"What size of shoe do you take?"
"A shoe the size of my feet."
Well I didn't expect that sort of answer, of course, a bit off-beam if you
ask me, given to me by a child actually, quite logical of course,
correct, but still unexpected.
On this note, have you ever had one of those days when things go a bit
off-beam yourself? I'm sure you have. Haven't we all? The sort of day when
inanimate object hits you square in the face for no apparent reason. Or a
stupid day – a day when you do stupid things? I had a stupid day
Very painful it was too.
I was ambling along the pavement and admiring the shrubs in the park
(Buddleia, Jasmine, Philadelphus, that sort of thing) when a lamp post hit
on the side of the head. Not really the sort of thing that you expect to
happen, is it, and very similar, in fact, to an incident a number of years
ago involving a young lady called Cassandra: 'The Cassandra Incident'.
Cassandra was sauntering along the roadside verge without a care in the
– just like me – when she was hit full in the face by a road sign, dented
too, and even now, years later, the imprint of her face (main features
nose, chin and forehead) are clearly visible beneath the words 'Please
Way To On-Coming Traffic'. For some reason she didn't see it, you see,
this despite the fact that she was looking straight ahead at the time. Now
there's a mystery for you. And what do you say after witnessing an
like that? 'Are you alright' is a bit lame, a bit weak, isn't it,
particularly when the poor woman is holding her face and making such
moaning noises. Or do you say nothing and pretend not to notice? Now
a dilemma. I said nothing at the time, of course, because I didn't want to
embarrass her. Sometimes it's best to turn a blind eye, isn't it, so I
admired the wild poppies in the field opposite and pretended not to notice
anything untoward as she lay dazed and horizontal on the grass beside me.
hindsight though – if I recall correctly – this was an error of judgment
she was not best pleased, no, not best pleased at all).
But anyway, the final outcome to this saga was simply a matter of dented
pride, dented road sign and no lasting physical injuries to speak of. To
day, however, I can still hear the sound of Cassandra on Road Sign as she
connected with metal – a ringing, tinging sort of noise.
The lamp post and the road sign incident were accidental of course, but
sometimes this is not the case. Have you ever been tempted to stand on a
garden rake that's lying 'wrong-side' up on the lawn, I wonder?
Well of course you have. Who hasn't?
You know that you shouldn't, of course, you know what will happen if you
it's inevitable, isn't it? – but you stand on it anyway, just a bit, just
enough to get the handle rising slowly off the ground, then wallop, it
you full in the face before you can say 'Jack Robinson', 'Gordon Bennet'
whatever your colloquial phrase might be. Very painful. Do it once and
do it again.
But no matter what dangers lurk out there in the garden (and who invented
garden shredder for heaven's sake!) we still opt to pursue such a
pastime with obsessive zeal.
So how about life without gardening?
Would that be a good idea? Cut down on some of the risks associated with
No, that's unthinkable, isn't it? Give me a bit of risk and stupidity any
day. After all, isn't that what life's all about?
(Copyright 2002 Patrick Vickery)