A collection of short stories and journalistic commentaries depicting my simple life
and how I fit in with the modern day universe of our times


            It was May 4th 1982, two days after the sinking of the Argentine cruiser - the General Belgrano. It was torpedoed by the British submarine HMS Conquerer. 368 Argentine sailors were killed in that episode and Argentina, under the dictate of General Galtieri reacted with martial vigour. An Argentine warplane launched a French built Exocet air-to-sea missile at the British Destroyer HMS Sheffield where twenty men were killed. George Reynolds was part of the company of marines on board that ship. Part of the South Atlantic Task Force, sent to re-gain the Falkland Isles. It was a near miss for George and he now lay collapsed on the deck in great pain and drenched in blood.

            George had been trapped by falling debris wrought from the missile strike and such was the extent of his injuries, he was later to have his legs amputated. Just days after reaching the conflict zone, his participation was already over. He was whisked away for urgent medical treatment and returned home as soon as was possible. Surviving the whole ordeal, George now had the unenviable task of learning to live with his injuries. Being a strong and generally healthy man, he had a fairly fast recovery but had the added burden of having to cope with prosthetic limbs, learning to stand and learning to walk again from scratch. Undaunted and filled with enthusiasm for a somehow brighter future, George struggled through as the conflict in the Falklands continued without him. The Falkland conflict was finally settled on July 11th of that same year, but it took George a further six months before he could claim his own personal victory.

            It was now March 1983 and George was once again fully mobile and he had pensioned himself out of the Marines. He took the money and literally ran all the way back to Civvy Street, where he took up a new career, in sales. It wasn't long before he got the hang of his new job and within just a couple of months; he was fast breaking his targets and reaching for the heavens. He loved his new profession and vowed to invest all his time and efforts into it. Already breaking records, he applied himself more and more. His goal now: to be the best.

            George Reynalds was fast becoming a champion in his field, a real master of his craft and a winner through and through. He was a salesman with a brilliant history of beaten sales targets and untold earned commissions, but what made George different from all others, was his determination and an inability to be beaten by anything. Through all kinds of adversity he had already triumphed and now, having fully mastered his chosen profession, he was to become a true star of the sales community. Because of his record achievements through sales, he was later able to give training seminars and quickly became known as the 'Billy Graham' of all selling.

            One example of beating the competition, he would inform his trainees, was his having been blessed with a wooden leg (or two). Think about that for a while ... How would you cope? How would you turn this disadvantage to your advantage and still carry yourself through your ambitions? George had found a novel way of doing just that, and he pushed it as far as he could. Well how had George managed it? Not many people would reckon a wooden leg was anything to be blessed with, but then, not so many people could use a wooden leg to make as much money as George did.

            Its time now, to see how he did it. He was in a very competitive market that promised a lot of repeat business to the right salesman and George knew this full well. He had at the time, a dozen eager competitors fighting for the same business but undeterred by this, George got himself most of that business, purely because of his wooden leg, he would say.

            It wasn't sympathy business he was winning, and George being a true pro, wouldn't have accepted it if it was. No, all he did was use his wooden leg as a form of focuser and memory jogger for his clients. When he first met a new prospective customer, he sat with his wooden leg straight out to one side, so that the customer could see four inches of the polished teak between his deliberately short sock and his trouser turn-up. He'd turned down the offer of switching from polished teak to a skin coloured, contoured aluminium years before.

            The mere sight of those four inches of polished teak, he claimed, used to hypnotise his customers. They just couldn't take their eyes off it. Ten minutes later maximum, and the customer couldn't help himself but say: - "Excuse me asking: but is that REALLY wood?

            "Oh yes!" the salesman would reply, pulling his trouser leg up another six inches, flashing the timber prop and giving the polished teak a rap with his pen. "Copped for it big time during the Falklands."

            A few minutes were then spent talking about the leg, problems in damp weather, the "Arrr - Jim Lads", etc, but the key factor thereafter for business was that the salesman was never ever forgotten. Repeat business was thereby, as good as guaranteed. The other dozen competitors simply didn't stand a chance. Other than a mirrored personality, they offered nothing different for the customer to focus his attention on.

            But the biggest bonus for George our one legged sales legend, was that thanks to our government, his car sported a disabled driver sticker. Purely because of this, diligent use of his DD privileges meant he could literally park up anywhere and dive in with his polished sales pitches whilst the competition were still driving aimlessly around the town, looking for somewhere to legally park. So now he could make more sales calls than his rivals, as well as win most times when he was face to face selling.

            And that's not where the story ends... It wasn't just one wooden leg for George; let me remind you it was two. He had lost both his legs during the conflict. But despite everything he had to contend with, he had always resolved to 'stand up' and be counted. He simply couldn't live the rest of his life just 'arse-ing' about (which is what you would normally do, with no legs), that's what made him so different.

            But wait...

            Unfortunately for George, twenty six years after the fateful day of that terrible wounding, he was violently sick after carelessly swallowing some varnish whilst renovating his legs. It poisoned him and he died more or less instantly. Not a happy ending for our story as such, but because of the varnish, it still had a lovely finish.

             Sorry about that final twist, I couldn't help it.

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Its my own fault really, its all about what I see in the world, and how it all translates for me.

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