Today’s random memory comes from the early 80s... not too long before I left school. I have no idea why it popped into my head at something past four this morning, but sharing seems the right thing to do...
On the evening in question I was enjoying a pleasant hand-in-hand stroll along the banks of the River Ouse with a young German exchange student called Gaby Deissler (or Deißler... wenn Sie wollen...). She was a nice girl... as half the sixth form had apparently already discovered... but perhaps fortunately, I was a very principled young man...
Anyway, after we’d said our Auf Wiedershehens, I headed back along the tow path towards the school (nothing swotty, it was where I lived...). First of all, I had to negotiate a black iron gate and rather than open it (which would
surely have been the sensible thing to do), I vaulted it... because I was young... and I could...
Sadly, on the other side was an iron spike that was actually there to stop the gate swinging too far open... It had a secondary function... a foot impaler... and as I landed, the spike went straight through my trainer and into the sole of my foot. I can’t actually remember which foot it was... but back then it was the one that was bleeding and hurt... a lot...
My prized Dunlop Green Flash trainer rapidly turned into Dunlop Red Stain as I hobbled and limped back to the sanctuary of my bedroom...
Having cleaned the puncture wound, I went to bed... but by the morning, I was let’s say fairly shocked to discover my leg had basically gone completely numb. Now if I’d been approached by a fairy godmother as a pre-adolescent and
offered the chance of something long and heavy “somewhere below the waist”... well I’d have probably snatched the wand straight out of her hand... the moral of course is “be careful what you wish for...”
Anyway, Dad drove me to A&E where I was assessed and fortunately the damage was neither major nor permanent, but I would need a tetanus booster jab... I remember looking at the nurse... no problem... which arm..?
Well frankly, words were unnecessary; her look (or was it her slight smile) said it all, so I meekly rolled onto my front and accepted my fate...
Mercifully, my vaulting days are but a dim and distant memory, but if you are young enough or sprightly enough to skip over an iron gate or two... please... PLEASE take a quick peek and make sure there’s nothing metal and pointy on the other side.
All my own work... almost.