Sprained ankle

I have sprained my ankle. Now, I’d like to claim that this was during some great activity – a national sporting event, paragliding, bungee jumping, rodeo, bullfighting, base jumping, something of that stretches the human physique to its limits. But no. I sprained my ankle getting off a bus.

It’s the bus driver I blame. You just don’t expect the bus driver to be so friendly. He said "hi, how are you" as I get on. Like, wow. Twilight Zone stuff. Okay, so it’s only the kind of "how are you" that doesn’t really warrant a detailed or personal response, but it’s a surprise nonetheless.

Then when I’m getting off, he says "thank you, see you again." And whatever the reasoning (MetBus’s great friendliness and customer service campaign of ’96 perhaps) it distracts me for a vital second. Just long enough to prevent me noticing that the ground below me, where I am about to tread, is not the conventional horizontal footpath I have come to expect, but a driveway. An angled driveway. The edge of an angled driveway, to be precise.

My left foot (hey, good name for a film) decides it can’t handle this. It leaps out of the way, taking some ligaments in my ankle with it. I land on the other knee, say "ow!" rather loudly and walk away.

It wouldn’t have been so bad, but I was on the way to the dentist. Ah, the dentist!

The dentist is like any other person who knows a million times more about their field than you. Every one of them has you completely at their mercy. Only these people can charge you $145 for what seems like a few minutes’ work and get away with it. They can tell you everything is wrong, and there’s nothing you can do about it.

The video repair shop – Well, the heads are gone, have to be replaced
Dentist – Well, the wisdom teeth are trouble, have to be taken out
Mechanic – Well, the whole exhaust is shot, has to be replaced
Computer repair – Well, the hard drive is kaput, has to be replaced
… you get the picture.

Luckily, my dentist is very trustworthy, and never takes advantage of me. Or so I believe…

Anyway, the ankle. It didn’t start to hurt until that evening, when it ballooned, so the next day I called in sick "honestly guys, I think they’re going to have to amputate" and hobbled out on crutches and got it checked.

It’s only once you’re on crutches that you appreciate the extreme discomfort of using them. You appreciate those low steps. You appreciate automatic doors. It was on these crutches on Friday 12th January (Crutch Day Number 3) that the MORON OF THE WEEK was spotted.

The driver of red Commodore DEA380 actually managed to have TWO tries at mowing me down. Not bad, eh? As I was getting off the tram at the corner of Glen Huntly and Booran Roads, attempt one took place, only prevented by the gallant conductor leaping out and signalling him to stop (I probably looked pathetic trying to get down the steps with two crutches). Damn, I didn’t get my chance to put the crutch through his windscreen.

Seconds later, he has another go! I’m preparing to hobble across the street that he’s decided he’s turning left into. He apparently only thinks to give way upon meeting my glare (I’ve been practising). He pulls up, and waves me past, like he’s doing me some big favour, rather than just obeying the road traffic laws.

Meanwhile, back in ankle land on Crutch Day Number 1, I’d managed to get to the x-ray place. It’s lucky x-rays aren’t like passport photos – you don’t get them back and see all the hairs on your leg sticking out and have to get them re-done to avoid embarrassment. But the x-ray guy (Mr Plutonium I think he said his name was) got talking, and asked "so, could you blame the bus company?"

I thought about this for a few seconds, and there’s two big reasons why I wouldn’t go into legal action. Firstly, it was my fault. Okay, call me crazy, but how could I maintain a straight face while suing someone else because I wasn’t looking where I was going? Secondly, and more importantly, is that ANY legal action means LAWYERS GET MONEY. This is not a good situation. They already have plenty of other peoples’ money, and I in no way want to encourage them.

Bad Christmas poetry

Prepare for bad poetry. This is what I wanted for Christmas… (*I got these)

A vacuum cleaner that doesn’t drown out the telly
Self-changing nappies that don’t end up smelly
Price tags that come off without a fight *
Neighbours who don’t blare loud music at night
Disks that don’t self destruct with my data
To understand what the Tax Office mean by "pro rata"
Blinds that don’t get stuck halfway down
A Fast Eddies burger I can get my teeth round *
A good table for eight in the Hard Rock Cafe
An easy to open tomato sauce sachet
Warning buzzers that sound if my fly is undone
Especially if I’m about to walk past a nun
Neighbours who don’t leave shopping trolleys on the street
To walk for miles without killing my feet
To not hear dripping taps once I’m in bed
People to hear first time what I’ve said
The media to stop all this hyping the Net
To get a winning horse from my once a year bet
Gas, electric, phone bills in different weeks
To understand behind those sci-fi geeks
An absorbent handkerchief that’s always dry
To know all the words to "American Pie"
I’d love a toaster that never burns the toast
To get down to the mailbox in time for the post
Trams that aren’t dead on time when I’m late
To not feel sick from the Christmas chocolate I ate
A calendar that turns the pages by itself
To have read all those books up there on the shelf
To see bloopers from the Queen’s Christmas Message
To understand what the point is of dressage
A little summer weather wouldn’t go astray *
To really see Santa fly by with his sleigh
Car drivers who give way when they’re supposed to
To not have a sore nose after using a tissue
A packet of Tim Tams that never runs out
To understand what the stock exchange people shout

One thing I don’t have this year is much time
So here’s all the others that I didn’t get to rhyme:

Ties that automatically go to the right length
Newspapers that recycle themselves
An adult-sized Jolly Jumper
Pens that don’t lose themselves
Frenchies to stop testing nuclear bombs
Pictures that always hang straight on the wall
Stickytape that doesn’t stick to my fingers
Endless chocolate in a special dispenser
A microwave that remembers the time when unplugged
A retractable cord that actually works
People to stop ringing me – the wrong number
A passport photo that makes me look human *
(Almost)
Bubblegum that is underside of table resistant
Maps that can be folded back up first time
Companies to stop sending bills for three cents
To be able to keep in a fart when I need to
A seminar that’s interesting right to the end
A big black thick texta that doesn’t dry out
Once a year to have chocolate for dinner *
To understand what Boxing Day is really for

The bill

Following on from my previous call to my old mobile phone company telling them I was disconnecting, I got this, a bill for three cents:

[Vodac bill for 3 cents]

Rather than spend forty-five cents sending them a cheque, I gleefully rang them at their own expense on their Freecall number to have a good laugh. They most generously said they would waive the three cents.

The best fun

I’ve been having the best fun. Last week I got to write a letter to a phone company. I got to tell them that their threat to cut me off for not paying them a bill doesn’t hold much weight because I asked to be disconnected – and that’s why they shouldn’t be sending me bills any more. Trust me, it’s a hell of a lot of fun letting off steam at big corporations.

Not Australia’s Most Wanted

Australia’s Most Wanted man, Brett Maston, is no longer most wanted – in fact he’s now "The Criminal Formerly Known As Most Wanted". They caught him over the weekend in Perth. Lucky the Victorian police didn’t get to him first or he’d probably have been shot.

But there’s something I don’t understand. Last week his face was splashed all over the newspaper and television, along with such phrases as "armed and dangerous", "do not approach", and "don’t mess with this cat". The entire population was encouraged to etch his face into their minds and upon spotting him, ring the authorities.

This week they show footage of him cowering under police guard, and someone somewhere has told them to explode his face under one of those mosaic things so we can’t see him! Why? You showed us what he looks like last week! I mean, all we have to do is dig out last week’s newspaper!