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By Morris Stuttard

GENRE: Comedy

When a suicide prevention worker slips up big time, he is egged on by the resulting dead guy's ghost to learn some freaking empathy already. 


Mr. Buckeridge begins his story. It was not easy to get into paradise after topping himself...

Jack-the-lad Thew from Essex is not your typical counsellor. He mans phones for a UK suicide helpline based in Brno, Czech Republic, alongside his motivational maestro manager, Jemima, and the secretive Gwinn.

Thew receives a call from Putney, a Mr. Buckeridge, and although cleverly gets Buckeridge to divulge his address, he can't read his own writing and sends help next door.

Following an investigation into Thew's failure to save Buckeridge, Jemima accuses him of employing Machiavellianism in his job and assigns him empathy training, which he must pass to keep it.

While Thew bemoans his fast-approaching unemployment over a pint, Tobias, a chaste American missionary, arrives on the scene to find his fiancée, Gwinn, being dragged from the toilets by Security, chocolate smeared all over her face. Thew watches as she flees, humiliated, with a befuddled Tobias in tow.

Thew arrives at work to find his boss dressed in rags. Jemima explains: Thew's empathy recalibration training will be inspired by George Orwell's time as a tramp in Paris. The task: to himself dress up in rags, win the trust of a hooligan leader of homeless expats living by a nearby river and use empathy to defuse a conflict between them and local tramps on the other side. Thew quickly faces the monumentality of the task when the gang start dining upon their rivals' barbecued cat.

Thew resorts to old ways to fix the problem, resourceful but not empathetic. Frustrated, he quits the task, Jemima and, therefore, his job, and heads off to the nearest pub.

Unbeknownst to him, the pub is famed for the motorway passing overhead: Suicide Bridge. Today the car park is full of punters placing bets on the 'jumper' above. Thew recognises the lad readying flight: it is Tobias, Gwinn's missionary fiancé!

Thew joins Tobias on the bridge and learns that the chocolate-in-the-toilet episode owed to Gwinn's side-job as a fetishist webcam pornographer. Tobias is distraught; he thought she was a 'good person'.

Incredibly, Thew gets through to Tobias, helping him consider WHY Gwinn chose this particular form of moonlighting; making Tobias see that Gwinn actually needs him.

Tobias comes off the bridge and, when Jemima hears of this rescue, Thew passes the test.

Mr. Buckeridge contemplates what he himself learnt from Thew's successful intervention, before returning to his own personal paradise.


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