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Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:56 am
by Terry

It’s funny how we get caught up with little things that have a habit of snowballing out of control.

Awhile back while I was recovering from knee problems, I had formed a habit of walking (well to be truthful hobbling) up to the small shopping centre about four to five hundred metres from home. There was a park bench about half way there, so in the early days I’d rest there for a couple of minutes and the continue on to the shops, and do the same on the way back.
Eventually I got to the stage where I could make it all the way up to the shops without the break Halfway.

The shopping centre is quite small with a Super Market and about eight shops. It has a small Mall with a couple of bench seats where I would sit and read the paper before hobbling home again.
Then one day a very, very old Chinese man came and sat beside me; I reckoned he must be ninety plus; either that or he had led a life of wild debauchery or similar. I later learnt his name was Mr. Lee and apparently didn’t speak much English, apart from an occasional strange sort of noise I never heard him say a word.

There were two of these benches but Mr Lee always liked to sit close to me on the one where I was sitting, we must have looked a strange couple to the passersby. I’d be reading my paper and Mr. Lee would be scratching scratchies. He’d visit the newsagent each morning and then come and sit down with a handful of scratchies. I’d say good morning but never seemed to get much of a reply. He had an old sort of child’s stroller that he used to help himself get around, and an equally ancient sort of purse to carry his money in.

One day he came out of the newsagents and was about to sit down when he dropped his purse, and coins keys and numerous other bits and pieces went flying everywhere. It soon became apparent that he couldn’t bend his knees which meant there he was trying to recover his bits and pieces, but his fingertips were about a foot above the floor. So showing a bit of good old Aussie generosity I decided to help the old bloke out, only to find I wasn’t much better myself and because of my knees, couldn’t kneel either. There was only one thing for it; I had to sit on the floor to retrieve the old chap’s goodies. It was when I tried to get back up I suddenly found I had a real problem. Because of my knees, without something to grab hold of I couldn’t haul my-self up again. I looked hopefully at Mr Lee, then realised he was not likely to be much help. In any case he was too busy checking out his treasures. There was only one option available I’d have to slide over to the bench seat and try my luck there.

About then a frail old lady spotted my predicament and I could see she was hell bent on coming to my rescue. Meanwhile Mr Lee had now also noticed me still on the floor and was making feeble gestures as though he was also about to offer assistance. For one terrible moment I could see the three of us spreadeagled on the floor, so just in time with a super supreme effort I managed to haul myself onto the bench seat.
Having missed out on helping me up the old lady whipped out her mobile phone, no doubt with thoughts of dialling 000, and it took a bit of quick explaining of what had happened, and that in fact I was in the pink of health to talk her out of it.

I still walk up to the shops (with hardly a hobble these days) and sit down and read the paper and sure enough most days Mr Lee comes and sits next to me. But there has been one small change, he now looks at me with a sort of grimace that I’m sure is meant to be a smile.

With hopes of perhaps heading bush again in the foreseeable future, life no doubt will seem dull after my city adventures.

©T.E. Piggott


Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 11:52 am
by Neville Briggs
You've done well Terry. :)


Posted: Fri Apr 24, 2015 8:39 pm
by Terry
Hi Neville
Much better these days, but have finally accepted that I wont get back to how I used to be.
But I guess as we age, we all have similar problems to some extent.

Cheers Terry


Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:41 pm
by Heather
Getting old is over-rated. Nice to know you've made an old man smile Terry...sorta, kinda.

Heather :)


Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 8:14 pm
by william williams
now Heather. You women know when your old is when you place your wig on the mantle piece you glass eye in cotton wool box, your hearing aid along with your false teeth and eyelashes again beside you bed then you pray and what you say at the end is. Let there be a man under my bed tonight to keep me warm and then you hopefully look. THEM MY DEAR LADY YOU WILL KNOW WHAT OLD AGE IS.



Posted: Sun Apr 26, 2015 11:55 pm
by Terry
Hi Heather
Mr Lee is as mentioned really ancient but also very quiet old fellow and, since the time of my story often seems to be dropping change with people scurrying around picking it up for him.
I'm pleased to say that even I can now manage to bend down and help out if needed.

Cheers terry