I broke my foot once, one of the metatarsals. And just like David Beckham, I did it playing football. He at the time was earning sixty squillion a week as a footballer and clotheshorse. I, on the other hand, was on four hundred quid a month from the Civil Service and playing for laughs on a Sunday.
To say I broke my foot playing football is, to be honest, stretching the truth somewhat. I was in my football kit, and I was involved with a football match, but the rest is just the result of sheer stupidity, as usual.
I was trying to buy a car, had seen the rust bucket I wanted in Exchange and Mart and had rung the number mercilessly for days trying to get my filthy hands on the thing. The bastards wouldn’t answer the phone. What was wrong? I had good cash money for them and they didn’t have the decency to pick up the blower.
By Sunday morning, I was getting a bit pissed off with the whole affair, but with a football match at Twyford Rec to get to, I decided to knock the whole camping on the telephone thing on the head and spend a morning getting kickedaround a field instead. Besides, other members of my family might want to use the phone at some stage.
I got to Twyford on my bike in the nick of time, got changed, and on the way out to the pitch, I noticed a sign saying there was a phone in the bar. No problems, I’d give the car one last try at half-time.
I played forty-five minutes of football, darting down the left wing, generally losing the ball and getting kicked up in the air on a regular basis by a right back who resembled Giant Haystacks. I fidgeted through the coach’s team talk “Don’t just take it, kick the bastard back!” was his advice to me, and I darted up to the bar to make that all-important call.
It connected. It rang. And rang. And rang. And rang. No answer. Nothing new there, the slack non-car-selling bastards.
A shout up the stairs: “Oi! Scary! You coming or what? We’re about to kick off!”
Arses. I had forgotten about the match...
I sprung down the stairs from the bar, taking them three at a time in my football boots. Bad idea. Four steps from the bottom, my left foot skidded out from under me, and before I knew it, I was face down on the dressing room floor. I remembered a loud SNAP!, my right foot exploding in agony, and just one word:
The boot came off, and before I knew it, my foot had swollen up to double its normal size.
“Run it off lad”, said the coach.
So I did. It was fucking eye-popping agony, and there was no way I was going to play another forty-five minutes of football.
Dejected, I hobbled to the Kings Arms, pushing my bike. I showed the club foot to my father who was putting in some serious arm-work in the Public Bar, on account of him being a doctor.
“Run it off lad”, he said, “there’s nothing wrong with you.”
So I took the dog for a walk. Funnily enough, it was still fucking eye-popping agony, and two days later it was purple, green and black and attempts to “run it off” resulted in fits of foul language and hopping around in a circle, like a sweary Indian rain dance.
I went to the Royal Berkshire Hospital for a second opinion, where after three seconds of their prodding and my screaming they found it was broken. It was only a minor fracture, and I didn’t even get a cast - just a couple of bandages and a walking stick which doubled up as a handy golf club.
Faced with the facts, Doctor (now Professor) Scary replied that he was a virologist and hadn’t worked in General Practice for over twenty years. Fair enough, I asked for that. If I had injured my arse, however, I would have had no problems.
The following week, I saw the same car in Exchange and Mart. The phone number was one digit different from the previous week, presumably the work of a misprint. GAH! I dialled the number. The car was sold. ARSES!
Yes, my right foot still aches. All the bastard time. Can I have a new one? Size nine.