10 Forsythia Grove
CORSETTSHIRE ZY6 4GT
May 22 2000
I have become hors de combat and it is painful even to cough or waggle a finger or two around. Honestly, after so many – injury-free – years as a horticulturalist, I fear I may have become blase even during manoeuvres around the house (which is where I managed to fall, stepping down from a table on to a chair).
I was up on the table, indeed I was up on a window ledge, during the course of siting something called a mobile wireless device as high up in the room as possible. But, as I stepped down on to the chair, I must have been a trifle incautious and the whole thing tipped to the left. I crashed to the ground dears, whacking my head and rib cage on the floor, and bearing a considerable amount of impact on my left wrist. I don’t think I was knocked out, but the word “concussion” has taken on a whole new meaning since that moment.
When I finally had the electromotive force to get up off the floor, I fortunately recalled the phone number of my chum Lord Sloth of Denbigh Dale (a.k.a. the Cosy Old Sock) and gave vent to some considerable importunings to come round forthwith. When he arrived, I said,
“Have you changed the registration plate on your car? It does not look quite the same as usual.”
Lord Sloth gave me a strange look and said, “What have you done to yourself Lady Beaver? You have a large bruise to the left of your eye.”
“Yes,” I said. I seem to have hit my head and the writing on my wall calendar looks a bit fuzzy.” I expect I will be alright in a minute.”
Round at Lord Sloth’s demesne, I said, “I’m sure I’m doing an afternoon shift for the care company this afternoon. The thing is, I can’t actually remember the name of the care company or the time I usually start it.”
“Oh,” said Lord Sloth, who started to turn the page of any number of old-fashioned paper directories and reading out the names of local care companies.
And finally we came across it or, eventually, I remembered it.
“Why don’t you give them a call?” said Lord Sloth. “You could ask them what time you usually start.”
“How can I phone up and ask them that?” I hissed. “It would look most odd.”
“Well, don’t you know Eloise’s number,” he said. “You could phone up and ask her.”
“Who?” I said. “Never heard of her. Who is she?”
“The person you normally work with,” rejoined Lord Sloth.
“Oh,” I said.
Eventually, and after one or two hours had elapsed, I decided that, actually, I probably shouldn’t go at all as my left arm, by then, was nearly-completely unusable and my rib cage felt like it had been crushed under a train.
“Why don’t you go to A&E and ask for an X-ray?” remarked the ever-reasonable Lord Sloth.
“Certainly not,” I rejoined. It is only a little strain. And, anyway, it is a trip on the bus, followed by a long walk up the hill to the hospital.”
“I will take you,” said Lord Sloth.
“Hmmph,” I replied.
Well, the long and the short of it pets, was that – two days later – on Saturday – I had a conversation with a citizen called Claude in the High street. Claude said that, when something similar had happened to him some years ago, he too had not thought he had broken anything.
“Oh?” I said. “What happened?”
“Well,” he said. “They X-rayed my wrist and said I’d broken it. They then informed me that they had to put a torniquet round my upper arm (to prevent the drug they were using ever reaching my heart and potentially stopping it). And when they did that my arm started to jump around uncontrollably. They then summoned an ‘ape’ to pull on the hand and get the bones back in the right position.”
I stared dubiously at Claude and said, “Perhaps times have moved on since then. Who knows.”
Anyway. This conversation had the effect of getting me to the bus stop. And at the bus stop (with shelter) was the local alcoholic with the long brown hair and strange white face. I wished I’d phoned Lord Sloth at this juncture. And then another unusual lady also turned up, followed up by somebody slightly more normal.
The bus arrived some 20 minutes later and I accelerated towards it, leaped on board, and asked for my ticket. The driver, however, was looking through the window in rather a distracted manner and then started to shout:
“HE’S NOT GETTING ON THE BUS. HE’S NOT GETTING ON THE BUS.” We all looked at the man with long brown hair. And then the driver started to shout, “GET ON THE BUS. GET ON THE BUS” to the other two ladies who were waiting. They, of course, froze before finally struggling in together and getting jammed in the door as it closed.
Phew pets. This whole thing was turning into a bit of a strain.
At the hospital – having spilled a cup of Mocha all over the waiting room floor – I was summoned by a nurse into the treatment room. She looked at my Michelin tyre-size hand, all blue and black, and said,
“Hmmm. It is the amount of bruising descending the inside of your wrist that I am worried about.”
And, indeed, the bruising did seem to have seeped for a whole 7.5cm down the inside of my wrist.
“However,” she went on. “It is Saturday and X-ray is closed. You will have to come back on Monday.”
And this, dears, is where matters have rested – apart from the unfortunate incident with the young men in baseball caps whom I encountered in the over-ground tunnel en route to the bus stop. Always be wary of young men clad in caps which read something like, “F . . . O . . . OR I’LL NUT YOU” when visibly incapacitated in an arm sling, toute seule and out of sight of the rest of the world.
Your loving relative
Evangeline Tankful (DBE)