John Smeaton Found!
Everyone's favorite Everyman finally came out of his shell, granting a bombshell interview to News of the World. Al C., describing that publication as "one of Britain's most respectable papers," sent me the linkie. Thanks Al! I promise not to tell anyone you're running JohnSmeaton.com, a.k.a the Smeatsonian Institution. Its curator was also honored in the article, and news of the site is spreading to other publications. It's a great "Man Bites...Something" story, and during this lengthier interview John's characteristic good humor and healthy responses ("We don't kill people over here. That's not how we do things.") shine through. He describes the attack and the circumstances in relatively lucid detail; may his interview brighten your day as it did mine. It ends thusly:
The next day, John turned up at the airport as usual — but soon realised he was in no fit state for work.Catherine and Ian Smeaton raised a boy right. And did you get the names of his workmates? Kit Kat (always takin' a break), Wingman (for running the truck into an EasyJet), and old Paw Broon (erstwhile Paul Brown). Oh, you'll also find an embedded video of our man, in which you can cheerfully observe the effects of some early pint-ery. (Are those Boddington's I see in that picture??) John, the pints still awaiting ye at the bar at Glasgow airport's Holiday Inn have now grown to number 1,400. Best not let 'em get too far ahead!
"I couldn't concentrate and kept feeling over-emotional," he said. "In the end my boss said to take as much time off as I need to get over it.
"So I've been trout fishing and played on the Xbox — they're the two great loves of my life."
For the next 24 hours, John was blissfully unaware of his growing fame — until a friend showed him the website set up in his honour.
He said: "I went straight on it and I had the best laugh I've had in years. I'm pleased people have found humour in something so serious."
On Thursday John headed south to Cambridge with his parents Catherine, 68, and Iain, 66, for a cousin's wedding, and has enjoyed the opportunity to lay low.
Now John plans to go back to work as soon as possible — and start claiming his pints at the Holiday Inn.
"I'll treat everyone at work to some drinks but I don't think I'll get through them all," he laughed.
"I'm going to see if I can get the leftover money donated to a charity for soldiers in Iraq. They deserve a pint much more than I do."
He modestly added: "I'm no hero. I know 99.9 per cent of the British public would do exactly the same thing."