Tuesday, 27 May 2008

If It's Not Pineapples...

Before my mouth was taken over by the hideous pineapple boils, it had befallen an altogether more tragic accident, which caused me acute pain and caused my little sister to experience the first signs of bladder weakness.

I'll explain.

Our new house has six French windows looking onto the garden. The day we arrived they were beautifully clean - while pleasing, this did induce in me the sort of internal anxiety that rots your guts as I pictured one of the children hurtling into glass on their way to marvel at the lorikeets in the lemon tree, etc. Meanwhile, another danger had presented itself in the form of a sneaky passage from the garden down the side of the house to the front, where the white gate might easily be opened by a canny Girl. An hour into our first day here, both children had made Great Escapes and I'd become accustomed to running out from the kitchen - where I'd been making a carefully balanced tea (um, peanut butter on toast with a side of apple) and chatting to my travelling sister - grabbing one or both of them as they ran down the side, and plonking them back on the grass with a stern word or two.

I may need to practise my stern. For on the fifteenth-or-so escape, and me nearing the end of my rope (actually, a tether might be a good idea), I marched towards them and - you know what I'm going to say, right? There's no point in trying to make it sound like a surprise. You knew from the first sentence of paragraph 3.

BAM. I literally bounced off the window - with my face - and landed on the floor, clutching my nose and mouth and eye.

"OH MY GOD DID YOU BREAK YOUR NOSE?" said my sister, running to my side. I was a little concussed, but through the haze of mild brain-damage I could see that behind the sisterly concern was a strong urge to laugh. And I wanted to laugh, too, but I couldn't move my huge sore lips into position. We both looked up at the window and saw the ugly smudge of my face - eye, nose, mouth and chin smeared on the sparkly glass. And that was it - my sister laughed like a drain, soon crouching down and gasping for breath, "THAT'S THE FUNNIEST THING I'VE EVER SEEN. I CAN'T BELIEVE I DIDN'T FILM IT! PLEASE KEEP THAT SMUDGE THERE FOREVER, HAHAHAHAHAHA!"

I guess you had to be there. But I'm glad you weren't.

(I did keep the smudge. And the children have now helpfully added copious amounts of sticky finger marks so that Mummy doesn't have another little accident.)

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Sam said...

I've done the same. I was nine, maybe ten. My friends and I had pitched up a tent in my parents' back garden. We imagined it was the time of the Vietnam War and we were in 'Chinese' territory (I know, I know). The only difference as far as we could see was that we had Twix's to get us through the night whereas the Americans probably had to survive on the body parts of fallen soldiers. I needed the toilet and decided that it was very possible that at least one or two Americans while fighting the Vietcong might've had access to an avocado bathroom suite. Shutting the patio doors behind me I legged it upstairs, squirming out of my mother's hold as she tried to scrub the war-paint from my cheeks. On my way back, I spotted one of my fellow soldiers trying to nick my spot in the tent. I called out, rushed forward, and, yes, went bouncing back off the glassy patio doors. I can still hear their laughter.

But it's a pretty well-known factoid (er, well-known to me) that all great writers are clumsy. Apparently Tolstoy was a notorious glass-bouncer. That's how Anna Karenina died in his first draft, don't you know; in her mad rush to get through the station and jump onto the tracks, she actually went headlong into the Midland Mainline logo on the glass doors. But Tolstoy's editor didn't appreciate the irony and made him change it.

I strongly feel that when great writers like you and I do knock into glass doors and suchlike it's simply our unconscious acting out its desire to break through the glass ceiling and enter unchartered territory. And what's a few broke noses when put against that?

S said...

Poor you. I hope you're better. Thank God for sticky fingers.

Nik's Blog said...

Ouch! It happens to us all though. Hope it's not bruised.

Nik x

Mum'sTheWord said...

Sam, would you kindly refrain from making your comments a hundred times more entertaining than my original post. You're showing me up!

Thanks for the sympathy. I have made a full recovery and shall be avoiding both pineapples and French windows from now on.

Sarah said...

Wow, Sam's games had a far more educational focus than any of mine ever did.