There are rude and charmless people all over the world and I try hard not to be one of them but either Sydney has more than its fair share of this type or I have had the misfortune to become a bit of a magnet for them since moving here.
Today I was visiting a friend, Liza, who is very ill in hospital. It is a very nice private hospital, much more like a five star hotel really but instead of pool and bars there are lots of nice, clever people in white coats dispensing sound advice and effective medicines. As my friend Simone, Zach and I were making our way up the tree-lined drive way holding our flowers and magazines, a sweet looking old lady with a couple of walking sticks was walking towards us, on her way from the hospital. Zach wasn’t walking in a straight line of course, he was gamboling around the path and the trees, zig-zagging his was as lively four year olds are wont to do. He almost ran into this old lady coming towards us.
“Zach, be careful, watch where you are going, mind the lady!” I shouted. “You nearly ran into her, say sorry please!” He was already out of my ear shot so I said to the lady, “I’m so sorry, are you alright? I’m really sorry my love. He’s a bit excited today”
She started to say something and I wasn’t sure I had heard her correctly. I was expecting her to say something along the lines of “Oh don’t worry, it was nothing, he’s just being a boy. By the way isn’t he cute?” This is the usual reaction when I have to apologise for Zach almost knocking strangers over which he does about a hundred times a day. She repeated herself and I hadn’t misheard afterall. What she actually said was: “Don’t call me my love you idiot!”
Simone and I stood staring at her both rendered silent by her rudeness before continuing up the hospital drive to visit our very poorly friend.