Magda, Ginevra’s carer, had passed her driving test and she was ready
to take the nonagenarian out for a spin to their nearest coffee and gift
shop, housed in a barn, which also retailed garden ornaments, tubs and
plants, in addition to scented bits and bobs.
Magda executed a confident manoeuvre into the disabled bay and she
placed Ginevra’s Blue Badge onto the dashboard, before climbing out in
order to assist the old lady with her zimmer frame. She would have to stand
for a few minutes until the collapsible wheelchair could be assembled.
There was a sudden blast from a car horn and an irate woman who resembled
a slightly more refined Camilla Parker Bowles rolled her nearside window down
and barked: You don’t look very disabled to me, young woman!
Translated this clearly meant: I think the world owes me a living and I have
an inflated sense of entitlement, so give me what I want: now!
Evidently she had been pipped to the post.
Magda stared with incomprehension: Excuse, what is your problem?
She can walk, can’t she? the obnoxious female continued to rant, indicating
Ginevra with a directional movement of her expensively low lit hair. Both limbs
seem to be attached.
Ginevra, who was a little aurally challenged, rolled down her window and
enquired: What does this annoying woman want?
She want your parking place, I think, explained Magda, opening the door.
By this time, the woman’s exhaust fumes were causing Magda to cough. See,
she spluttered, pointing to the dashboard: The lady has the Blue Badge, innit?
Oh yes, sneered the woman. But it has all been changed. It is based on
ability to walk now.
Ginevra took a sneaky sip from her hip flask, which increased her Dutch
courage- as if she needed any boost! She addressed the woman thus:
I can’t see your legs, you insolent parvenue, but if there was to be an
independent judgement, I dare say that these would win! She swung her limbs
out of the door, revealing rather slim ankles and two shapely calves. These
modelled silk stockings in the Forties and they have supported me for ninety
odd years. They kept me vertical when I served tea to wounded soldiers. So
let’s see yours then! Walk up and down and we’ll see who has the best pins
for their age.
The woman jumped out of her car, seething and Ginevra laid into her. As I
thought: elephantine! And where’s your badge? Is it a Blue Peter one that
you bought on Ebay?
The confrontational lady leapt back into her vehicle at the sight of Ginevra
gesticulating with one hand while steadying herself on the zimmer with the
other. She reversed sharply and- crunch! she collided with a large garden
statue, shattering her rear light and damaging her bumper.
Quick! Note down her number. Magda, shrieked the old warrior. We need to
report her for careless driving and criminal damage. She moved incredibly
speedily towards the vehicle. Her tax disc is out of date! she crowed.
Then, exhausted, she flopped into her wheelchair.
Two witnesses emerged from the barn, having seen and heard the whole
episode from the porch, where they had been inspecting frost-proof pots.
That looks terribly expensive, said one to the other. She’s left most of her
bumper littered all over the display.
Oh look! replied her friend. She’s managed to flatten that sign.
She picked it up. It said: All Breakages Must Be Paid For.
Did you get her number? the first one asked Magda.
Yes. Can do numbers now, Magda proudly asserted.
Just as well, Ginevra stated firmly. She’s decapitated that statue.
Yes, said one of the women. And she’s broken its arms too.
Ginevra didn’t enlighten them that it was a reproduction of the Venus de Milo.
Still, it was a very satisfying start to her outing. And the girls in the coffee
shop gave her a free sweet beverage , in case she was in shock. While
Magda was looking at the cake domes, the sly pensioner slipped a little
brandy into the cup. The waitresses even insisted that she take the table
decoration with her as it still had some buds on it which would come out if she
kept it on a sunny window sill.
It was definitely going to be an interesting day and the nice policemen who
took a statement from them were so young- looking! One of them reminded her
of Russ Conway!
She asked him if he played the piano, but he merely looked puzzled
and asked her if she could try to focus and keep to the point.
Threatening and menacing behaviour you say, Mrs Em- what did you say your
Magda made sure that they noted her name accurately and her address and
mobile number. She wasn’t phased. After all, her passsport was in order.