Ward’s World: Motorised scooter gives me a crush - by John Ward

Inventor John Ward takes his weekly look at life.
Inventor John Ward takes his weekly look at life.
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The shiny thing called the sun was in the sky and so a wander into the metropolis that is Spalding* was on the list of things to do for the day ahead.

(* For those not aware, Spalding is a town in Lincolnshire, England, UK, should you not live in or near the area. This can be for various reasons: you have spotted this on the internet while putting “intellectual information” into your online search engine thingamajig, or another option is your bedding plants were wrapped up with this particular newspaper – the opportunity of having your fish and chips wrapped up in a newspaper as in the “good ole days” is now frowned upon, and punishable by you being placed on the Eating Outdoors Offenders’ Register, which lasts for about six months – or until they are frying New Potatoes).

A bad sign that things are on a “go slow” is when you hear people in the queue saying they “only” have an hour lunch break and still have to eat their lunch, if they get out within the hour; some have texted out for sandwiches – organic seaweed on rye with mayo or if not, egg and cress but with low cal cress – to be sent in.

The saga unfolds, then. I had parked the four-wheeled projectile in one of the parking areas and was wandering into the hub of the town centre to get a few items that were marked on the wish list, but before I got really going – I think it was the glare of the sun that was doing it as I have to get used to it being there – a lady of the female variety on her motorised scooter/buggy/revamped mine-clearer device ran over my foot.

It may have been she noticed the sudden “up and down” motion on her device, as she looked round at me. I was doing my slightly “peeved” look in her direction and then she stared at my foot, which I keep next to the other one and use them in pairs, before she uttered those magical words: “So sorry, but I didn’t see you,” which wouldbe good news if I was on a diet, but bad news as we were talking about my foot, that umpteen pounds, kilos, whatever, including the driver, had just run over.

My worries as to being asked if I “was okay” were dashed and proven untrue, as that didn’t happen, of course, as she spent a minute or two looking at the front end of her device.

Ever the kind-hearted soul like what I am, I pointed out to Mrs Magoo that if she goes straight ahead, minding the cars parked on the double yellow lines, then bears to the left, she would have at least three choices for her needs.

Her reaction was she was unaware she had any needs, and I pointed out that I was well ahead of the game, and there were assorted opticians within her range, allowing for her batteries not running down, as, if she could not see me, then she most certainly needs to get an eye test done and mucho quicko, babe.

Oddly, she broke into a smile, or a few of the wrinkles joined hands/whatever to form what looked like a smile, and said she was only going to her bank and I suggested she get enough out to pay for a new set of glasses while she was at it and this brought on a sort of laughter noise from her although she could have been having a last minute gargle, who knows?

I also pointed out if she mentioned my name, she would possibly get preferential treatment and then her eyes lit up, the daytime ones, as she asked who I was and I replied modestly I was the “Invisible Man” and if she couldn’t see me then this may well get her tested much quicker.

Having sorted this minor setback out, I carried on going into the hub of Spalding.

I was also going into the bank and I knew it must be coming up to lunch time as the queues were quite deep, seven in front of me and two just filing in behind, and then, true to form, the “Cashier Position Closed” sign went up and thus reduced the staff to deal with the ever-growing queues.

A bad sign that things are on a “go slow” is when you hear people in the queue saying they “only” have an hour lunch break and still have to eat their lunch, if they get out within the hour; some have texted out for sandwiches – organic seaweed on rye with mayo or if not, egg and cress but with low cal cress – to be sent in.

Others in the queue are writing notes or even letters to be given to those who have been served and being asked would they pass them onto friends, workmates and relations “on the outside” waiting for news of their loved ones, and that they are well, in good to reasonable health, and being looked after, considering the circumstances, and hope to be reunited very soon.

In one or two cases, as their mobile phone/device/brick battery has gone flat while waiting, they ask those with working devices if they can send a text message to that nice Ken Bruce on BBC Radio 2 for a record request, such as Tom Jones warbling away with his “Green, Green Grass of Home” or Diana Ross singing “I’m Still Waiting”, but to be played the next day as it could be a long, long day and night ahead.

Just then, a bank floorwalker wanders up and asks if you have considered moving your current account or mortgage to a more favourable account.

Well, no not really, as SERVICE is what is needed.

Years ago, when people wound up their mechanical wrist watches before the present battery-driven marvels, you saw people shaking their watches to see if they were still working as they stood in queues in the bank, and if nothing else, at least it helped their blood to circulate better through their bodies with this gentle exercise every 15 minutes or so, and may well have helped save a few lives.

Nowadays they text, or write essays on their hand-held devices, to inquire what the time is in Saigon, as it sounds and looks better than good old Great Britain and Big Ben (other sizes not available).

Ha, British banking – a legend in its own paying-in book.

I eventually got served – and to think some folk dread going to the dentist! Compared to queuing up in the bank, a mere walk in the park.

Some are surprised to find the hula-hoop has come back in fashion while waiting to be served. Mum’s friend Muriel, years ago, found we had gone decimal while waiting to be served.

As I wander down the street to sort my other bits and bobs out, there, nipping about like a good ’un, loaded down with bags of shopping, is Mrs Magoo herself, the Buggy-Bound Beauty.

Next, she is shoving the bags into assorted crevices fitted to her mobile Tootsie Terminator, and then she climbs aboard and its all systems go as she belts off up the street.

I was tempted to pop over and ask about how her eye test went, but then again, she might not have seen me anyway.