True story of naked courage and derring-do

2016-04-27 06:00

I SIMPLY must tell you of a truly heroic incident I witnessed this morning here in Howick.

It gets my adrenaline pumping just thinking about it and I doubt I shall get any sleep tonight.

No doubt the papers will give the incident the front page coverage it clearly deserves.

Now … hang on a moment …I started by saying that I had witnessed the incident, but that is not strictly true.

I was the hero.

It all began innocently enough when I decided to have my annual flu jab at the local pharmacy. Just another ordinary day.

Some folk are frightened of injections, but not me. Oh, no.

I’m absolutely terrified of them.

But needs must and I sallied forth, thinking of England and whistling Land of Hope and Glory.

In the pharmacy I was unable to enter the sister’s room because there is a big step that I cannot negotiate in my wheelchair.

They therefore “do” me on the floor of the shop, in the trading area.

My ordeal began when the sister emerged from her little room carrying a small metal dish which she asked me to hold while she did the paperwork.

Only then did I discover that the dish contained the dreaded hypodermic.

I bravely looked away and announced, in all truth: “I really don’t like injections.”

One of the sales ladies was standing within earshot and, showing commendable compassion for a fellow human being in distress, asked, “Would you like me to hold your hand?”

This caused a few chuckles from customers who paused to stare.

And so, in full public view, the thing was administered. And, I might add, I managed without the teddy bear I usually clutch and the sucker-on-a-stick that is usually thrust in my mouth.

The sister rubbed my arm with that bit of cotton wool they use on such occasions and asked, “Can I do it now?”

“If you must,” I cried in despair, followed by an involuntary “I want my mommy.”

I waited on tenterhooks for the needle to be plunged in, but nothing happened.

“Get on with it why don’t you,” I wailed, my head turned away at an impossible angle, not unlike that of a ventriloquist’s dummy.

“It’s done,” said the sister quietly. And I hadn’t felt a thing.

It truly was my finest hour and surely something of which my grandchildren will speak in years to come.

I doubt that this feat of bravery will be equalled. Until the same time next year ...

John Gardener (Age: 71) Pietermaritzburg

In the pharmacy I was unable to enter the sister’s room because there is a big step that I cannot negotiate in my wheelchair.

They therefore “do” me on the floor of the shop, in the trading area.

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