Friday, 17 September 2010

High jinks in the high hurdles.

To support my hypothesis that old age is not for wimps, I recently had an unpleasant experience.

It so happened that my wife had been very unfortunate with a frisky underground car park. One of the concrete pillars had unexpectedly leapt out at her and crashed into the front near-side wing. Probably attracted by the chatter of her female passenger who'd just bought a super top in a sale.

The man at the Auto-Body-Repair Shop said he'd lend me a courtesy car, and so he did. It was quite a nice car in some ways, apart from the rattles, the rust and the black smoke, but it was very small and had a ridiculously low bucket seat, the type that has a 6 inch ledge all round your thighs. With great difficulty I managed to manouevre myself into this ground-level driving seat, with my legs sticking horizontally forward into the well. I drove off, noticing as I did so that the car wouldn't go into second gear, and shortly afterwards, that the petrol gauge registered zero.

I pulled onto the next garage forecourt, parking close to the pump and another car then pulled up close behind me almost immediately, and since there was already a car immediately in front of me I was completely boxed in.

I managed to open the door slightly and tried to manouevre my right leg out through the space, but I've had a knee replacement and my leg only bends to 90 degrees. At this stage, I got cramp in my right thigh. Eventually, after considerable excrutiation, I managed to get that leg back into the car and realized I'd have to manouevre my bum out of the bucket seat and push it way over to the left into the passenger seat so I could get then straighten both legs on the driver's seat, lean backwards and push them both out together through the narrow gap, hoping the body would then follow naturally, limbo-style.

This was not easy. Particularly when I felt a sharp pain in the aforementiond bum and remembered that this was an old car with one of those long metal parking brakes that sticks up vertically. Being incredibly brave and stoical I merely grimaced and carried on straightening the right leg. At this point being in the 'high hurdles' position, I developed severe cramp in the left leg, causing a convulsive jerk which moved my body weight into just the right position for the hand-brake to change its position from buttock to orifice.

I suddenly remembered my student days, when a man with a sheepish smile would occasionally be brought into Casualty with his Willy stuck in a milking machine. Well accidents happen, don't they?

So there I was, stuck in this death-trap in an unusual yoga position, with severe cramp in both legs and a hand-brake trying to make its way up my Jacksie, thinking, "They'll have to send for the fire-brigade to cut me free, this is not going to look good in Casualty!"

But that kind of a day is normal for old people.

A friend of mine woke up recently and his wife said "Don't touch me, I'm dead".
"How do you know?" asked the husband. "Well I can't feel any pains", she said.

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