Monday, November 14, 2011

On an awkward situation on Remembrance Sunday

On an awkward situation on Remembrance Sunday

A beautiful Sunday morning, and I vault out of bed, holding myself to my vow of acting like a proper grown-up and attending Reading's Remembrance Day parade.

Then, I collapsed in a heap of howling agony, bright painful lights flashing in my head, completely forgetting that the ankle I injured over two months ago hasn't even begun to heal.

But am I giving up? No, I am not. I get my old man's walking stick out of the back of my car, and limp, wincing, over to the war memorial to remember those who gave their lives so that - for example - people like me can sit here and write this rubbish.

Taking up my place in an impressive crowd, I become aware that I am getting sympathetic looks from a number of attendees. And old boy with service beret, blazer and LOADS of medals nudges me:

"Where d'you get it, son?"

"Wait... what?"

"Your leg. Where d'you get it?"

"I fell over."

"Beg pardon?"

"I fell over on the Thames footpath, following the David Walliams charity swim."

"Oh. Right."
Awkward, and I feel a bit of a fraud.

The next person who asks, I decide, will be told that I was the second man on the balcony at the Iranian Embassy Siege.

Luckily, nobody else asks, and I hobble home.

Thank you, old bloke with medals, for talking to me. And thank you, old bloke with medals, and those who didn't get to grow old, for your sacrifice.

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