Monday, November 14, 2011

The Far Canal

What fun! My male staff and I took his mum to Foxton Locks in Leicestershire. It's only a ten minute drive from his mum and dad's house in Market Harborough, so we figured it should be reasonably safe to let my male staff operate the car. So we loaded the car up with my male staff's mum's wheelchair and walking frame and headed for Foxton Locks. We'd got about halfway there and were having a nice time listening to the radio (I was dancing to a typically cheerful ditty by Leonard Cohen.) when we realised that we had forgotten to load up my male staff's mum.

Never mind. A quick handbrake turn in the High Street and we were heading back home. This manoeuvre somewhat surprised a policeman on a push-bike who lost his balance and fell in a puddle. Fortunately we ran over his fingers before he could write down our registration number. Back at the house my male staff's mum was still standing by the side of the road looking somewhat puzzled. We bundled her into the car and set off again. Ten minutes later we reached Foxton Locks. It's an historic and scenic series of canal locks that clamber up a hill, it's quite a spectacular site. Not sure which canal it is. It may be the Far Canal that my male staff is always going on about.

Once we arrived at the Locks my male staff prised his mum from the car and deposited her in her wheelchair which immediately took off down the hill because he'd neglected to apply the handbrake thingy. With a cry of "Far Canal!" my male staff leapt into action. He's really quite agile for a one hundred kilogram gorilla and he caught up with wheelchair just before it tipped into the canal much to the disappointment of the many onlookers. At this point, as he was asking his mum if she was alright and whether or not she needed to go to the toilet, a movement caught his eye. The Far Canal once more got a loud mention as my male staff noticed that he also forgotten to apply the handbrake on the car and it was slowly rolling towards the water.
He shoved his mum in the wheelchair at the nearest bystander with a cry of "Quick! Grab this." and raced off to save the car. He leapt head first through the open door and jammed on the handbrake as the car teetered on the brink. This was turning into a very good day. While all this happening I was happily munching on some grass but I had to pause to applaud this rather marvelous display of incompetence.

After all this excitement we needed a cup of coffee, well I didn't - the humans did. I would have preferred to have stayed where I was, surrounded by juicy green grass. However, there were ducks about and we all know how vicious they can be. So I toddled along behind my male staff who was pushing his mum along in her wheelchair. After what seemed to be an eternity we found a coffee shop. Sadly the door was too narrow for the wheelchair. My male staff has never been a great judge of distance (For example, he always underestimates the space between his ears.) and the wheelchair jammed in the doorway, almost catapulting his mum out of the chair. With his mum jammed fast in the door, my male staff had to climb over her and the wheelchair to order her a cup of coffee, which she then had to drink while wedged between the door posts. She didn't mind, but the queue of people behind her were a bit put out at having to clamber over her in order to get to their morning coffee. In the end, my male staff had to borrow another customer's ham sandwich to lubricate the door posts with butter in order to free the wheelchair. It was a great morning's entertainment which left me so exhausted that my male staff's mum had to walk back to the car while I took my life in my paws and rode back in the wheelchair pushed by my male staff.

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