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Slugging It Out For Disability

Matthew Parris, journalist, The Times Newspaper

Matthew Parris, journalist, The Times Newspaper

I laughed out loud reading Matthew Paris’ column in The Times today – I slugged it out with a garden pest. And lost:

If only it had been a fight with a bear. If only I had been saving a fair lady from a savage mauling. If only I could reply — when friends ask about my injury — “you should see the bear’s injuries”. But it was while trying to flick a slug from the finger of my right hand that I dislocated the middle finger of my left hand. The slug was unhurt. Slugs 1, Parris nil.

Very early on Friday morning I was out in the garden checking my new trees — just in boxer shorts, as it happens: it was a warm day. Stripped of any dignity I might have claimed by virtue either of adversary or apparel, I was reduced to hopping around the garden, semi-naked, clutching my left hand with my right, with middle finger skewed weirdly from the knuckle, while all the slugs in Creation laughed (as I imagined) at my plight.

Now come the visits to the Whitworth cottage hospital, then over the moors to the general hospital in Chesterfield for x-rays, then back to the Whitworth, then back to Chesterfield again; and now I must return after two weeks in a bandage to Chesterfield . . . and oh, what a flipping waste of time a medical problem — even a tiny one like mine — is.

Cursing as I fail to tie up my shoelace, or am utterly defeated by the cuff button on my right sleeve, or struggle with the voice dictation procedure for getting this column on to my laptop, I reflect that to have a real disability (unlike mine) must feel not so much tragic as just a mega ruddy nuisance. And there I was whining about an injured finger. Well, diddums. I shall read Melanie Reid with even deeper respect.

‘A mega ruddy nuisance’. Indeed.

Smiles 🖤

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