Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A wind-up

I have the dubious pleasure of informing you that once again we have reached the end of yet another week where there is very little to report. In fact there is nothing at all, not a word. Well, there is nothing unusual about that. It is a red letter day when I DO have something worth writing about.

So, I want to tell a story - and there isn't much unusual about that either. I do it every time there is no news. This one is about a watch - a wristwatch.

I own, and have owned for years, a Seiko 5 original automatic. It needs no batteries and does nothing fancy beyond tell the time, day and date - in French! All I have to do with it to keep it working is to wear it and move my arm from time to time and, lazy as I am, even I can manage that much movement. I have had it stored in reception for about three years and the other day I dumped the watch I had been wearing and got my old Seiko back - good, old, reliable Seiko.

The bloody thing isn't working! It has been inert for so long it needs some sort of an M.O.T. doing on it, so I have decided to send it out to Lesley and she can get it cleaned at the jewellers and give it to somebody for Christmas - or throw it at her pet pigeon for all I care. To replace it I have ordered an Accurist from the catalogue.

Okay, that's the background story - just to keep things clear. The story I want to tell about the Seiko took place about eight years ago in Whitemoor prison. One evening I stood watching a couple of fellows playing pool because I was playing the winner. While I waited I stood with my arm down at my side and shook my wrist back and forth to wind up my Seiko. I often did that in idle moments, and let's face it, if there is anyone who knows about idle moments, it's me. So there I stood, probably looking pretty vacant as I shook my wrist back and forth.

The following day I had a call-up to the Healthcare where I was sent into a room and there sat Dr Muller, a psychiatrist! I used to make coffee for Dr Muller in the early nineties when I had been at Whitemoor on an earlier occasion.

"Hello Doc Muller," says I. "How are you?"

"I remember you," says he. "You were here about ten years ago."

"That's right," says me, "and I'm still in jail. What's all this about?"

"Well," says he, "there is a report that you have a severe personality disorder because you were seen shaking yesterday. I want to have a chat about it."

"Shaking?" said I. "What do you mean?"

"You were seen shaking and it could mean that there is a severe personality disorder. That's what I intend to examine."

"Shaking?" said I. "What do you mean?"

He examined a bit of paper on his desk. "It says that your arm was shaking rapidly and you didn't seem to notice it!"

"Oh!" says I as I stood up, "Like this?" and proceeded to do my watch-winding bit - arm down at my side and wrist going back and forth like a whore's arse when the fleet is in town. "Like that you mean?"

"That's it," says he. "Why would..."

I interrupted him. "Look, Doc Muller," and I pulled up my sleeve to show him my watch, "I've got an automatic watch. I'm winding it up!"

"Oh!" cries he. "Is that all it was?" and he had the grace to laugh. "Well, that's that cleared up then. You don't need to see me about winding watches," and he laughed again.

"Well," said I, "let's not dismiss it as a joke because it's not funny. No wonder people get written down as all sorts of strange things if this sort of mistake can be made. Suppose I had refused to see you, you would have continued with the false assumption, wouldn't you?"

Well, there was more to it but the gist of it all is this - never presume. That's how mistakes are made, and mistakes in the prison service can have catastrophic consequences for some unfortunates.

Still, the watch is being sent out to Lesley now. Let her develop a personality disorder as she stands in the queue at Aldi and shakes like a leaf.

Some little kid will say, "Look Mum, that woman is shaking!"

"Don't look, it's rude to stare Tyrone. She's probably got a personality disorder."

No she hasn't! She's got a bleedin' automatic watch!

The Voice In The Wilderness

1 comment:

Donnie said...

Haha!! Hear hear. There's truth in the old phrase "presumption is the mother of all *******"