I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My old man

He's never been a dustman, nor did he ever say "Be a Chelsea fan". But he's getting on a bit, is frequently skint, and rattles when he walks 'cos of all the pills he takes for various ailments. He also has a car which last week showed a light on the dashboard which in layman's terms means "this is bad". The RAC were called and they came out and fixed it, telling him to phone back if it comes on again.

On Wednesday he came over to my place with a strimmer to give my lawn a bit of a tidy up, and on the way over the light came on again. Home he went, called 'em up again and they said right, we'll come and get it and give you a replacement car while we're sorting it out.

Yesterday morning he went and picked up that replacement car. He signed a form acknowledging that there was a scratch on one side and that the central locking didn't work using the button on the keys, you had to actually use the traditional key.

He and I were out and about later in the day, me in the centre of town looking for laptop bags and generally wasting a bit of time before meeting up with Jamie, John, and hopefully Hasty, in a boozer ready to watch England in Macedonia. Dad was in Morden doing a bit of shopping. I got a phone call from him, on his mobile, which is pretty rare but normally means he's sat at his PC wondering how to send an email or summat. Not this time though -- this time the call was "I'm in Morden, had a fall, already told the wife, the car's being taken back home for me, I'm waiting for an ambulance and I'm in a lot of bloody pain, hold on, the ambulance is here" and that was that.

Well, um. Not great news, that. Sent an SMS or two saying I probably wouldn't be at the boozer and headed towards St Helier hospital (it was a guess, but pretty likely that that's where he'd be taken). 2 sweltering buses and a sweltering train later I got there, and A&E told me he was there and I should follow the sign for "Majors", not "Minors". Christ. :-(

Got there and he was fine, actually. Well, not fine: his left arm's fucked because he's chipped the bone in his shoulder and is still in a lot of bloody pain. But he didn't hit his head or anything else, no skin breaks, nothing else but his shoulder. He's been given some painkillers and is waiting for his arm to be put in a sling. Unfortunately the place seems a little short-staffed, and the person tying the sling has to go and be taught how to do it first. FFHS! It was some trainee doctor or summat, knows her drugs and diagnoses but a little lacking in the physical side of treatment. So she puts him in a sling and does it fucking badly, and then goes to get a nurse to fix it. Fucking hell.

I get his shirt and jacket on and we leave, getting a cab back to his house. The replacement car is not parked in his spot. But the keys have been put through the door. Um... I go up the road to buy some milk and come back to make a coffee while he's on the blower to motability or the RAC or someone. They say yep, we delivered your car, you've got the keys right? Yes, we've got the keys, but no car. OK, they'll call back.

Call back they do and the news isn't good. This is your address? Yup. You've got the keys? Yup. And the car's not outside? Nope. well it's been stolen then. You what? Yep, stolen. Go call the police and then get them to call us. Great. Theory is the driver who left it didn't realise the central locking remote was fucked so it was probably the easiest car to steal there's ever been. To top it off, inside the car is a bunch of paperwork, his disabled badges, and a bit of shopping plus some stuff for his wife (who's in hospital 'n all). All gone and, to top it off, this all comes under his insurance. Got a bit of a fight on our hands there I reckon.

Sigh. This is all we/he fucking needs. Dad dials 999 and I hang that up before it's answered. It takes a couple of minutes to explain that the car that isn't his being nicked while he's unable to drive anyway is not an emergency 999 issue and he could get in trouble for abusing the service, and should instead phone the local nick. I get through, kind of; he calls Wimbledon nick and doesn't get through. He says again that he wants to use 999 but I succeed in stopping him. Mitcham nick also doesn't answer, but Wimbledon nick does on second attempt. He's left on hold for 45 minutes though before they take his details and say they can't do anything more until the morning. Well, at least that proves it wasn't an emergency.

For fucks sake, what a day. There's not a lot more I can do for Dad 'cos he's mobile, right handed, and can get himself around and make coffee and use both hands (it's only the shoulder that's busted), the phone, the PC, etc. So I come home and watch England's second half (gwan Crouch!) followed by Green Street, then stay up 'til gone 2am watching youtube videos of thrash metal bands (including finding myself as per the previous post). I also had 4 cans of lager 'cos by 'eck did I need a beer after all that.

I was woken up this morning by a phone call from my Dad. Wasn't expecting good news but actually got some: the car wasn't nicked, they'd parked it round the corner in a different road. For fucks sake! He's got his own marked-out disabled spot in front of his house, the house through whose letterbox they posted the keys. Why the fuck did they park it round the corner? Sheesh. But nonetheless, yes, this is good news. Not stolen by pikey scrotes, no insurance hassles, no lost paperwork. Phew.

I need a bloody holiday. Good job I've got one booked, but up until actually seeing him in A&E I thought it was going to have to be cancelled. "Majors"! But he wants me to go away still, in fact he insists on it. And truth be told, I want to go. I'm also not entirely convinced it's that bad an idea... the worst is over with his shoulder, he just has to take painkillers and go back to the fracture clinic tomorrow and have his sling taken off after a while. He can do everything he normally does but drive and is more than content to get buses (for free, Freedom Pass-tastic) to get around in the meantime. And I can't drive anyway so can't help with that. So I guess I should check-in for tomorrow morning's flight and go out to buy a bag/case or two, finally.

1 comment:

Nige said...

Jeez, what a day. Hope your Dad is all right.

Have a good trip tomorrow!