So, hand in hand with Man Friday, we venture forth. Now, we'd only gone 25 yards with me staring down at my feet to make sure they were doing as I told them when Man Friday says: "Christ Alive! We've got the old walking dead coming up astern!"
Now, this is bad already: the 'old walking dead' is this profoundly deaf and equally mental woman who lives a few doors along. She is also built along the lines of a female Russian weightlifter circa 1984. For some unknown reason, she thinks I can understand her - I have no idea why.
Not only can she not use sign language (or even finger spell) but she also cannot lip read, all she does is shout at me and then grab me in a bear hug (she is about 5' 10" and must come in at 17 stone) and, and, the very, very, most horrifying and appalling part is that she has outbreaks of the worse herpes around her mouth that I have ever seen. See below for a slight approximation:
And this time, when I am walking at a half mph, clinging onto Man Friday, she runs up to me and I see that she is in the worst throws of an outbreak. It's like something out of George Romero. So, I don't look up (cos I'm still staring at me bloody feet) and she's saying: 'Hello, hello!", then I say: "Oh, I'm not very well," and then, then, she goes in for the snog and there's nothing I can do.
No where to run? I can't even bloody run. Added to the fact that I am so English that people feel sorry for me, so there's no way on earth I can say: "Help! Get your face barnacles off me!". Also, even if I did manage to say it, she couldn't hear me! It's a disaster of epic proportions!
So she kisses me on the cheek and I simply die a little inside and then, as I still trying to come to terms with the horror, she only reaches over to Man Friday (who is also stuck in situ, cos he's holding onto me!) and she kisses him too.
The she says: "bye, bye!" and charges off ahead and we're left there, in shock. So we wait for her to round a turn, and then we immediately head back to the house to wipe ourselve down with cotton wool swabs saturated with surgical spirit (best we could think of!).
Worse part is, I actually have Herpes and will, occasionally get one on the lip - but I use separate towels and never, never, bom, bam, bever bloody well kissed any poor sod. Christ alive. However, Man Friday doesn't have Herpes but, as he says: 'not yet I don't. Oh god, I'm doomed!'
Have had awful afternoon. This really is the worst part of being an invalid: you cannot make a run for it and whoever is with you is up the creek as well. Jesus! Someone pass the brandy!
Promise next time to tell of less appalingness.