Thursday, 31 May 2007
Vertebrae & Beans
My back mends slowly, but mends. It reminds me of some years ago when I had another back problem. It was characterised by the back feeling okay but occasionally, unexpectedly, pinching a nerve. The immediate effect was that the pain would make me sink to my knees briefly. That action released the nerve and I could stand up and continue what I was doing. Quite bizarre but manageable. The staff got quite used to seeing me walk across the laboratory and do this strange genuflect as if ducking from an imaginary sniper and then continue on as if nothing had happened.
At that time I found the above packet of jelly beans in a store and had written to the manufacturer, lamenting that even though I had eaten the beans I was none the wiser for it.
The letter tickled the fancy of the manufacturer and a small correspondence ensued that resulted in the Managing Director delivering a box of jelly beans to my work. I received the message that he was in reception and headed down stairs to greet him. I reached the bottom of the stairs and as I turned into reception my back pinched the nerve and I sank to my knees in front of the somewhat startled man.
"It's OK", I said "It is a traditional and quite respectful chemist's greeting to a man holding a large box of jelly beans."
What else could I say?