Trip to the P.O.
I opened my one eye to the sight of an old woman with purple hair peering down at me at an odd angle.
You’re a bloody disgrace, that’s what you are. She then leant down stiffly and pointed her stick at me and said ‘You are lucky that I am not younger or I would give you a jolly good thrashing.’
‘Kick the old bat Flatty.’ This was my one leg to the other.
‘Why don’t you kick her; you’re just lying there, I’m trapped under you. Get off me.’
‘You should be ashamed of yourself, imagine, drunk at this time of day.’ Poking me in the chest with the point of her stick, she obviously felt secure that I could not get at her.
I took charge as my leg lashed out at the old bird. ‘Stop it you two!’ ‘We are already in trouble enough without getting into more’
Now the belligerent old girl turned to a younger woman holding her arm. ‘You see Rose, this is what red wine does to you.’ ‘Did you see his leg twitching and shaking?’ ‘That is what they all get eventually… the DT’s.’
‘Flatty you really scared her with your last kick, give her another DT you virile thing.’ This from my other leg who enjoyed giving his partner a rip if it got the chance.
Once again I had to step in and keep the peace: ‘Just lie still and try to rest.’
‘Rose, they lie here hoping for a handout from us and then they go to the bottle store and get drunk.’ ‘We should call the police and have him taken away.’
My mouth was opening to defend my honour and I felt my brain shouting to my mouth ‘stay shut, don’t say a word’, but it was too late.
My lethargic voice echoed under the cloistered portico of the Post office, ‘Isss notss shrunk’ ‘Iss got Mosssherss Neusssho Sshisse.’
‘Totally drunk as I said, listen to him and falling around the place, he can’t even sit up against the wall.’
They were right about my not being able to sit.
The two waddled into the Post office and I tried to get up onto my elbow.
‘Can you rock a bit and then I will be able to get myself under him.’
My elbow was trying to encourage the rest of my trunk to get it moving in the hope of propping me up.
‘One, two, three my elbow said, common rock and roll and then I will get up.’
Let me explain what had happened: We, I mean I had been going along the post office wall, one hand on the wall the other on my stick.
I had had to leave my electric wheel chair because it could not make it up the curb to the Post Office.
‘Sorry guys I forgot to tell you earlier but…’ my bladder spoke up.
As I was saying, I had gone about ten steps when…
‘That is all we need, why didn’t you tell us earlier?’
‘Well I did tell Flatty and Archie but they cut me off and told me to clamp.’
As I was saying… I was going well until I hit the ice cream patch, and then everything went flop.’ ‘My hand slipped and I heard my brain saying ‘testing, testing’. ‘Dual test being conducted… testing gravity and indestructibility… prepare for drop test.’
From there it was as the saying goes ‘all down hill’.’
I heard brain saying to the hands. ‘Stop the slide, stop the slide, reach out, NOW! ‘
My hands were still saying ‘got it, got it.’ When my brain was saying ‘test complete.’ Access the damage, damage reports everyone.’
‘At least we know that gravity still works.’
‘Guys, hey guys!’ ‘Willie and I want you to know that this is not a false alarm.’ This from Blass my bladder. ‘If you don’t take Willie and I for a walk you will be in more than trouble.’
‘How desperate is it?’
‘Sort of urgent, frightfully urgent; when you get down to it it is trickelingly desperate,’
‘Come on big mouth now is the chance for you to perform.’ Said my brain. ‘Clear yourself and try as hard as you can.’
A large kind looking lady was approaching me from the car park…
Mouth opened and clearly said with a bit of a slur… ‘Please can you help me?’
But it came out slow and low. Blllleessss daaaag muuu hellll mgg.
She was so large and firm that she would have easily jerked me to my feet, but what I got was…
‘Now I don’t give money to people as it only encourages You Know What!!!’
‘You just wait there an Ill get you a packet of beans.’
Where did she think we were going to run off to?
With that she trotted off to her car and hurried back with her packet of beans which she laid down next to me. ‘I made some holes in the bag so that they won’t be refunded for You Know What!!!’
I felt my heart warm to this kind misguided soul.
‘Great now we have a packet of beans all we need is a fire and a pot and we can stay here forever.’ This from Blass.
I hate to remind you but I’m still here and this cold stone floor is not helping at all’
Common you ouens, lets all try together first try and roll over onto the knees and then hands try to pull him up against the post office boxes and then we can take Blass and Willie for a walk in the bush. This from my brain.
I separated my knee caps which had been clashing with each other all week like two six year olds.
‘Pull me up under Willie, this from Archie to Handy.’ ‘Pull, pull, a little more.’
‘Don’t crush me, I’m warning you all down there, I’m going to hang on as long as I can but then I will promise you…
‘No, get hold of Flatty and pull him up under Butt and then get those two capped fools to be ready!’ ‘Pull Handy pull.’
We were making good progress; my left hand had caught hold of the long brass door handle that stretched down the length of the door from dwarf to basketball player’s height and locked. With Butt planted on P.O. Box 39. All wrinkled in concentration under their caps my knees were ready to go. ‘You know what you all have to do… now do it.’
‘Bounce on me Butt.’ This from my calves.
It started with a type of bounce and a flex and another bounce a DT that sent my back sliding up the P.O. boxes. Thank God for the lubrication of the ice cream between me and the boxes.
‘Big push fellas.’ This from my thighs.
You wrinkled skollies be ready to lock when we are straight, do you hear?’
My knees trembling were just going to back chat when they locked and then could not say a word.
I was at my most stable, locked against the Post Office. My butt clamped against the wall and my knees with their mouths shut holding me leaning against the wall.
I was up. Now all I needed was a stick that lay at my feet.
‘Hullo Houston we have a problem!’
A pyramid of strength does not go far without the stick that props it up and while I could stand there for a while…
Well that was not quite true because Blass piped up from below.
‘Hey Boss, Willie and me we’re still here when you get it all together and don’t forget my beans!’
‘My left leg was telling my right knee… ‘It feels quite lekker when it starts… all warm and comforting and then it goes into your socks and then it is not so lekker because it gets cold and runs all over the floor.’
Don’t go there I said! We are not going that route we have already had one run in with the blue rinse lady and we can’t afford another.
‘Hoesit my laanie, js lekke getreek.’ A at last a kindred spirit; the tramp lent down and picked up my stick.
In a flash of aluminum my stick was in mu hand and a hand on my elbow led me round the corner to the drain and relief.
Jyt lekker diep in the borrel gekyk ne?