Tuesday, August 5, 2008

On gifts, red wine, chivalry (that's dead for sure)


Well, Swiss National Day has come and gone and it was fun. My birthday gift list went largely unnoticed (or studiously ignored) so I unpacked the suitcase which I had readied for the trip to Japan, called Bonni and told her Italy was off the agenda yet again for the two of us and in the absence of the butler, laundry maid and chauffeur I answered my front door and let Betenoir and Panic Embryo in for Sunday tea, dropped my dirty washing in the laundry basket for the laundry fairy to deal with and drove myself to work (something I am forced to do in the absence of the unlimited credit platinum card) on Monday with a heavy heart and a lingering headache - Swiss national day was well celebrated on Friday night with La Lue and Blondie and a cast of hundreds at the Italian Club in Rugby and there was a lot of red wine consumed with the veal limone. Incidentally, the Club was packed with birthday celebrants and there was a party in the hall for the Swiss community - am I the only one who thinks it odd that the Swiss celebrated their National Day at the Italian Club.

I will admit that I did have one enquiry as to whether I really did want the GHD flatiron - jeez louise only dead people don't want one of those! I live in hopes tho' har har de har.

So what's this about chivalry you ask? I thought I'd tell you a story that Principessa (who is madly in love at the moment so not all that present in the corporeal sense) loves. It's not a new story. In fact it happened about 7 years ago - which is just about a lifetime............

Picture this, Sea Point, sun, (wintery) and me looking quite fine tho I say so myself. I was all dressed in black; black jeans, black blazer, black suede shoes, black sweater, waist-length blonde hair newly-washed and gleaming and I was on a mission. Not a really important mission, not even worth discussing here, but I was carrying out this mission on foot. At this point I should have turned around and gone home because Sea Point pavements are treacherously full of potholes, tree roots, badly-laid brick paving etc but I am an adventurous spirit and my eyesight for the nearby is not all that hot so I don't see the ugly, just the pretty trees, and the pale sunshine and I love to walk.....

So, I strode briskly downhill (it's always downhill in Sea Point except when you are tired or injured - then it's uphill all the way) towards my dressmaker and later on coffee and kaboom! I put my dainty size 5 into a pothole, lost my balance and went sprawling face first into the gravel pavement. And there I lay....totally winded, bleeding from hands, knees and boompsy daisies and with a suspicious feeling that my right foot wasn't where it outta be. I tried to get up but nothing wanted to work. I noticed a steady stream of blood flowing from my hands onto the gravel. There was a large patch of red forming around my shin area and both knees too (I know, I know, it was a wet patch but it had to be blood, so the red part is me using some sort of literary device ok?) I gratefully noticed a group of workmen in painters overalls loading tools into a van right next to me. In fact two of them had to step over my body (literally over my waist) to get to the van without having to make a detour. "I guess they are still shocked at the violence of my crash landing" I reasoned. I tried to sit up but with the bleeding hands and lack of oxygen in my lungs (which were at this point still deflated from the heavy landing) I remained face first on the gravel. Another gentleman came down the stairs from the building in front of which I was gravel surfing. He stepped over my head and said loudly "you guys must please fill that hole! That's the second person whose fallen in it today!!!" I grunted in agreement, gazed at the blood on my broken fingers and whimpered a bit. At this point one of the workmen asked "can you get up?" He seemed genuinely interested, but his interest was entirely of a scientific nature because when I answered "sob, sob, sob no" he said "Oh, ok" and carried on packing his tools in the van. I maneuvered myself to my bum and tried to stand up, all the while dripping blood from various torn and partially dismembered body parts only to discover that my right ankle was pretty much the size of my thigh and wasn't going anywhere unaccompanied. I cried a little more and the guys at the van all chorused "Shame hey she really fell badly that girl". Just then from out a window in the flat above, the rest of the maintenance crew called out "hey lady, can you stand on your foot?" I gathered all my strength and managed to bleat a teensy little "nooooh......". "Jislaaik hey that must be badly hurt...when you get home you must get someone to rub that for you".

At this point I simply refused to spend another minute on my butt on the pavement waiting for the emergency services to answer their phone, so I dragged myself up using a wall and my superpowers (which tend to let me down in times of public humiliation), phoned my mommy who came to fetch me and took me to the hospital. The doctor was most kind and the nurse barely hurt me with that syringe.

See, that's the day I came to believe that chivalry is dead.

p.s. It did lift it's head in a last ditch attempt to survive when a 90-year old man in Japan offered to help me haul my suitcase up a flight of stairs from the tube station in Tokyo. I tried to take him home with me but he was on his way home from a 16-hour work day and couldn't stop.

9 comments:

Don't believe a word I write said...

Holy crap-orama! That was truly a horrid story! Did you sit in the hole until your mom pitched up? Sheesh. And was your ankle broken?

Re the Swiss celebration at the Italian club...very amusing.

sweets said...

LOL that was so funny, i'm still giggling! should i be sorry?! LOL

anyway i agree chivalry is DEAD, i once worked at a fuction and was carrying cases of beer (i'm strong ok), about 3 cases at a time... the stupid men sitting around me was looking at me, but not ONE offered to even help... it's disgusting!

Charmskool said...

DBAWIW I dragged myself around the corner where the charming gentlement couldn't see me and waited for her sitting on the kerb (like a slightly dishevelled looking dronkie). My ankle and foot had torn ligaments and I had some pretty deep cuts and the most enormous bruises and put my back out something horrible! My best buddy thinks this is one of my funniest stories - I guess it's in the telling?
Sweets - Nah no need to be sorry - I managed to get over it by now and giggle quite a bit at the picture in my head too. I have some pics somewhere in one of my files of women carrying heavy objects whilst their men walk alongside them free of burdens. If I find them I'll post one or two.

kyknoord said...

Chivalry isn't dead. It's resting.

Charmskool said...

Yes Kyk, Rip Van Chivalry is indeed having a good long rest. Totally wore itself out in 1952 at the Eeufees? (for the foreign visitors thats Centenary Festival)

boldly benny said...

First of all, I find it very amusing that the Swiss celebrated at the Italian club.

Second of all, I can totally relate to your story. About two years ago I went for a run. As I was running along I didn't see some razor wire, I stepped on it, it jilted up and literally tore through my leg. I looked like I'd been mauled by a tiger and the blood streamed down my leg. There was a bakkie of workers and they just stared at me. I limped home, howling my eyes out and feeling embarrassed at the same time.

I still have the scars!

Charmskool said...

Ouch Benny poor you! The silly part is that because we get no sympathy or help we end up feeling embarassed about it. I hid around the corner till my mom fetched me.

elizabeth said...

Love the story. Sorry it happened but it made for quite the blog fodder. Fantastic blog... must keep reading...

Charmskool said...

Hi Elizabeth, glad you enjoyed the story. My life has a tendency (on reflection) to be filled with blog fodder. Please keep reading.