My dear one and I were out and about yesterday celebrating two very different birthdays. Normally we go to parties together. We met at one, so we tend to get nostalgic about these things, but what does one do when one is invited to two separate affairs on the same day? The one being my , well, niece I suppose, in that she is my daughter’s cousin, but I am in no other way related with the family now. We’re all good friends still though and I wanted to mark the young lady’s 18th birthday. The second was a colleague to my dearly beloved, who has reached the tender age of 60. We did not want to disappoint either one so a split was necessary.
I went North to the outer reaches of Sealland and my dear one headed off to the suburbs of Copenhagen.
It is worth noting that the party where I met my wife, was held by the same people that were holding this one. My ex-brother-in-law and his wife. We’ve been friends for years and I remember them as being some of the first to make me welcome on my arrival in this country many years ago. I enjoy a good shindig, and these people usually get it right. Food, drink and music, good company and a bit of a chat along the way. These family parties are a great way of catching up with people one seldom sees. I was not disappointed. I mingled, joined in with the party games, drank a fishpond of beer and ate barbequed sausages like a champ. Finally, around one o’clock in the morning, it all got to be too much and I decided that I would have to sleep this one off.
My hosts had been very gracious and had prepared a bed for me in the upper part of their house. This had once been a self contained apartment and still has all the amenities. I found my bed, said goodnight to the world and promptly blacked out on something resembling a pillow. I awoke at about three a.m. desperately needing to pee. I got up from my bed and things began to go terribly wrong. Unused to my surroundings, partly drunk, blind as a bat being only half awake, I raised myself up forgetting that I was under a slanting ceiling. My head made firm contact with the frame of a skylight window. Searing pain filled my head and I clutched the back of my cranium as I tried to reach the toilet. My trials were not over yet. I had no idea that there is a three centimeter step up from the floor level of my bedroom and the hallway, to the toilet. I hammered the toes of my right foot about half an inch into the woodwork of the doorstep. Now, in consummate agony and convinced that all the toes of my right foot were broken and my skull split, I found myself trying to hold my head, hold my foot, stand on one leg and pee, all at the same time. One lacks a hand somewhere. It was a zen-yoga moment from Hell.
Concussed, limping, spitting feathers and swearing like a trooper, I stumbled slowly back to my bed. I fell upon it and decided I would not leave it again until I was sober, it was daylight and I felt no pain. Despite the throbbing at both ends of my tortured body, I finally fell asleep again and the night passed without further event.
My nocturnal thundering around had not gone unnoticed by my hosts who commented on having heard a certain loud thud followed by muffled cursing during the night. Not wishing to relive the events of the previous catharsis, I made light of it saying that I had discovered the step too late and collided with it. No harm done, I said. I ate a little breakfast and then made ready to leave. Wishing them all things good and thanking them for their hospitality and the party, I hobbled off to my car silently cursing my still very tender toes.
My wife had fared somewhat better than I. She had had a pleasant evening, had not gotten drunk, took a taxi home and slept soundly in her own bed.
I appear to be lacking her common sense. And I have the bruises to prove it!