Goal Keeper Punts Baby

A man is walking down the street in Dublin when he hears a woman screaming and detects a faint smell of burning in the air. He runs down the street and around a corner and sees a huge group of people standing watching a blazing building. On the tenth floor of the building a woman, clutching a bundle to here chest, is leaning out of a window screaming for someone to save her baby. The man steps forward and calls up to the woman, “Throw down your baby and I’ll catch it!” “No! No!” the woman shouts back. “You might miss or drop my baby and the she’ll be killed!” “No I won’t!” shouts the man. “I am Alec Maguire. I’m the goal keeper for Ireland’s national football [soccer] team. I’ve never missed a match in ten years and in all that time, I have never let the ball into my net.” “What? Not once?” calls the woman. “No!” shouts back the man. “Not once. Every football player in the world agrees that I am the best goal keeper there has ever been.” And with that he adopts the classic goal keepers stance, legs apart and sightly bent at the knees, body slightly bent forward at the waist and with his arms stretched downwards at a slight angle away from his body, with palms facing forward. “Okay!” screams the woman. “I’ll trust you. I’ve no choice! Her she comes!” So, with the flames roaring all around her, the woman throws the baby from the window. However, the edge of the baby’s shawl catches on the woman’s watch with the result that the child goes spinning off to one side, tumbling head over heels and with her little arms and legs flailing. The woman screams and the crowd gasps, all sure that the baby will perish because she will fall out of reach of the man. The man remains motionless as the child descends, spinning and tumbling further and further away from him as she comes. Then when the baby is only feet from hitting the ground the man dives a full 30 feet across the pavement, catches the baby in his outstretched right hand, pulls her in towards his chest and shields her body with his left hand and arm. He hits the ground heavily on his right side and lies motionless on the pavement for a few seconds. Then, slowly, he raises himself to his feet and turns to face the crowd and everyone sees that the child is alive. The crowd is awe-struck Then the crowd erupts with cheers and the woman, still in danger herself, nearly faints with relief. The man, still clutching the child to his chest in his right arm, waves to the crowd of onlookers to acknowledge their appreciation. Then, slowly and gracefully, he turns away from them, bounces the baby twice on the ground then punts her 60 yards down the road.

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