I am getting old!
You can tell when age catches up to you because you start recalling happier times ... the days of your youth ... on a more regular basis.
Well, when I say 'happier times', I really just mean earlier times! They weren't all happy or without pain.
Yesterday, after my wife took a little bruise inflicting tumble, unbidden came the memory of a fall of my own.
Whereas I should have been giving her some sort of comfort, I was in fact recalling an incident from my Army days which involved stairs, a full backpack and some slow motion body surfing.
It was one of those occasions where our leaders decided to test our reaction time to an emergency.
It was, as it always seemed to be, about 2 am and sirens were blaring across the barracks and indeed across the whole town.
The German population must have really loved us!
Now, when you hear those sirens, you are meant to leap from your bed, don you combat clothing and all your kit and go to a designated point within the barracks where a roll is called before we draw weapons and prepare to move out into the field.
What actually happens is this:
The sirens blare so you turn over in bed and pull a pillow over your head.
You wait until there is a banging on your door that you can ignore until it becomes a violent kicking action accompanied be manic shouting and swearing.
You eventually get out of bed and wander around the corridor asking other bewildered, would-be sleepers, if it really is a 'call out' or was it a fire alarm.
After some clarification, which still isn't clear, you clamber into your combat clothing and boots, grab your gear and head off to the assembly point. This can take quite some time due to the fact that you have to return to your room several times to retrieve those forgotten, but necessary, items of combat gear that you meant to have packed some months ago but never actually got around to.
Anyway, this time, as the wailing of the sirens finally faded, I was already on my feet, dressed and fully equipped. I was ready to go to war!
Woe betide those bad guys!
At this point I should mention red lead paint!
It's what the army uses to paint flooring and sometimes walls. It's easy to clean and difficult to scuff. And it was all over the floors of the armoury building.
It was raining that morning and I was one of the first to respond. Some others were sent to chase up late comers and I was told go to the armoury, draw my weapon and then return to the parade square and begin marshalling vehicles into position ready to move out.
There were steps in the armoury building leading down to the heavy steel armoury door. It was open and one or two men were already grabbing rifles.
Did I mention the red lead floors and the fact that it was raining?
As I reached the top of the stairs I slipped. My feet shot out from under me and I hastily grabbed the hand rail for support. As I did so, my heavy backpack began to drag me down backwards. I pulled hard on the hand rail and tried to jerk myself forward and upright again.
I over did it! Gravity took control!
And I began to slowly topple forward towards the flight of stairs!
In my panic, and in a desperate attempt to minimise the pain and damage that was sure to follow, I dropped to my knees but my forward momentum and the weight of my backpack carried me over, head first onto the stairs.
I landed chest first with a groan and a gasp as the air was knocked out of my lungs.
Then I began a slow motion descent of the stairs on my stomach. All the way to the bottom.
Twenty rib bruising steps later my head, thankfully still steel helmeted, hit the edge of the open armoury door.
I was stunned.
And I couldn't get up!
The kit on my back was just too heavy.
I was lucky though! I really was ... in more ways than one.
Not only were my injuries limited to bruises ... mostly to my pride. But, as a precaution, my CO refused to let me take part in the call-out drill.
Whilst the rest of my unit were all vehicled-up and moving towards an unknown woodland location to begin manoeuvres, I was safely tucked up in a bed in the camp infirmary ... for observation, you understand.
I could have had delayed concussion.
Hmmmm! I might still have it!
You never know.
About This Blog
This blog was originally started as a thread on the forum pages of an animal rescue site. Now it's here!
The articles you find in here are purely for entertainment (yours and mine) and (with one or two exceptions) are all tongue-in-cheek chronicles of the World (my bit, anyway) as I see it.
No disrespect is intended towards anyone unless I make a mistake and make it too obvious.
I hope you enjoy my offerings. Feedback and comments of any kind are welcome.
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