Last of the Summer Walking Frame

April 24th 2006

“There are three men with walking frames at the front door,” said The Trouble, with her expression of ‘And what have you been up to now?’ on her face.

I looked up from my Oldie magazine, trying to look unconcerned. “Oh yes?”

“What do they want?”

I spread my hands. “Search me. Perhaps they’re collecting for something?”

“Well if it’s walking frames they’re collecting they’re having a lot of success. See to them would you.”

I went to the front door. Abreast of each other were Mr Jeffs, Mr Barnaby and Mr Ross. Standing behind their walking frames they looked like a small football crowd. How had they known where I lived?

“Mr Atkins told us where you lived,” said Mr Jeffs, as if on cue. I made a mental note to give Atkins Down The Road a piece of my mind the next time we met; they’d obviously called on him and now he was making me have some of what they’d given him.

“Why haven’t you been turning up for training?” asked Mr Ross?

“I’ve decided to change my event.” Well I had to say something.

I thought quickly. They would no doubt want to know which event I’d switched to. The Downhill Stairlift was the first paraplegic-like competition that sprang to mind. I would tell them I was already in training for it and had already got very close to Thora Hird’s long-standing record. But hang on a minute. Downhill Stairlift? Wouldn’t that be a Winter Paralympics event? Are there such a thing as the Winter Paralympics? Skiing down the side of a mountain at a hundred miles-an-hour is difficult enough as it is without being hampered by having only one arm or one leg or partial sight, so probably not.

“What event are you going in for then?” asked Mr Jeffs.

“Putting the Truss,” I said. “In fact I’m just off to the hospital for a new one, nice seeing you all again,” and with that I walked down the drive and out of their lives forever. I hope.