A Bored Teenager

Jul 01, 2019
Musing-July-Image

I woke up, or rather got out of bed about mid morning - it was Saturday. My parents were gone for the day, I had nothing to do until that evening, it had rained all night and everything was dripping. I had a date that night, I was taking my girl, a farmers daughter to a posh dance so had to be well spruced up, but what the hell was I going to do all day. My girl had a Saturday job and her Mum did not approve of me so no point arriving early.   

I wandered down to the farm yard, I had an old Ford Prefect car that I used to race about the fields in, when I could afford the petrol. The tank was dry but the farm's jerry can can of petrol was full so I "borrowed" a couple of gallons and went for a drive.

It was so wet she just spun about and it was really rather dull. I went into a field called “Sixteen Acres”, that was how big she was, it was on a side hill. I roared down the hill and for the first time I got up a little speed. It suddenly occurred to me I might be able to role her over in a tight turn, now that would break the boredom!

I spun my way up to the top of the hill and headed down as fast as the old four cylinder side valve engine (flat head to you North Americans) could manage. I should mention now that the drivers door (right side) had fallen off due to "termites". I had a 2x6 bolted across the doorway as an arm rest and filled in with an old sack to keep the mud out.

I roared down the hill, turned left and as the ground came up to meet me, (right hand drive) I chickened out, straightened the wheel and puttered back up to the top. To my disgust I did this three times, I was also progressing across the field that was getting steeper.

OK was I a man or a shirt button ( a take off from a TV ad of the time). Next time I went down much faster than before, helped by the much steeper slope, this time I just cranked the wheel hard, full lock to the right. This violent action of mine tucked the left hand front wheel under the car! The foot prints later showed I somersaulted her twice and then rolled her three times.

My next recollection was kneeling on the ground with the car to my left, she lay on her left hand side. A rear wheel was slowly turning, clickety, clickety, clickety, as a piece of mudguard rested on the wheel hub. I was surrounded by a field of debris. I looked down at my old tattered RN duffel coat I was wearing, the chest was crimson with blood, dam, must have a nose bleed. I raised my hand to touch my nose but my coordination must have been a little out as my fingers touched my forehead, I felt my skull and traced an incision from above my eye to the top of my skull.

Right time to get home, could I push the car over on to her wheels, then I saw the battery was laying on the ground and the earth (ground to you North Americans) lead was torn apart. The old girl was not going anywhere with out some tools, I had none with me. I surveyed the scene; parts of the car, doors, bonnet, seats and wheel weights lay everywhere. Petrol was dripping onto the hot exhaust manifold which was steaming! In the boot (trunk to you North Americans) I had some MF tractor front wheel weights, these were half moon shaped and approx. 60lbs each. I had them tied in with old electric fence wire, totally inadequate for the task, I think one of these creased my skull as it exited through the "sun roof".

Time to accept my situation, the old car was dead. I was at least a mile to a mile and a half from the farm and bleeding badly from a "bump on the head", I guess it was time to head home. I always carry a hankerchief, but this was not going to help much and the nearest first aid kit was at the farm. Two choices, the direct shortest route, straight across the fields to the house but this meant pushing through two hedges and ditches and then tramping across a wet freshly ploughed field, or the the long way by the farm track, I took this last route.

When I reached the farm yard I saw Ron, our top Tractor driver. "What the hell have you done? I will run you in to the hospital." I didn't argue, I plodded on another quarter mile to the farm house. As I got home I took off my "crimson" duffel coat, I was surprised how heavy it was as it was soaked in blood. I rolled it up and hid it behind the dog kennel. As I stepped into the house I heard Granny coming, I quickly grabbed a tea towel off the range and stepped into the wash room, washed my face and hands and wrapped the tea towel round my head. Granny called out "Would you like a cup of tea?" I replied, “no I bumped my head and Ron is taking me me to Hospital as I might need a stitch”. “OK see you later”, Granny had not set eyes on me at this point.

Ron drove into the drive, "Bye Granny" I yelled and jumped into the little Austin A 40 and away we headed off to town. I don't remember that we talked much on the way to hospital but Ron kept looking at me every few minutes, he was probably hoping his boss's son was not going to die in his car.

We got to Bury St Edmunds General Hospital and went into the waiting room. I remember it was full of snotty nosed kids who stared at me. I then started to feel a bit groggy. A pretty young nurse came in carrying a tray of bottles and syringes. “Who is next?” she asked. I looked up at her, when she saw the blood soaked tea towel round my head she screamed, dropped the tray and ran away. Now I was scared, I started to go into shock, I have since had this happen to me (several occasions now) and I now know how to recognize it and treat myself but not then. Fortunately a nursing sister or matron (I can’t remember how many blue stripes they had) came in, saw me and led me out, called a doctor and started to stitch me up.

After 24 stitches the doctor was finished and the nursing Sister started the paper work. Now this was not a pretty young nurse I was going to try and get a date with, this was the BOSS. “How long were you unconscious?" "Why?" I asked. “Well we have to book you in for observation over night”. Hell no, now the panic set in, I had a date, I had to somehow find an explanation for my parents. When I told the Sister I had a date that night and a dance to go to, she hit the roof, bless her heart. We compromised, I could go home but no dance, she didn't say no date!

Ron drove me home, very relieved I was still alive. I phoned my girlfriend, and explained I had a bump on my head and couldn't make the dance, so she said she would drive over and visit. We went to the local pub for a beer, I realized she was not impressed with me. After a couple of beers she drove me home. Now the fun began, I can't leave you looking like that she said. I thought I looked like a a hero from a "Boys Own Adventure Annual" a British Tommy with a blood stained bandage round his fore head. In reality I had a compression bandage from my eye brows to the top of my head, I was as white as a ghost and looked like shit. All my hair was soaked in dried blood.

This stalwart farmers daughter, my date for nearly two years, sat me down at the kitchen table. Granny had gone to bed, she rolled up her sleeves, put a bowl of warm water on the table, took off my bandage and started to wash out my blood stained hair; within seconds the water turned crimson. At that moment Mum and Dad walked in the back door. All things considered my day had been pretty good up to then.

My parents raised hell, what had I done? My poor girlfriend discreetly left the kitchen, put on her coat, looked round the kitchen door, gave me a smile I will never forget and waved good night. It was the beginning of the end between us, she said I was incorrigible, a rebel and a fool. There was a rich farmer's son waiting to move in, now I was on the way out, it really was goodbye between us. So if I hadn't been stupid and deliberately rolled that car out of boredom I would never have moved on to meet my wife Pat of 48 years.

Keep your powder dry,
Mr. Wolverine

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