next stop market street

All I’ve done is asked Ken to stand up for me. I’ve asked him as gently as possible, making it clear that I need to see for myself exactly what he can and can’t do.
‘Righto’ says Ken, and gets himself ready.
‘I’m not staying here to watch this,’ says his son, Barry. ‘I can’t be doing with all of this.’ And swiping his coat from the back of a chair, he slams out of the room. Barry’s wife, Jean, is equally tense.
‘I’ve told you. He can’t stand. If he could stand, he wouldn’t ‘a pissed himself in the chair. ‘Scuse my language. They’ve sent him home too early. He should never’ve been let out like this. They just don’t give a damn. All they care about is the beds and kicking people out. They don’t give no thought for anybody else.’
Meanwhile, I’ve put Ken’s zimmer frame in front of him and stood to the side, just in case he needs a hand.
‘Okay, then. Right, then,’ says Ken, and stands up.
‘Of course he does it for you,’ she says. ‘He’ll do it for a uniform. But how’s he supposed to manage when there’s no-one here? We’re supposed to be going away on holiday tomorrow. How’s he going to cope then?’
Whilst Jean is talking I’ve discreetly checked the seat of the chair, which doesn’t appear to be damp in any way.
‘Well that’s the next step,’ I tell her. ‘That’s what we need to find out.’
I rest a hand on Ken’s shoulder. ‘How do you feel about a trip to the bathroom?’
‘Oh, yes!’ says Ken. ‘Fine. I’ll give it a go, like. Y’know – I used to be a tram driver before the war. Next stop market street! Hold on very tight…’
‘Just concentrate on what you’re doing,’ says Jean.
‘Righto,’ says Ken.
He starts walking with the frame in the direction of the bathroom. He looks pretty steady, so I go ahead and clear some bags and things out of the way. He makes it there in good time, manages to turn round safely, lower himself onto the toilet, and get himself back up again.
‘That’s great!’ I say. ‘There are a few bits and pieces of equipment that’ll make it even easier, but I think you’re pretty good.’
‘You think so?’ he says. ‘Because I don’t want to be a bother to anyone.’
‘It’s no bother. Come on. Let’s get you back to your chair.’
Whilst I’m helping him back there, Barry comes back in, followed by a waft of smoke.
‘He’s only gone and got him to walk,’ says Jean.
‘Have you?’ says Barry. ‘Who the hell are you? Jesus Christ?’
‘Me? No. I’m his more talented brother.’

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