Wednesday 4 November 2015

Spare Parts

Centuries - well, decades - ago a lady helped in my family's business. She liked to be really busy and whenever she found herself idle would say "Oh dear, I feel like a spare part." Recently I had an experience which came under the same heading but with a different content. Planning a brief break with A.N. Other, the suggestion was made that I should acquire a suitcase whose dimensions fitted the 'hand luggage' requirements of the relevant airline so that we would not waste too much of our mini-break waiting for luggage from the hold.

We duly went together to a specialist luggage shop. The Other explained what we wanted to the assistant who approached us. Without hesitation he addressed himself to the Other in terms of " What do you think will suit her best? How much is she prepared to spend?" and other queries destined to clarify what would be the right purchase for the senile, deaf, dumb and non-English speaker hovering over him. His concerns were answered and a case produced that cost a month's mortgage installment. Accepting the parsimony of the Other he produced some more reasonably priced.  Without once looking at me he showed his compassion, saying "This one is light enough for her. I recommend one with four wheels. She can ask for help to lift it in to the locker" and so forth and so fifth. With some difficulty we managed not to catch one another's eye and so avoided the discourtesy of laughing in his face. Finally, a case was chosen, at which point I asked him what his best price for it would be. Imagine his astonishment. Not only was I alive and well and in his shop but I had the gall to bargain with him. £6 was knocked off the asking price and we and the case rolled out of the shop free to laugh at last. That was fun. It is not so funny when I am an invisible spare part to people rushing past me not giving a d..n that I wobble and could easily fall over. It seems elderly women inevitably  move from eyelash fluttering through stick waving to invisibilty. I have green-inked about this before. Which brings me to another observation you may find relevant: the elderly, forgetting to whom they have told what, inevitably repeat themselves. Blog-browsing backwards I see that I am as guilty of that as the next dotty old age pensioner. Be patient with me, I beg you. However, I have to say there is merit in some spare parts: implanted contact lenses,  hearing aids, anti-pain patches and a third leg. No Zimmer frame as yet  Bore da

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Liz
Do you remember a programme called "Does he take Sugar"? Sadly your experience is nowhere near unique. Keep writing, please