We have all sat there on a plane taxiing down miles of runway feeling fairly certain that we will shortly arrive at our destination without even taking off. Meanwhile we absolutely do not stick our nose in a magazine, fall asleep or inspect the contents of the seat pocket in front of us rather than watching the important emergency procedures presentation. “Exits are here, here and here. Should the air cabin pressure fail, oxygen masks will drop down from the panel above you. Place the mask over your mouth and nose and tighten, blah blah blah.” But what we don’t generally hear is, “Make sure you put on your shoes before assisting others.” Or do we?
So when I had a nasty fall at Christmas I found out how seriously my husband takes accident and emergency instructions. We were staying with family and had taken the two beagles with us. The house we stayed in was not beagle proof. The back door led out to the garden, which was to the left and the driveway to the right led down to a busy main road.
The dogs wanted to go out, so to prevent them from rushing down the drive I thought I would hold on to both their collars, and as I opened the door I would attempt to steer them left towards the safety of the garden. I opened the door and in an instant, and true to beagle spirit, they both charged out, pulling me out of the back door and up the two concrete steps to the driveway as I fell heavily onto my knees whilst my throat broke my landing on the edge of the step. It could be said that I hit the ground like a lift cut loose in a disaster movie. Ouch! I was winded and couldn’t speak and started to imagine a Christmas in hospital, ambulances, I must have damaged my windpipe; surely I must only have minutes to live? Some may call me a hypochondriac but I prefer to call it medically imaginative. Perhaps that’s what you get from watching too much Holby City?
As I lay there my daughter came to see if I was OK. All I could do was groan. She fled in a state of panic and through worried tears shouted to my husband to come quickly. I then heard her shout at him to hurry up! Before I caught any sight of him, his auntie rushed out into the darkness and the rain, checked I could move my neck and lifted me up and helped me inside. I was only marginally annoyed at the request for BOTH doors to be opened so I could get through! Charming! Like a compass going berserk my hips may have squabbled for opposite poles of East and West after having children, but really there was no need to point it out!
True to British tradition I was plied with hot sweet tea for shock and seated. As I sat and drank my tea I noticed my husband’s auntie had no shoes on and her feet were wet. It was only then I wondered where my husband had been in all this commotion, as he appeared to be hovering in the background. I questioned his noticeable absence from the scene of the accident, wondering what could possibly have kept him from coming to the aid of his wife who might have had a fatal accident. I kid you not, I thought I was dying at one point. At this my daughter piped up in fury, “He was putting his shoes on!!” Great! I was lying there unable to move, frightened for my life, visions of horror flashing through my mind, but worst of all, worrying that I might have to endure a hospital Christmas dinner. Meanwhile my husband was putting on his shoes while his family rushed to my assistance! Simply marvellous. When I challenged him on this his response was, “I arrived on the scene, made a quick triage assessment through the window and decided it wasn’t fatal and so I had time to put my shoes on.” For real I tell you!
So clearly in the event of an accident or emergency, always make sure you put on your shoes before assisting others! I await my next flight this summer to see if the pre-flight passenger safety briefing has adopted these new instructions. In the meantime, if I decide to have any more accidents I most certainly shall not be calling for help from my husband…..unless he already has his shoes on!