Matt Next Door and his Pa-in-Law ring the door-bell. We are not expecting them but I just know, when I open the door to them, that Mr B will be delighted to see them. For a start they won’t mind if he keeps a weather
eye on the snooker on the TV (I know, I know, but the match between Ronnie Higgins and someone whose name I can’t remember was just getting interesting) plus it would give him an opportunity to demonstrate his latest party trick on Turner the Ambiturn.
Why it should be his party trick, rather than mine (as in, the one who has to do all the pushing and manoeuvring) is beyond my comprehension but I am not about to rain on
his parade. Our visitors are vocal in their wonderment (or something similar) as Mr B moves more or less seamlessly from arm chair to dining room chair though I can’t help noticing they don’t stifle their laughter when I joke about my abilities
as a Fully Qualified Ambiturner.
With one eye on the snooker, we chat about our neighbours’ up and coming barbecue to which we have been invited. Mr
B and I always feel very honoured to be counted among close Family and Friends and, as such, welcomed to The Feast. What we need to do, I muse aloud, is to work out how we might be able to transport Mr B from our house to our neighbours’ back garden
without causing him any stress or, still worse, damage. Both bodily and to his pride, don’t you know.
Richard (Matt’s Pa-in-Law) suggests we should
really have installed a gate in the fence which divides our two gardens when it was erected. This is what is called Being Wise After The Event but I decide not to point this out because I happen to be very good, myself, at Being Wise After the Event. I can’t
tell you (or, to be precise, I choose not to tell you) just how many events I have been wise after. Or, in the interests of good grammar, after which I have been wise...
Now, I was thinking sensible thoughts - like, perhaps, doing a bit of a recce with an empty wheelchair to see if I could manage safe passage between our two properties, perhaps with the help of the portable ramps which I keep stored in our garage for
use on Mr B’s occasional sorties into the Great Outdoors.
For some reason, the menfolk take it upon themselves to come up with ever more extreme examples
of methods of transportation. They start with the idea of a zip wire, skimming over the garden fence, hopefully missing our neighbours’ beautiful lilac tree which is just coming into bloom. I’m the one worrying about the lilac tree, you understand,
they are too intent on chortling at the thought of Mr B launching himself into a thrill ride, albeit a somewhat short one.
Next they contemplate some kind
of hoist by which Mr B would be lifted from the ground, swung over the fence and lowered onto the other side. Nobody specifies who will do the lifting, the hoisting, the swinging or the lowering. I am keeping very quiet in case anyone thinks I might be able
to help. At which point, the whole conversation descends from the ridiculous into the Totally Absurd when somebody introduces the idea of a catapult. Yes, indeed, you heard aright. The quickest way of getting Mr B from one garden to t’other would, they
reckon, be with the assistance of a giant catapult.
What really worries me about the whole discussion (apart from the obvious Elf and Safety considerations)
is that I find myself in the role of the Sensible One. That’s just so not like me, now is it? I’m usually the zany one, the one with the daft ideas, an anything for a laugh kind of person.
Our visitors have long gone before, too late to be reckoned, I come up with my own idea, one to stand alongside their most imaginative forms of transportation.
We could always try teleportation?