A family wedding was taking place and I was tasked with taking my mother-in-law Joyce, to the event.
I arrived at Joyces house two hours early so that she would have plenty of time to get ready, she is nearly ninety. It was lunch time so I asked if she would like something to eat. I knew that our sit down meal at the wedding would not be until 5pm. Joyce refused a snack. I explained several times that she would be hungry and instead she sat and munched a few crisps, a rather miserable expression on her face. She complained that her back ached but wouldn`t take the offered pain killers.
I suggested that we take her wheelchair to the wedding since she is quite unsteady on her feet and when she is walking, if I allow her to, she clasps my wrist with a vice like grip to balance herself. This really hurts and threatens to topple me over. Joyce refused the wheelchair and agreed to take her walking stick. Just as I was ready to leave, she said that she needed the loo and disappeared slowly, upstairs for ages and I thought, “we`re going to be late.”
I was wearing a white jacket and a rather pleasing grey, blue and white jump suit so I looked very nice. Joyce handed me her stick, which incidentally she did not use at all the entire afternoon and grasped my wrist as I tried to lock her front door, which is a bit like locking up Fort Knox. I happened to glance down at my jacket which is just as well because there was something brown smeared on the lapel. It could only be one of two things, the second being bird pooh so I put Joyce in my car and sighing, I went back inside the house to rinse the lapel through. I knew we were almost certainly going to be late but I didn`t have an alternative.
My jacket dripping wet, I got Joyce in to my car and off we drove. After ten minutes Joyce said, “I`ve changed my mind, I want my wheelchair.” I told her it was hard luck because we didn`t have the time to go back and lug it into the back of the car. She pulled a face.
Fortunately, when we arrived at the venue everyone was gathered at the bar prior to the main event. Joyce said that she was hungry, no surprise there but we had to go and take our seats.
The wedding was very sweet and tender and the groom was quite emotional and the bride looked absolutely lovely, so did her maid of honour. All the men were dressed in tail coats and co-ordinated colours and looked very handsome. Afterwards we went outside for the photographs.
We had only been outside about two minutes when Joyce told me that she was cold and wanted to go back in. We trundled back to sit in the bar and she again said that she was hungry. Someone went to ask the barman if it would be possible to make her a sandwich, which he duly did. Joyce took one bite and instantly said, “I don`t like this whatever it is (it was beef salad) it`s horrible, ask him for something else.” I went back to the barman, who was definitely not a local and apologising for her rudeness I asked him if he would very much mind doing her something else, cheese salad perhaps. I said that if he had any Paraquat in the kitchen, he was most welcome to use it as a dressing.
I walked back to Joyce and sat down. After a few minutes I heard the barman calling out to me in a strong, south American accent and a voice that was audible all over the venue, “Paraquat? Paraquat? What is this Paraquat?” By this time I had rushed back to him and stroking his arm I shushed him saying, “It`s just a joke, just my little joke…..”