Now then, I am well aware that it is wrong to laugh at other peoples misfortunes. I am. I really am. It is absolutely wrong. Very naughty indeed. Not something I would ever do. Never! Who? Me? No!
But you have to admit if you're honest, that it is quite funny if you happen to see for instance: a fat bloke stuck in a turnstile at the football ground. Even funnier if it's one of the away team supporters. What about when the bottom falls out of someones carrier bag full of shopping? That's quite funny, isnt it? Someone having a hard time walking on an icy pavement. that is always good for a chuckle. Especially when they do that scampering along trying to keep their balance bit, before the inevitable happens and they land on their bottom. Quite funny that. Hilarious actually.
Don't you just love those TV shows where they delight in showing peoples misfortunes? You don't? Are you sure? I could have sworn I saw you suppressing a smile. Oh well, if you say you don't who am I to doubt you?
But anyway as I was saying. I would never laugh at some unfortunate persons discomfort. Never!
Except today. When something happened that keeps making me chuckle to myself, every time I think about it.
Oh dear! Stop it! Just get on and tell the story! Sorry about that. Just giving myself a bit of a telling off.
Today, down at the local shop, I met a man who could only walk backwards. I didn't know he could only walk backwards when I started chatting to him, because he was standing still at the time. The subject came up in our conversation.
Apparently what happened to this chap, was that one day as he was crossing the road, both his knees locked and he couldn't move. This of course was unfortunate. What made it even more disastrous for the poor bloke was that he was only halfway across when it happened. This is not funny. The road was very busy. So he was stuck there for quite a long time. He was very worried. Well you would be, wouldn't you? About the traffic naturally, but mainly about his knees. They just would not bend.
He told me that he tried doing pelvic thrusts in an effort to gain some forward momentum, but had to give that up when he noticed a woman looking at him suspiciously and reaching for her mobile phone. Also some drivers were winding down their windows and saying things, like pervert, and weirdo. Which is not very nice, but perhaps understandable. Especially when directed at a bloke, standing in the middle of a busy road, doing highly suggestive movements.
Eventually, after wracking his brains for some time. He hit upon the solution to his dilemma and walked backwards to where he had started. Which as he said himself, was a very dodgy thing to do, because passing motorists couldn't tell if he was coming or going.
He walked backwards all the way home,and because he had to keep stopping and shuffling around to see where he was going, people were making nasty comments as he made his awkward progress.
To cap it all off he told me that when he finally got home his wife gave him short shrift because he hadn't got the shopping. When he explained about his knees she called him a daft old fool.
The operation to try and sort out his knees had not been successful. He was going to go back into hospital soon, for another go, but in the meantime was still having to walk backwards.
The police stop him a lot apparently. Wanting to know what he's up to. He's getting fed up with them. But as he says, it's a free country. There's no law against walking backwards.
Because he was facing the door I assumed that he was just leaving.
"Are you going"? I asked him. Thinking I might offer him a lift home.
"No", he said. "I've just arrived", and with that he walked off. Backwards.