Falling Down and Swearing

I am a clumsy bastard; there’s no other way to put it. If there is a cupboard door hanging open, or a wire protruding at ankle-level, or a cup balanced precariously on its edge, then you can be guaranteed that I will stumble upon it. Then I will swear, kick the wall (which will break) and develop a fantastic bruise / scrape / open sore to show the world.

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Take today, for example. I was at a favourite café called Blåbär (Blueberry) for lunch. I went to get some blueberry juice from the blueberry juice dispenser. It was one of the ones you push with the glass and the juice comes out. I did so, and took away my glass, at which point the juice is supposed to stop pouring. It didn’t – it kept shooting out, onto the table, and floor, and the jacket of the lady sitting behind.

Eventually I thought to pull the stupid lever forward, and the flow stopped. I apologised to the lady who had gotten juice all over here jacket, explaining it was not my fault. In Ireland, at this point, the other person will say something like “Oh, not at all, don’t worry about it, it’ll be fine.” This however, is Sweden, and you can count yourself lucky to get out of a situation like that with only a frosty stare or a punch on the head.

I got a frosty stare, at which point I grabbed my stuff and ran away. As you do.

Possibly it was not me that was clumsy in that last story, so I’ll give another example. When I was 15, I lived in the country and cycled to school every day. It was a country road, with one car coming every two minutes. One spring morning, I left home, and fifty metres later managed to cycle into the back of a parked car I had not known was there. It was the only car within 500 metres – in fact, the only thing of any description within 500 metres – and it was, as I have said, not moving. But still I managed to not notice it until my bike was mangled around its rear bumper.

Other examples are available on request, but I will summarise as follows – never lend me anything you feel you could not live without, be it plates, electronics or small children. And we’ll all be that much happier.

/ paddy

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