Hitting a bum note

In our society there are some people who’d benefit from a boot up the backside, but that would not be true of an elderly client of ours who had to cancel her holiday for pretty much that reason.

I’m afraid we couldn’t help but laugh when we heard of the sequence of events that had led to the old lady’s injury. The client herself claimed she’d had to cancel her trip on medical grounds, but Angela, our admin clerk, knew the real story.

Angela’s father sells footwear at local markets – sandals, slippers, trainers and so on – and witnessed the incident at first-hand. Our client arrived near the market on her motorised scooter which she duly stopped to park. As she lifted her leg over the vehicle she got her knicker elastic caught on the throttle, causing the scooter to shoot forward, throwing her unceremoniously on to a pile of Angela’s dad’s slippers.

“She was lucky she had a soft landing,” he said later, “any other time of year and I could have had the Doc Martens out and she’d have had a boot up the bum.”

Fortunately no lasting damage has been done to our client and she plans to rebook later in the year.

No room for manoeuvre

I hear Australian Tourism Exchange went well recently, but attendee, Paul Stowe, tells me that he returned the worse for wear. Not, you understand, because he’d spent his time attached intravenously to an optic, but because he’d picked up a flu-like virus that he is certain originated in the recirculated air on board the aircraft.

In fact, his long-haul flight sounded like an endurance test to me. Not only did he have to contend with the in-flight germs sneaking into his lungs, but on approaching his seat he discovered the chap sitting next to him sported a size 15 shoe and a XXXXL shirt.

It’s not the easiest of situations to cope with. How do you ask your super-size neighbour if he’d mind moving his overhanging flesh so that you can plug in your ear phones to listen to the movie?

Paul discreetly asked the steward if he could change seats but the steward, though sympathetic, told him the flight was full in all classes. The poor man was wedged for 14 hours in the seat by the emergency exit window, doing the polite British thing of smiling wanly.

Paul is only now recovering from his flu symptoms and I’m sure he’s right in pin-pointing the air in the aircraft as the culprit in spreading germs. I read the herb oregano can help combat such infection and that there’s a spray called Germ-a-Clenz containing this agent. Apparently you spray your clothing before boarding. It’s not Chanel No. 5, but if it stops you sniffing, I’m game for smelling like Alan Titchmarsh.

Plastic fantastic

I recently had to decline an invitation to a press conference at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, hosted by the Tourism Authority of Thailand. The subject under discussion was ‘Thailand – Health and Wellness Destination’ and was set up to raise the profile of the country as a centre for cut-price cosmetic surgery. Instantly it was clear to me why Abi Silver, publicity and trade relations manager had invited me.

Of course, I demanded a blow-by-blow account of what was said. Apparently, after the welcoming speeches and introduction of panellists by Bansarn Bunnag of the Royal Thai Embassy, a presentation followed by Dr Witoon Wisuthseriwong, senior plastic surgeon. He had lots of impressive ‘before and after’ shots of a range of procedures from nose jobs to buttock implants. By all accounts, no bone was left unturned and anything that could be improved had been.

One woman in the audience, Sharon Coyne, gave her personal testimony, praising the Thai health service and assuring the audience that the operation to rejuvenate her eye area had changed her life. She was so impressed with the quality of the service she’d received that she’s going back for more. For myself, I’ve decided that I’ll wait until the bags under my eyes qualify for hand luggage before I put myself under the knife…

One member of the audience was concerned about insurance to cover the patient in the event say, that their wounds were not sufficiently healed in time for their return flight, but by all accounts even these sorts of fine details are being addressed. How times move on.

Abi tells me she’s kept Dr Witoon’s card and that it shares prime position with her credit card in her purse. It sounds like the two might be married very soon.

Having a domestic

On a more domestic level, with the emphasis on ‘domestic’, a couple appeared recently in the shop and sat in front of Rick on the hunt for a last-minute holiday.

Rick asked when they were looking to travel.

“Monday the 18th,” said the husband.

“You mean Tuesday the 18th,” said his wife.

“Don’t tell me what I mean,” countered her husband, “I mean Monday the 18th.”

Rick intervened to say that the lady was indeed right, “The 18th is a Tuesday.”

The clearly frustrated woman then piped up: “He should know it’s Tuesday, because it’s my birthday, but he’s obviously forgotten that. So, I think we should forget the holiday too.”

At which point she stormed out, swiftly followed by her husband shouting, “I was thinking of another 18th.”

Bless him.

See more of Maureen’s columns