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The collected opinions of an august and aristocratic personage who, despite her body having succumbed to the ravages of time, yet retains the keen intellect, mordant wit and utter want of tact for which she was so universally lauded in her younger days. Being of a generation unequal to the mysterious demands of the computing device, Lady Bracknell relies on the good offices of her Editor for assistance with the technological aspects of her journal.

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Location: Bracknell Towers

Sunday, June 24, 2007

A funny thing happened to me on the way back from...

... the osteopath.

Which is odd, really. Because funny things are only supposed to happen to you on the way to places, aren't they? Theatres, mainly, I think...

Anyway. Back to the plot.

After four sessions of acupuncture (and the elimination of a lot of mewks), my lower back is a heck of a lot more mobile than it has been for a Very Long Time. Mobile is good, mainly. Mobile does, however, tend to lead to the audible clicking of a variety of newly-released and therefore rather over-excited facet joints. It's always a bit worrying when something goes "clunk" in your lower back, although it isn't always a problem. Some of the time, the joints are clicking back into their proper positions. Other times, however, they are clicking into Tightly Locked Mode.

Having managed to lock something up in my left hip by, oh, I don't know, breathing without due care and attention, or something equally rash, I brought my scheduled visit to the osteopath forward so that he could manually release what I had inadvertently trapped.

(He was, I should say at this point, very impressed by what Dr Liu has accomplished so far. Also, it was great fun to be able to mutter darkly through gritted teeth, "Acupuncture doesn't hurt like this", when he was digging his thumbs into my erstwhile-frozen-and-never-entirely-thawed left shoulder. Tee hee.)

By the time I'd had osteopathic manipulation on top of the acupuncture, I felt as though I was wearing seven league boots. I nearly cried with happiness. (Except my mother had come to meet me, so I didn't. Dignity in all things, and all that.) Various startled friends were the bemused recipients of a garbled text message about my new-found ability to take Giant Steps. (Oh, and can anyone remember which playground game that comes from? It's been bugging me since Friday. Thanks.)

Striding about like a woman possessed of a very long stride when I got back to town, I proceeded to weigh myself down with a variety of shopping bags. I was just trying to decide whether the combined weight of said bags was really too heavy to cart home from the bus stop when the heavens opened and I decided to go for the taxi option. (I have no great objection to getting wet, but that amount of rain makes pavements slippery and treacherous. I may be able to take giant steps, but that doesn't mean I'm remotely sure-footed.)

So, it's all going well. I've got a chatty driver who knows where we're going; I'm out of the rain; and the world generally seems like a fairly cheery place all round.

"Is it this next turning?", he asks.

"Yes. Sorry. I'd drifted off there for a moment."

"Drifted off, eh? Well, you'd be no good for me in bed, you wouldn't. Drifting off that quickly. You'd be snoring your head off before I'd even started."

"A ha ha ha, er, yes..."

We pull up to Bracknell Towers. Bless him, he grabs the Sainsbury's carrier bags out of the back and carries them up the garden path.

"Done a bit of grocery-shopping, have we? Pity you didn't buy any chocolate spread. Then you could have licked it off my naked body."

"A ha ha ha, er, thanks. Bye."

He was joking. I am 99.99% sure he was joking.

But. I get black cabs a lot when my capacity for walking any further has suddenly deserted me, and the drivers don't usually make faintly indecent suggestions involving foodstuffs to me.

Ok, so, on reflection, it was probably just coincidence that I happened to get this chap when my mobility was less impaired than usual. Which is a shame, really. Because I was hoping to be able to use what happened as evidence towards some sort of thesis in which I could have charted the correlation between degrees of crippiness and levels of flirting experienced. Still, the concept amused me briefly....

The Editor

PS I've already mentioned that I'm going back to work on Tuesday. As you can see from the latest button to have been added to the sidebar, I'm also guest blogging on Ouch for a few weeks from tomorrow. (As are a few other bloggers whose names you will immediately recognise.) That, combined with the imminent return of a very muddy Pop from the trenches at Glastonbury, will reduce my available energy-levels significantly. So there will more than likely be a significant - albeit temporary - drop in the frequency of posts to this blog in the immediate future. Just so's you know.


Blogger Melbamae said...

"Giant steps" would have come from the game "Mother May I?". Baby steps and giant steps forwards and backwards as I recall.

7:47 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Thank you. Yes, that was it.

Was that played in the States as well, then?

7:56 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I believe that game is/was played in the States as well, yes. Though it's hard to say partly because at my age childhood games were more years ago than I like to count, and also because as a deaf child growing up around non-signing hearing classmates and playmates I usually didn't even understand what many of the typical games were even CALLED, much less what scripted responses were said during them. I had played probably DOZENS of games of "red rover" before someone finally explained to me that the thing that all the kids on each team was shouting was "red rover, red rover, _____ come over" (insert name of child on other team). Until then, I hadn't understood why the game was called "red rover" nor had I understood how on Earth the other kids just magically knew exactly who was supposed to run over (and try to break through the line made by the other team).

A more detailed description of this game, if desired, I will probably leave to someone with a full set of 10 healthy fingers. (I actually *did* injure most of my fingers last week; that part of my comment in the other thread was not a joke!)


8:44 pm  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

"Mother May I?", that brings back memories!

Giant steps, baby steps, bunny hops, twirly steps.

1:36 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

I have no idea what you are all talking about.

Must have been in the girls' playground! We were too busy beating the cr*p out of each other and doing guy stuff in the boys'.

Thank Heaven for segregated education. It made a helluva man out of me.

Yours butchly


3:28 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

I would be more inclined to view it as a karmic balance thing - on the positive side, you are feeling significantly more mobile, so to balance it out, on the negative side, you get a jerk of a taxi driver who gets his kicks out of trying to make you feel uncomfortable.

3:45 pm  
Blogger seahorse said...

Taxis can be a great thing, most of the time. When I venture forth I use a local firm, who know not to send me the driver who once asked if I sleep naked.

10:38 pm  
Blogger marmiteboy said...

I've never been propostioned by a taxi driver :-(

7:49 am  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...

Dear Editor

I get the impression that one or two of the latter respondents to this post are considerably more vexed by the taxi driver’s comments (and by that kind of behaviour in general) than were you.

Speaking as one who has long since been aware that the general response from a particular type of lady, both to attempted chivalry and amusingly inappropriate comments, tends to be along the lines of “How very dare you”, I nonetheless get the impression, from your use of the term “flirting” and your apparent general demeanour in recounting the incident, that you were more amused than offended by the remarks from your driver. Certainly, as your co-worker in Her Ladyship’s employ, when I may have uttered the odd inappropriate phrase or suggestion during our chats in the staff dining room you have only ever laughed and never scolded.

I wondered if you might care to provide a little more insight into your own reaction - and that of your gender - to being so propositioned.

Fondest regards (with whipped cream and cherries)


8:23 am  
Blogger Mary said...

My apologies to the Dude for my having yet again offended his internet sensibilities to such a point that he feels it necessary to issue a reprimand. I seem to do this to the Dude just too often.

If I have misconstrued the tone of this post - we all know it wouldn't be the first time and I am well aware that I am not the sharpest knife in the drawer - then I am sincerely sorry for it and, as ever, I am happy to be corrected by the Editor or indeed by her Ladyship.

9:03 am  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


Whilst not horrified, I wasn't entirely comfortable either. I'm not sure men - even those who know themselves that they are joking - always retain awareness of the physical threat they pose to women.

He was basically a nice chap, and I wasn't really worried.

Nevertheless, I did find his comments to be potentially ill-judged.

If he is sufficiently intuitive only to say those sorts of things to robust, middle-aged women who are unlikely to feel threatened by them, then fine.

But if he hasn't, then those sorts of comments are not fine. I would have responded entirely differently to what he said when I was in my early twenties.

You need to know your audience for that sort of humour. Apply it wholesale, and it's highly likely you're going to end up upsetting someone inadvertently.

12:47 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...


I don't read the Dude's comment as being intended as a reprimand to you at all. He's a gentle soul, and wouldn't deliberately upset anyone. He does, however, enjoy a good spar. But there's no malice in it.

I can't speak for him, of course, but what I think has happened here is that he has been surprised by what he has considered to be a misinterpretation of what I wrote.

Naturally, because he knows me very well, he's a lot more familiar with my speech patterns than someone like yourself who only knows me online.

As it happens, as you'll see from the comment above, my own reaction rather fell between your interpretation of what I had written and his.

Worry not: all is well.

12:54 pm  
Blogger Dame Honoria Glossop said...

Indeed. Had a taxi driver (or chauffeur) made such comments to me, I would probably have thought "Bleurgh what a creep", whacked him one with my Switch stick, and run a mile, figuratively speaking since I can't actually run.

1:36 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...


Thank you for your (as always) well-timed and well-judged intervention. I wanted to give you a chance to amplify your thoughts on the subject because I thought you may have been misread as complaining about your taxi driver rather than being – as I understood it – slightly tickled.

I do understand your stance of being neither entirely one thing nor t’other and agree wholeheartedly, from the perspective of one who occasionally (!) delivers these kinds of “saucy” lines, that fine judgement concerning ones audience is essential. As a frisky young man and a terrible flirt, now growing old disgracefully, I learned this very early on (sometimes the hard way).

However, I do maintain that it is possible to read a complete stranger very quickly in this respect and to nearly always get it right with practice. Certainly a second cheeky remark should never follow if the first one is not well received and the first one shouldn’t be made in the absence of a certain “vibe”.


2:07 pm  
Anonymous Boogaloo Dude said...


The danger of chatting on the web with people, as opposed to face-to-face, is that you cannot see either twinkling eyes or savage stare. As the editor says, I enjoy a good spar and therefore quite often challenge what people say – particularly on t’internet and particularly if I think they have missed a vital point. But I only take offence when offence is obviously meant - and that is obviously never your intent!

Actually, after a brief off-blog e-mail, neither I nor the Editor can recall an earlier occasion on which you may have thought we had fallen out so, if there was one, it is obviously soon forgotten.

I never thought of my comment on this occasion as a reprimand; I am seldom that subtle! I was just asking the Editor whether you or I had interpreted her reaction to the taxi driver correctly and offering her a chance to expound on the general issue of uninvited comments from strange men.

So please accept my humble apology if I have inadvertently caused you to feel uncomfortable. No offence was taken and certainly none was intended.

As the good lady herself says, as far as I am concerned “All is well”.


Dude x

2:09 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

Pax :) I really shouldn't be allowed out on the internet when I've got my grumpy on.

And sorry, because I think the Editor is right to say my perceptions of the, ahem, gallantry offered in these situations are definitely coloured by being in my early twenties (25 still counts, right?)

9:09 am  
Blogger Stella said...

Hello again Lady Bracknell and The Editor. I've not blogged for some time, apart from over at the evil www.myspace.com/stellsoldout, but I'm pleased to revisit you. I have a new job, outside the disability sphere, so the disability-burnout is subsiding, and I've begun to read your fine blog again. My new job involves much less conversation about "people with disabilities being the only appropriate terminology in the Australian context" and much more taxidermy. Cheers to that! Love Stella

12:34 pm  
Blogger Lady Bracknell said...

Yay, Stella!!! Long time no blog.

How absolutely fab to hear from you again :-)

Er, taxidermy, you say...?

9:44 pm  

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