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Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Would you cross the street to avoid someone?

                                               My friend Nettie who let me use her loo!

Along the path I puffed on my early evening saunter up the river and was almost at the point where I usually turn around and head home when I spotted a familiar couple walking towards me. Now... one of the said couple was my ex-doctor who I I avoid because of this sad and sorry tale but it seemed I was going to be obliged to force out a cheery hello. Come ON Pinky! Surely you can manage that, I thought.

Now the unfairly maligned doctor’s husband happens to vaguely know me through my university days and to my horror he stopped on the path as I approached leading to a terrible foreboding on my part that he was going to actually engage me in conversation. Sh#t a brick!

Sure enough he did and with false bravado I managed to gibber away, prattling on like a fool and laughing as I prematurely cut the conversation short with a friendly wave and hit the path as if I was on a mission of importance, but was, in actual fact, eager to escape the self-conscious situation.

Are you still with me here guys or have I bored you to death already?

About two minutes after making my getaway, it suddenly dawned on me it was inevitable I would run in to them AGAIN on the walk back down the river. 

There were two choices:

I could be courageous and normal and just wave awkwardly as I passed them again OR I could circumvent another uncomfortable encounter by leaving the path, cutting down a side street and walking home the MUCH longer way, possibly risking losing control of my rapidly filling bladder in the process.

I cut down the side street.

“Pinky!” I heard a shout about 500 metres down the street. “What the hell are you doing walking along my street?”
It was my friend of seventeen years, Nettie.

“I’m taking the long way home to avoid passing someone on the path again. Can I use your toilet?”

No. Not until you tell me who you’re trying to avoid…” she countered in a mildly threatening tone and eyeing me with suspicion.

“I can’t tell you… now can I use your toilet, please?”

Nettie shrugged exasperatedly, well used to Pinky’s shenanigans, and allowed me to push past her to avail myself of her kind hospitality.

Bladder emptied, I hit the road once again, power-walking for about twenty minutes and shrewdly estimated where the juncture I could link up to the river was with the least likelihood of my running into my unknowing nemesis.

As I breathlessly emerged from the prickly bushes leading to the river path I stopped dead. Somehow I had wound up exactly where I’d originally left the path... and who do you think I could see leisurely strolling along the path directly in front of me.

They looked up curiously, observing an oddly paralysed Pinky shuffling shiftily beside the roadside bushes. I don’t think they’ll ever stop to talk to me again.