Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Little Piggy


‘No, I didn’t do it kicking my intern. I told you, I got up from the sofa and caught the leg of the coffee table – it was, and still is, the purest agony.

‘A & E job, I expect….’

‘Well, not exactly. I still went out clubbing, but the next day the toe was, like, totally black.’

My nephew Lance had shared his pain on Facebook and I was showing my avuncular concern with a follow-up phone call.

‘And the really annoying thing is that I’m meant to be doing another one of those team charity challenge things at work – I think it’s abseiling this time. Reckon I’ll have to bow out.’

No stranger to foot problems myself, I detailed the strapping and cushioned bandages he could use to create a miniature toe-sling to help him through this agonising time.

‘It would be a great chance, you know,’ I went on, ’to show real corporate commitment. Let it be known that you’ve broken your toe and then pad it up and drop a few Tramadol. You might have to go up a trainer size, but that’s a modest investment for the return you’ll get in kudos. Do the abseil and bang! You’re The City’s answer to Bert Trautmann.’

There was a silent pause here.

‘Should I know who Bert 'Trout-Man' is? Sounds like a cartoon character. Is he, like, half man, half fish? I think you might have been watching a little too much children’s television....’

I explained that the recently deceased Trautmann will be forever remembered as the goalkeeper who broke his neck in an FA Cup final and played on. I reiterated with some enthusiasm that medication and padding would make the abseil a breeze. The odd well-timed wince would remind senior colleagues that they were in the presence of true resilience and team playing.

‘Also,’ I continued, ’I’m not a doctor, but I’m pretty confident that the exercise would aid your recovery. Get the blood pumping to your extremities. Your big toe would soon be as right as rain and that intern won’t know what’s kicked him!’

There was another pregnant pause at this point. I awaited a grateful response – something along the lines of:

‘You’re so right, Uncle, as ever.’
‘Brilliant! I’m off to Boots right now to buy all the requisite items.’

Instead, Lance clarified:

‘Oh, er…. It wasn’t actually my big toe. It was more, well, my baby toe, but I still couldn’t get my shoe on….’

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