Monday, 26 April 2010

Growing old disgracefully

Today I went to one of the hospital service points to get some crutches. I'm having an operation on my ankle on Thursday, and the orthopedic hospital doesn't have its own crutches (I know, right?). Fair enough, there's a service point right next to it, but it opens 30 mins after I have my operation, so it can suit itself.

I am excited. I get to be awake the whole time because I'll have something like an epidural. Apparently I can listen to an ipod while they're doing the operation, but I would prefer to ask questions and interview the surgeon. I'm not allowed to drink, which doesn't really affect me since I don't drink, but I would have drunk a cider because it's nearly May Day and May Day is a big thing in Finland. Hopefully high on painkillers I will have a better May day than everyone else. So there. It will also be my first operation ever, unless we don't count the one time my ear mutated and ate my earring overnight, and I had to have it cut out at Accident and Emergency. It hurt, but I missed double maths. On that note, I am of the opinion that you should always optimise your injuries to make them work for you. For example:

I briefly owned a pair of crutches around Christmas and found the experience to be mixed. On one hand, nice people leave doors open for you and buses might wait for you to pathetically hobble your way to a seat before they drive off. But as the laws of physics tell us, for every one nice person, there are least 2 bastards who will shut a door on you and at LEAST 4 pensioners who think that age beats cripple. In England they insist on telling you that they fought in the war, or simply even that they're 84, to which I generally reply I'm 22. To be honest I don't care how old you are, you appear to have two working legs while I only have one. In Finland the pensioners appear to just sort of look at you distastefully at first, but then notice your crutches and get over it. But one time I witnessed

GRANNY WARS

It was the epitome of "I'm old so I can be a complete shithead to everyone I meet". Squared, because there were two of them. Granny #1 got on the bus shouting WAKE UP to a girl who was nice enough to have moved as soon as the woman got on the bus with a zimmerframe. #1 then turned on an unsuspecting foreigner and shouted in Finnish "If I'm not mistaken THIS is the invalid place". This woman was not an invalid, unless you count crippling rudeness. Eventually the foreign girl realised what the old bat wanted and moved to a tiny seat, with a massive suitcase trundling behind her, which was probably the reason she'd chosen the invalid seat to sit in in the first place.

Enter granny #2, who sits on an aisle chair and leaves the window chair empty. The bus is fairly full and granny #1 screeches across the bus at #2 to MOVE OVER AND LET PEOPLE SIT DOWN. Wow, I thought. They don't just hate young people. They're bitter at everyone. But to my delight, granny #2 was just as much of a grinch as #1.

"What has it got to do with you?", she queried

"The bus is full and YOU are taking up two seats"

"I'll move when someone asks me. Nobody has asked me yet" quipped number two.

No-one actually did ask her to move, unsurprisingly. And that was when I realised that it is totally possible for two 70+ year olds to behave like children. They actually gave each other the evil eye for about 15 minutes. You have no idea how much I wanted #1 to say "Let's take this outside!" and see what happened. Anyway, that day I realised that I'm not dishing out politeness and respect to every OAP I meet. They can earn my respect, and if they want to sit in my invalid seat, we can take it outside.

My crutches have ice spikes on the bottom.

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