Monday, February 28, 2011

Mister Mister

I am crossing between lines of stalled buses and cars on Dame Street when I hear someone shout "Mister, Mister."
I wonder who the Mister is and why he is being called.

The student on the bike with no working brakes comes down the hill between the buses and catches me on the side and over I go in a short sleeved shirt.
The rider comes over the handlebars on top of me and slams my bare arm into the tarmac once more breaking a bone that is attached to other bones and disrupting the lines of communication to my hand as it snaps.
Nonetheless, I pick him and his bike up off the Dublin street and carry the bike with my working hand to place it beneath the Olympia Theatre canopy. I ask if he is alright and he says he shouted Mister to warn me. It seems he thinks it's my fault he ran into me.

I make my way to a busy city post office public phone.
I ring emergency to find where the nearest hospital is and he says he'll send an ambulance.
I say I only want directions. I'll walk, it's my arm that hurts like hell. My feet are working still.
But he insists and I am to wait.
There is nobody with me, I tell him when he asks.
While I wait for the unwanted ambulance I am dizzy and I prop myself against a wall in case I lose consciousness. That way they'll be able to see me, unconscious but upright, when they rush in.
The perplexed paramedic asks me where my bike is? I say a bike hit me, not me it.
He says I look alright and he can't take me in the ambulance for that.
I say I only wanted directions and to take it up with his dispatcher. I have been waiting too long for them and am now somewhat testy.
He says you better get in the ambulance then. I try to get in beside the driver but they insist I get in the back and be strapped into a stretcher.
The siren clears the streets of people.
I try to apologise to the people for the fuss; but they can't hear me inside the ambulance.
In the hospital, a nurse takes my jacket and tells me I am bleeding profusely and there is dried blood on the inside of my jacket.
I say it is a floral motif that is faded and she agrees and we wonder what the flowers were before they faded.
A doctor comes in and says I have a bad sprain to my elbow and to go home and take a warm bath.
I ask if I should stand on my head in the bath since it is my elbow that is hurting even more now and the bath water won't come up that high, unless I submerge and swim for it.
He pretends not to understand English and goes off looking for more polite excitement.
I leave without the promised aspirin for the headache.
I walk back down the street, against the wall, for the ambulance is gone for there is nothing wrong with me, according to medically qualified observers.
I take a bus to my home in suburbia. It is full with commuters.
I have to stand and hold on to the overhead bar with my good hand.
The other arm swings loosely on every corner like a demented scarecrow in a storm.
The next day I go to a different hospital and say I was knocked down and have a sore arm.
They say it's not sore, it's broken.
I knew that already.

storytelling here

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Walking in the city

A man sliding along on an icy city footpath puts out his hand to stop me passing by.
He has an unlit cigarette in his smoking hand and asks what does "sensible footwear" mean? On radio they say he is to wear sensible shoes for snowy conditions.
There is a parallel strip of grass beside us.
I say you could walk on the grass and not slip.
The non-smoker says he does not want to walk on grass; he is in a city. He wants to walk on the path. What are sensible shoes? He places the unlit cigarette between his lips and waits for an answer.
Well, you need shoes with ridges on them to grip the ice, I say.
I haven't got shoes with ridges, says the cigarette man. He waves a lighter in the other hand without sparking it.
I edge away and say you could wear rubber boots like farmer's boots. Ideal for anything.
The cigarette man walks away; I'm not a farmer. I live in a city. I still don't know what sensible footwear is.

storytelling here

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Finding self with story

At a party a 78-year-old inhales and gets so high she staggers across the room to flop into a chair like a rag doll; all arms and legs and disassociated head.
She is a graduate of my Tell your Own Story programme and has taken a hit of snuff for the first time in her life.
In the first session I go home hoarse; having spent two hours telling stories to them and trying to loosen up their inhibitions to tell their own.
Come the final session ten weeks on I can barley raise my voice above the babble. They all want to tell their story and now. Listen.
We discuss "like snuff at a wake" one week but nobody in the group has ever taken snuff.
At the farewell party the senior teller produces a silver snuffbox and invites everyone to take a line of it. No.
She taps a small dormant volcano onto her hand and it almost takes her head off.
"My sinuses have never been as clear as they are now," she tells the wondering others.

Listen to a story now

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Barking Mad goes e

Barking Mad, Tales of Lovers, Liars, Loonies and Layaouts my book of funny radio tales is now a kindle ebook on Amazon.
You can download it now to read and laugh from either or whichever you prefer.
It is a selection of 34 of the most popular stories from my Telling Tales, my radio programme.
You see, with 34 stories you have one a night to read for the longest month and three spare stories for those nights when you cannot sleep. Deadly.
You can also order a signed hard copy directly from the author.
Can I do more for you !!!!
The rest is up to you.