Why is it that embarrassing things keep happening to me?
Let me explain.
At our supermarket car park you usually pick up a ticket at the barrier which you place inside your windscreen so that the car park attendant can easily see it when he does his rounds. When you leave, you hand the ticket at the exit barrier and if you’ve stayed over an hour you pay a small fee; otherwise you have parked for free.
I’d finished shopping and I placed all my goods in the car. As I opened the driver’s door a gust of wind blew the ticket out of the car. I chased after it. It went under another parked car some yards away. I looked around for the car park attendant – there was no one to be seen. The place was deserted.
I knelt down and there winking at me teasingly was the ticket under a parked van. It was just out of reach as it smiled at me saying: “Come and get me!”
I went totally flat on my tummy and stretched my arm right out under the car, inching forwards a bit at a time until I touched the ticket with my fingertips. Another stretch and … “Got it!”
At this point I heard a woman say: “Are you all right Sir?”
I eased myself from under the car as she said: “You seem to have fainted, Sir; and rolled under this van!”
Before I could explain myself she had called the car park attendant who now appeared out of nowhere. Where was he when I needed him?
The attendant called for help on his walkie-talkie radio. Another shop assistant turned up with a chair followed by someone else with a glass of water.
“Sit down Sir …” they all seemed to say in unison, “have a sip of drink!”
I tried to explain what had really happened …
“He’s delirious poor soul …” said the woman who first found me on the ground, “he doesn’t know what he’s saying … maybe he hit his head hard as he fell!”
“I did not fall …” I said biting my lip to suppress any insults on my mind “I went down on my knees voluntarily!”
“Did you want to pray, dear?” she asked patronisingly, then turning to the others she mumbled “he doesn’t know where he is … thinks he’s in church!”
At this point the first aider turned up with his bag with a red cross on it. He opened it and asked “Is he bleeding? Where did he hit his head?”
Before I could answer, the assistant manager turns up and asks me “Are you making a complaint and seeking compensation, Sir?”
This gave me the opportunity to explain matters to someone who might be able to listen. I asked that everyone leaves except the assistant manager. I told him what happened and assured him I had not intention to make any complaint or seek compensation. I just wanted to leave.
He went away much relieved.
As I reached the exit barrier the attendant there wanted to charge me a fee for overstaying my welcome.
I had to explain it all over again. He called the assistant manager who let me out without paying.
The moral of this story is:
You don’t need to go down on your knees to pray.
No … that’s not it.
Oh … watch out for gusts of wind before you open the car door. (Don’t eat too many beans!)