The novelty of my broken foot has most definitely worn off now. I know it's the obvious question, but if one more person asks me, "What happened to it?", I'm going to ram a crutch down their throat.
What I need is some kind of laminated press release with photos and X-rays that I can just hand to whoever enquires. I've toyed with having a brief summary of the accident printed on a T-shirt, but, like the withering foot under my cast, it could get very smelly.
I had to get it looked at last week. The preliminary cast was taken off and I had the opportunity to see the injury for the first time. It wasn't a pretty sight: two long scars down the top of my foot where metal screws had been inserted to mend my four fractured metatarsals. Far more worrying, however, were two metal pins sticking out of my foot on one side. The end of one of these pins had a tiny disc on the end that made it look like a tiny rear-view mirror. I posted a photo of the foot on Twitter and some wag said that it looked like I'd ordered the "looking up ladies skirts mirror" optional accessory.
Meanwhile my life continues, albeit a little slower than usual, but it's weird how differently people treat you when you are on crutches. They start to become a tad patronising: their speech slows a little, as though you might be a touch hard of thinking. They ask things like "are you OK with doors?", which makes it sound as if they think a door handle might be one mental step too far for me.
I tend to give people like this long, patronising, "I'm independent and able-bodied" looks. This is fine until I see the very same people five hours later when, having possibly consumed a couple too many sherbets, I fall down steep stairs into their laps. This has now happened three times and words are unnecessary at moments like this. I just pick myself up with as much drunken dignity as I can muster and shuffle off to hide somewhere.
I have even forgotten to ask people to sign my cast. I've been doing press and promotion for my upcoming UK tour, and did the weirdest mix of shows last week. I could have had Alan Titchmarsh, Ainsley Harriott, Rula Lenska, Frank Bruno, someone from Steps – or maybe not.
Fortunately the new casts they give you are very unlike the ones of our youth. Although they are solid, they are extremely lightweight and quite bobbly, and thus very difficult to sign. I remember what fun it was as a kid when everybody would sign your cast. Some bastard would always ruin it by writing something really obscene, and you would be really embarrassed because your parents would see it and, in a strange way, blame you for the offence.
All my brothers and sisters have broken their feet skiing, and I always tried to daub something offensive on their casts. I was lucky. I have never broken anything skiing, although my left foot can hardly be described as "lucky." In separate accidents, I have now ruptured all the ligaments, broken the kneecap in four places and now, fractured my four metatarsals. I, therefore, have a very selfish interest in how the world of leg/foot/arthritis research is getting on because I am definitely going to have one hell of a limp in a bit if things don't get a move on.
Maybe I should start doing a lot of "charidee" work for leg research? Would that be too obvious? Is it wrong to do "charidee" for something that is blatantly in your own interests? Does that negate the "charidee?" So many questions, so little time. Now hop off.