What is the first thing you do when you take a tumble in public?
Feel a fool, of course.
Beloved tripped over a kerb yesterday as he loaded a couple of bags of groceries on to the back seat of the car. I was picking him up outside the supermarket, literally so, out of the gutter, as it happens; he’d done some shopping while I went for my hour with Helen. I was sitting behind the wheel, hadn’t even switched off the engine fully. One minute he was there, the next he’d gone, on his bum on the pavement. Quite hard, actually. It took a few minutes to get him upright. He’s a bit sore today, which is why he asked Kelly if she could do the area round his chair without disturbing him as he wouldn’t find it easy to move about.
Well, it’s nice to get sympathy from a pleasant young woman like Kelly when you’re an old man, isn’t it? “Aw. bless,” she said.
Kelly is not just my cleaner, she is also a carer; I am sure she is a good and conscientious one. Beloved’s mishap got us talking after he had left the room. ‘Bin there, dun that’. Pratfalls are nothing uncommon.
“I was going to this lady on a freezing day”, she said. “The others in the office told me about her step and how slippery it was and that you had to be extra careful going in. But you know how it is, you are running late, calls are backing up, and you just rush about. Well, I did an almost full somersault, feet went from under me, shot in the air and landed on my head and shoulders, completely winded. Wheezing and choking. Not a breath left in my body.
I crawled to my knees and the first thing I did, before I even checked myself for injuries, I looked round, all sides, left to right, and behind me, to see if anyone had seen me. I felt such a fool.”