Falling disgracefully

I am not immune to the odd accident.

It’s not like I’m the world’s clumsiest person, but there are those among us who do whisper that I may be accident prone. I think it’s a bit over the top given I only fall over, bump into things or set fire to something only once every few days. I mean, last week I went a whole four days without even a bruise. Of course, it’s what happened to break the streak that may be cause for alarm.

I was casually sauntering  arm-in-arm with my husband, old lady approaching from twelve o’clock, when a crack in the footpath grabbed a hold of my heel. I struggled against it, but as is often the way of these things, I fell. Strangely, my husband did not attempt to save me.

I landed on the old lady’s walking frame. She remained upright and unharmed, but her frame and I were inextricably intertwined, struggling on the footpath in front of the doctor’s surgery window, against which a young child was pressed, goggling as I lay jerking like a demented windsock on the pavement.

People stopped to help, but so hampered were they by the convulsive shuddering of their bellies, that they could barely assist. Eventually, face burning, I managed to haul myself upright – only to find my husband had disappeared and I was encircled by a group of people who were trying to look sympathetic, but didn’t quite make it.

I mumbled my thanks and attempted to hurry from the scene. But my traitorous heel snapped, leaving me sprawling, bum up, on the footpath once more. No one helped this time – everyone just stared. And then the guffaws began. Some raucous laughter, some quiet titters, some hysterical snuffling.

I scraped myself off the cement and looked around. The old lady, safely ensconced behind her somewhat-bent walking frame, looked at me, glasses misting with unshed tears of mirth.

“At least you had nice undies on, dear.”

And I suppose that goes to show that even the accident prone can look on the upside. Not often, but perhaps every now and then.


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