Still crazy after all these years

2014-07-17 17.22.24

It’s enough to make anyone crazy – kissed by the Archaeologist

Lisa Reiter has gone trekkin’ crazy this week and has asked us for our bite sized memoires on the subject crazy! Her crazy was exam induced and I think, in the absence of real madness in my world (or at least such as there is remains carefully undiagnosed) stress induced crazy is the nearest I come. I am grateful, flippancy aside, to have avoided any form of madness or depression taking over a family member. There have been times – especially during my father’s last years of work – when the Churchillian ‘black dog’ lurked around the family as dad’s moods swung with the seasons, the weather and the time of day. But, compared to some friends I have, to date, escaped lightly.

So, if I may I will indulge my sense of the ridiculous in considering ‘crazy’ and take a liberal interpretation.

Part of me thinks of those occasions when I have exploded in increments, sort of like Basil Fawlty  – here

Or when frustration overwhelms me, again like Basil – here

However, it is my inability to think things through where I think my family see me as more than a little barking.

Two examples:

I had a boil in my right ear; pretty painful and necessitating a trip to the doctor. I’d not been for ages and the surgery had moved into two adjoining Victorian houses on Herne Hill. The reception was in the lower of the two houses and I was told to wait in the first floor waiting room. After twenty minutes a women put her head round the door and said ‘Mr Le Pard? The doctor will see you now.’ She turned and walked away.

Remember I was unfamiliar with the routine and the women sounded sort of official. I followed; she was going to show me which room he was in. She went downstairs; they must have moved the room from the first floor. She headed for the street; it must be in the adjoining building. It all seemed so logical until she turned for the station and I realised she was the previous patient.  

I froze: if she saw me I was a pervy stalker; if I went back in the receptionist would think me a loon. My throbbing ear decided for me. I risked the straight jacket and survived.

Second incident.  I am clumsy. Almost terminally so. Always have been, or for as long as I remember. ‘Don’t say sorry, just don’t do it’ was one exasperated quote from my mother when I broke something else. ‘You’re heavy handed’ from my gran, causing me to worry about these weights at the ends of my arms causing my arms to lengthen like the most throwback simian. This is not unusual example and so as not to misconstrue it you need to appreciate I was fully dressed (read on to understand)

I shared a flat, after uni, in Fulham/Chelsea with two guys and a girl. My girlfriend, now wife came to stay. She and said female flatmate are sitting at the kitchen table while I make tea. I’m explaining something, one hand holding a milk bottle, while the other pulls open the drawer to grab a spoon and stir the pot. I’m enjoying talking, being the centre of attention. I am not focusing on my full hands or the pot or anything other than my discourse.  Using my hip I give the open drawer a nudge to shut it. It must have stuck because I lean in harder to close it. How, I’ll never know but somehow I shut my left testicle in that drawer.

With my back to the two women all they see is me sinking to the floor. They will want an explanation. An answer to the inevitable ‘how’? I stay on the floor, knowing I can never adequately explain, never again will they believe I am anything other than utterly clueless.

I know my family and friends think I’m potty, a sandwich short of the full picnic. Probably. Que sera, sera…

As Paul Simon sang…

What the hell. My old dad always said, ‘Always leave them laughing when you say goodbye,’ even if it’s only because they think your brain was assembled from an Ikea kit.



About TanGental

My name is Geoff Le Pard. Once I was a lawyer; now I am a writer. I've published several books: a four book series following Harry Spittle as he grows from hapless student to hapless partner in a London law firm; four others in different genres; a book of poetry; four anthologies of short fiction; and a memoir of my mother. I have several more in the pipeline. I have been blogging regularly since 2014, on topic as diverse as: poetry based on famous poems; memories from my life; my garden; my dog; a whole variety of short fiction; my attempts at baking and food; travel and the consequent disasters; theatre, film and book reviews; and the occasional thought piece. Mostly it is whatever takes my fancy. I avoid politics, mostly, and religion, always. I don't mean to upset anyone but if I do, well, sorry and I suggest you go elsewhere. These are my thoughts and no one else is to blame. If you want to nab anything I post, please acknowledge where it came from.
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24 Responses to Still crazy after all these years

  1. Amber Prince says:

    Great stories, though both seemingly painful. I am not sure if I should laugh or not, you brought great humor to moments that were probably anything but. I can imagine your embarrassment and understand whole heartedly because I too am unbelievably clumsy. I once gave myself a concussion by closing the car door on my own head (I forgot to actually get into the car before pulling the door shut). The look on the doctor’s face, when explaining what happened, was almost just as painful as the knot on my head.

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      Ah poor you. Reminds me of the day, dashing to a meeting, I jumped on a crowded tube train stretched back in satisfaction at finding a small space and found my head squeezed by the closing doors. The doors bounced open, I staggered off the train holding my bonce, watched by the surprised and unsurprisingly disinterested passengers, now departing. I was late, dizzy and with a black streak down both sides of my face as if I had tried to squeeze through oily bars. No one really beleived me even though they were a little sympathetic.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lorilschafer says:

      Totally get it, Amber – I once shut a car door on my ear. Ripped the lobe up pretty good. Hard to explain to someone who hasn’t done it how you could slam a door shut with your head in the way, but evidently it’s happened at least twice! 😉

      Liked by 3 people

    • Lisa Reiter says:

      I’m sorry I’m laughing so much Amber ! I’ve done that with a foot so sort of understand how the sequence of events gets a bit muddled and the door is shut before the body extracted! Mercifully not had to explain it to a doctor though!!

      Liked by 3 people

    • Charli Mills says:

      Maybe we all write because it’s the least dangerous activity for those of us easily distracted or challenged by eye-hand coordination things. I’ve had three concussions in my life and I gave myself each one as if I’m some sort of prize fighter for the clumsy-inclined. Glad I don’t have body parts at the drawer level and I will be more mindful of car doors.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan says:

    I love that photograph! Those big prams and if you want to talk about crazy, look at what we were all wearing as kids in the sixties!! Knitted swimwear? Now that’s crazy!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. willowdot21 says:

    Oh! Geoff I have to admit that I did laugh at your predicament in the second example of your self stated craziness. I truly do feel for your young self… Which was worse the physical injury or the embarrassment of the explanation.
    My husband is totally convinced of my madness. There is not one part of the life we share (43yrs) that does not infuriate him. He often announces that we must speak different languages and in his words he is.’Ashstonished’ by my actions or verbal replies. Hey ho! I loved the Basil clips, I have worked with a few Basils in my time.
    Now just to show that you are not alone and maybe to give you a laugh in return. I have been known to arrive at a pub restaurant or friends wearing odd shoes,usually the same colour in my defence. Arrived at work in my slippers.
    Not long after son number 2 was born I was dressing son number 1 in our bedroom, we had a low fronted oldfashed dressing table with one draw. { just setting the scene) Number 1son was fiddling and wriggling as an 11month will and some how whilst playing with draw he shut his penis in it. Well talk about blood and screams. I did not drive or even have a car hubby needing it for work. I rushed out of the house and across the road to the one neighbour I knew had a carband was in. Of course she did not mind driving me to the hospital. As we were getting in the car with screaming sobbing child she casually asked ‘ who’s looking after the baby.’ ‘What baby I shrieked. In panic’ Yours she replied with a sigh. Babysitter found for forgotten baby we went to casualty. Said son was fine no lasting damage done but it did set him off on a career of near disasters!! He is 41 yrs now number 2 he is fine too also number 3. Thanks again you brightened my day. Xxx

    Liked by 2 people

    • TanGental says:

      Fantastic; I burst out at the point the penis was caught. Fab tale and it’s good to know there are other genitalian accidental self harmers around. And forgetting the baby. Oh yes we can all relate. So glad we inhabit the strange world of clumsy together. My poor wife can now count the scars on my head (there being less covering than before) as well as the any lumps and bumps.


      • willowdot21 says:

        Yes it is always a great relief to know your are not alone. I am just wondering if there are more of them than there is of us. Just imagine if we crazies have the majority then the Clever Clogs and the Peter Perfects of this world would be the crazies?? Humm ! If I ruled the world. 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  4. Sherri says:

    This brought tears to my eyes – and not just from laughing so much. Ouch is an understatement. Oh Geoff, this is a crazy post alright and of course, what better than to throw in the incomparable Basil Fawlty. Brilliant. Hilarious about the other patient too. Good job you realised when you did. Thanks for the smiles on this wet, windy and utterly grey Monday 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Annecdotist says:

    Well, if you people will insist on having such outrageous genitalia!!
    And ah for those big black prams.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Sohrab says:

    Oh dear I nearly wet myself laughing out loud at the testicle in a drawer story !!

    I thought only I did stuff like that …

    Sohrab 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Love this, Geoff. And not just because you gave us some Fawlty Towers and the gorgeous Paul Simon. Song. Paul Simon song. 🙂 The stories are fabulous. Even though I knew one of them already, you are a born storyteller.

    Also, I simply adore your dad’s saying about it not really mattering if people think your brain was assembled from an Ikea kit. Priceless.

    Liked by 3 people

  8. lorilschafer says:

    Wonderful stories, Geoff! I can almost see the skit of you following that woman down the street – hilarious! Not having testicles to monitor, I haven’t been unfortunate enough to jam them anywhere they don’t belong. However, I did once slam my ear in a car door, and the mental “ouch” of being an idiot nearly rivaled the physical one. Nearly 😉

    Liked by 3 people

    • Lisa Reiter says:

      Trying to imagine how you can catch an ear in a car door! I’ve managed fingers and feet but is there a reason you wear your hair long?! Lxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • lorilschafer says:

        Leaned back in to grab something as I was slamming the door shut and somehow managed to catch it between the door and the frame. Thought it would never stop bleeding. I was not looking forward to going to the hospital and confessing what I did!

        That’s the story I usually break out whenever someone injures themself in a stupid way – it usually makes them feel better. But that didn’t work this time, because unfortunately, I think Geoff’s story is even worse than mine! 😉

        Liked by 2 people

  9. Lisa Reiter says:

    What a lovely post Geoff. I’m only sorry I’m rather late in commenting – a bit of a crazy week here where we’ve had moments to rival Basil! These are some of my favourite Fawlty sketches and I like your wonderful self- appraisal of the many kinds of crazy there are. I only hope you’ve learned the value of more constraining underwear as you have matured! Clearly a crazy choice of loose boxers or going commando that day?! 😱

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Charli Mills says:

    Crazy good story-telling! I’m uncoordinated and back in high school my theater teacher dubbed me the “absent-minded professor” so I can relate to getting into awkward predicaments.

    Liked by 1 person

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