Tuesday, November 15, 2005

The Rest of The Story

My previous posting spoke of our visit to the World War II Memorial last month. This one will report on --- as Paul Harvey would say – the rest of the story. If it has a humorous sound, that’s what a little time will do.

We left the Memorial to start the long walk back to the tour bus stop. The rain picked up and chased most people out of the area. My legs were rapidly giving out on me. Soon, I could only go from one park bench to the next where I would have to sit and rest. Finally it was a matter of lunging at the benches to get off my legs. About three quarters of the way to the bus stop, I was in great pain and I gave one mighty lunge and dive --- and missed. I fell into a mud puddle with an earth rattling ker-plunk! I landed all 240 pounds directly on the point of the hip I had shattered just two years ago.

Sally wanted to try to lift me onto the bench, but stunned as I was, I was afraid to move for fear I had broken something again. Soon, two marines came jogging along and pretty much insisted on lifting me. Only a fool would argue with two physically fit marines. I was happy that the move didn’t leave me screaming. One marine went for help and came back with a police officer pushing a wheelchair. The officer’s radio was talking about “an elderly man lying on the ground along the mall path”. I seriously resented that elderly part, but on the other hand, it did make me feel a little famous. The officer was all for getting an ambulance. By now I had recovered my senses enough to realize that that would totally mess up our planned vacation and I wasn’t ready to quit yet. The officer had both of us write out that we were refusing medical attention before he would wheel me back to the tour stop. It was also a taxi stand and Sally wisely suggested we take a cab back to the hotel.

At that point we noticed our camera was missing. Sally volunteered to run (!) back to the crime scene to see if it was there. While she was gone, the officer said there was no chance of her finding it. “After all,” he said, “this is Washington, D.C. Cameras are never found by the people that lose them.” He was a good sport and laughed loudly when she came into sight, waving the camera.

Back at the Hyatt, I took a hot shower and felt better. We went down to the lobby bar and had two strong drinks, each. We felt very much better. Good enough to try to explain to the kids why we hadn’t called them. They had continued sightseeing after we left them at the Memorial. They were a little pissed to have missed all the excitement.

We are very grateful to the marines and the cop. Their assistance was invaluable. They were kind and efficient. Had my injury been more serious, I’m confident that they would have coped with it professionally. X-rays have since shown no breaks. Only the mother of all black and blue marks remained as evidence of a rough afternoon.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

Wow, glad you're okay. (You resenting "elderly" reminds me of how I hate being called "ma'am" by the kid bagging my groceries.)