Now that time is passing – and the swelling, if not the pain, reducing – I can look back on the funnier aspects of the day I broke my arm and snapped the tendons in my knee.
One stand-out is the hospital nurse who fitted my leg splint and gave me crutches. My memory of the encounter is something like this:
Her: Now that your leg’s splinted, here are your crutches. I’d like them both back at the end, please.
Me: Thank you, but as I’ve broken my arm I can only use one.
Her: Yes, I appreciate that, but you must take both.
Me: But I have only one functioning arm. I only need one crutch and, in any case, I can only physically carry one.
Her: Yes, I appreciate that, but you must take both. And I’d like them both back at the end.
Me: But I can’t take both, I have only one functioning arm.
Her: Yes, I appreciate that, but I need them both back at the end and if you only take one I can’t have both of them back at the end.
Me: Fine. Shall I shove the second one up my arse so I can carry it too? (This last only in my head, I must admit).
Her: How did you break your arm?
Me: I tripped running for a bus.
Her: You should never run for a bus. I ran for a bus once and tripped and fell under the wheels and it drove off. I have never run for anything since.
Me: Is that because of all the extra crutches you have to carry?
Her, confused: Hmmm?
Me, to Graham who has just entered the room: Graham can you take this spare crutch please?
Graham: But you only need one, your arm is broken.
Me: I know, I know, please just take it. We can put it in the cupboard – they don’t have any cupboards here. Goodbye!
Her: Goodbye! Don’t run for buses!