Good Times, Bad Times

I’m walking around like a head of state with, coincidentally, my head in a state, only it’s not with the air of some important king. More like the gentle Elizabeth 1st , as if I have a huge ruffle supporting my chin and the faint smell of sewage wafting near my face. 

The reason for my stiff posture is that I’m now out of hospital and sporting staples and stitches on the back of my neck, which look as if Doctor Frankenstein had been doing some NekNomination before stitching me up. I know this because every time my wife or a nurse lifts the bandage and look at the scar I get an elongated “ooohhhh”. If Frankenstein's pal Igor flashed a meeting of the Women’s Institute I imagine the reaction would be similar.

In truth, even without the surgery it was a strange week, and not one I’d like to repeat very often.

It started on Sunday when, at six a.m. I had a blow out on the motorway which made me lose control of the car. Luckily there were few other motors around, and I managed to get off the carriageway to safety quite quickly. The car has no spare tyre, just an aerosol designed to patch the puncture, but I had no rubber left, just steel rim. The AA towed me to work, and after my radio show it took another six hours to get a new tyre fitted as I had forgotten my wallet.

I then went to see an old mate, Maggie Reilly, perform her new album on stage, but my bad luck continued when she had two power cuts during the set. Then, on the way home, I lost my credit card.

I had to buy pyjamas to wear in hospital and just as I was holding up a pair to the light, a colleague of mine from Radio Jackie walked in to the store and laughed. He must think I wear these all the time.

So, by the time the operation came round on Wednesday, I reckoned bad luck had moved in as my room mate.

Whenever I’m nervous I start to talk rubbish, and as I was being given anaesthetic, the doctor asked how I thought I’d caused the trapped nerve they were about to fix. “The worst I heard was a woman who had fallen out of a ‘plane,” he said. “Beat that.” So, of course, I did. I mentioned something and I remember the look on their faces before the doctor and nurse both asked “are you serious?” I then fell asleep before I could answer.

When I woke up from the anaesthetic I was apparently worried. It was nine o’clock at night but I told my wife I had to get to a football match I was playing in at eleven o’clock. Apparently I said I was scared I might not be able to head the ball. Now where does rubbish like that come from? I also spoke to one daughter on the ‘phone without realising it, and the other one told me the first thing I said to her was “Friday night is curry night”. I told her she was talking rubbish, until she helpfully showed me the footage on her mobile ‘phone. Lovely! Her dad is lying, spaced out and in pain, and her support consists of getting out her ‘phone and revelling in my misery. I think she’ll be a lawyer.

So now I’m home, recuperating and bored. I can’t do anything except take pills and walk around the garden, although I did get spoiled on my first day back with a large chocolate milk shake. Almost worth the pain.

But what keeps me going is the thought of that doctor and nurse who never got the answer to their question “you’re joking, aren’t you?” What was it I told them, after they asked how I’d trapped my nerve on a disc, just as I ‘went under’? I happened to say that I’d done my neck in whilst trying out something new at an orgy.

If you meet them, please tell them I was joking.