Purveyor of Tall Tales.

What Neil Did Next…

Now for the infamous leg story.

When last seen our fearless feckless hero was exiting Eastercon after an exciting weekend of beer, literature, more beer, geeks and a healthy dose of book buying.

Putting aside a very nearly lifelong fear of rats, he had foolishly agreed to having his better half, G, look after her friend’s pet rats. The afore mentioned friend being in Australia, we just had to pick the little critters up on the way home. Having agreed that he would not have to have anything to do with the rodents Neil thought himself safe.

After all readers: What Could Go Wrong?

Rats are fairly large as rodents go and so you need a decent sized cage. G’s friend H lives a few floors up in a block of flats; like all flats of this nature it has an awkward shaped set of stairs for carrying things up and down. G having decanted rats into a neat travel case, Neil prepared to carry the now empty cage out to the car.

Can you guess where this is going?

Somehow, despite cage being almost the same size as Neil, the cage is manoeuvred down the stairs to the front door. Where upon our hero halfwit discovers that the door has been locked. Stuck with an awkward shaped cage that cannot easily be put down he faces a dilemna: put the cage down or try to open the door?

Then he sees the switch.

Now, it is a common feature of many newer blocks of flats in London to have an electronic release button for the front door. In order to get out you must press this and open the door simultaneously. Neil presses the switch with his knuckle and pushes the door wide open with his foot.

The door swings back much quicker than intended.

And Neil steps back, swinging his left leg out behind him to block the door, rather like a bearded ballerina who’s gone to seed. In an act of what some might call karmic justice a piece of direct marketing lodges under his right foot before sliding away from him. His not inconsiderable weight is airborn – along with the cage – for a brief moment of hang time and then gravity catches on that something not quite right is going on; it slaps him to the floor with errant ease.

Neil’s entire weight, shin first comes down on the raised door frame. Now the rat cage is looming towards him grating his arm on the way to the floor. And he’s sure his leg is broken.

But somehow. It’s not. Neil knows it’s not because he can stand on it and you cannot stand on a broken tibia as it is a load bearing bone. It’s funny what you remember from your writing.

And so he starts to walk away, limping and thinking himself lucky. Then he notices his trouser leg is damp and sticky. That he has in fact done this:


NB – It actually doesn’t look as bad here as it did by the time I got to A and E, the bleeding hasn’t really got going because I’m sat down. By the time I’d walked the short distance from the car to the hospital my entire lower leg was soaked red. Cool huh?

So that was my Easter Monday. Hope yours was better.

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