that.

What happened was that my heart leapt with joy, for this was my chance to finally be a hero with no personal risk attached.

I dropped my Veet and calmly said: ‘Don’t worry madam, I’ll sort this out and ensure you and your mother emerge safely from this ordeal.’ Or words to that effect.

At the front door I discovered she wasn’t lying – the door handle, plus various screws, were on the path. She clearly had similar DIY skills to me.

I picked up the handle and tried to reattach it but to no avail. It had sheared clean off.

Just as I was about to shoulder-barge the front door like a scene from an episode in Line of Duty, the woman pointed across the road. It so happened that opposite is the fire station. ‘Are you able to go and ask them to help?’ she said.

This was a good idea. Don’t get me wrong I would have shoulder-barged the door no problem, but the arthritis in my left arm has been playing up lately and it didn’t seem sensible to risk a setback.

So I wandered over the road to the fire station and rang the bell. I’ve never done this before and it felt exciting. Two blokes wearing helmets answered the door.

‘Erm, bit of a strange one this,’ I said, slightly embarrassed, ‘but the lady in the house over there has accidentally broken her front door and is stuck inside with her frail mother.’ I added, to lighten the mood, ‘least you won’t need your fire engine for this one’.

‘Ah, we will,’ one of them said, ‘it’s got all our tools on’.

I nipped back to stay with the woman and made conversation about door handles and the difficulty of DIY, before the shutter at the fire station whirred up. Then the engine, crew on board, emerged and trundled across the road.

I’d like to tell you how the story ended (I’m pretty sure the woman and her mum were freed) but after wishing them well with a cheery ‘I’ll leave it to the pros now’, I wandered off.

I told Mrs C I had just saved the lives of two women, one a frail pensioner, and although I’m not the presumptuous type, I’ll be surprised if I’m not awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s birthday honours.

If anyone wants an autograph, they are available on request.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​