Patella Head - Mustard comedy magazine
Patella Head

True Stories:
'The most pain I've ever been in'

Patella Head

The details are a bit hazy, in that sort of endorphin-rush, sharp-blow-to-the-head way that you experience after your bicycle has come into violent collision with the side of a car.

ARed Nissan Micra, to be specific, that has pulled across you at right angles, arresting your bike's progress in a way that can only be described as 'absolute'.

Knees smashed against the door, one arm straight through the passenger window, elbow then acting as a fulcrum to perform a triple somersault over the car roof and come to rest on the far side – somehow managing to land hard on every bit of your body in turn.

This leaves you sitting in the middle of a previously busy T-junction during rush-hour; surrounded first by broken glass, then by a small crowd (glaziers perhaps, drawn by the heady aroma of fragmented silicon oxide?).

Your immediate thoughts are: "What happened?" (originality is the first casualty in a crisis), then, as Boy Scout mode kicks in, "What's happened to my bike? I'd better get up and find out!"

Boy Scout mode crashes when you glance down to investigate why your left arm no longer seems to be load bearing: it's because a significant proportion of your forearm didn't make the journey with you. You look down at two large elliptical holes – tendons, veins and muscle exposed where the flesh has been scooped out like raspberry ripple ice cream – muscle really is purple like in the biology textbooks.

Your next thought is more self-centred, practical and comfortingly less-energetic and it is: "Just sit still and let other people sort it out". This seems such an immediately gratifying attitude that you make a mental note to recommend it to friends.

Sitting still was certainly a good decision as, had you gone any further, you'd have found that your knees lack the structural integrity they enjoyed pre-Nissan Micra.

Then it's the arrival of the ambulance and off to hospital, where the doctor – drawing on over 7 years of training and many more of clinical practice – brandishes his X-ray as if it were a Playboy centrefold and solemnly intones "You've made a right mess of this".

It seem that one kneecap is in several pieces and requires the insertion, in a figure-of-eight, of enough wire to start a range-war between cowboys and farmers in a 50s western.

So it's plastic surgery, normal surgery and three months on crutches perfecting your Richard the Third impression.

This, however, is not "The most pain you've ever been in". Why no, that would be now; strapped to this chair and being forced to finish a horrifically overdue article, encouragement being offered by Mustard's editor in the form of smacking your testicles with a stolen polo mallet through the all-to-thin canvas on which your arse rests.

~ R.A.

Illo: S.C.


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