Saturday, 22 January 2011

We victims must denounce this violence

Violence against the person seems to be a matter for the inside pages of the newspapers until you’re a victim yourself.

I’m spending this weekend nursing an injured eye, the product of a completely unprovoked act of senseless brutality on my train home on Friday.

I should really stop writing at that point. That’s about as dramatic as this story’s going to get. Certainly, nothing I add is going to conjure up any more sympathy for me, and it might in fact evoke some scorn. However, as a self-appointed chronicler of daily life, I owe it to myself as much as to my readers to record history accurately and in full. The whole truth, not just the truth and nothing but.

Firstly, I have to admit that the offensive weapon used against me was the Guardian newspaper. OK, OK, you can laugh, but have you read the Guardian lately? It’s full of uncomfortable articles, some of them highly pointed. Its conversion into a weapon seems perfectly plausible. In fact, many would argue that in an important sense it’s an effective weapon already.

Semi-lethal weapon
Secondly, I have to confess with even greater reluctance that the paper was being wielded by me. Yes, yes, I was my own assailant. But I assure you that an injury hurts no less for being self-inflicted. It still deserves at least a little sympathy.

I was sitting at the aisle end of a seat, and another passenger wanted to get past. That meant transferring my paper to my left hand (I’m right handed – you can already imagine the dangers inherent in that manoeuvre) and simultaneously move my bag out of the way. President Gerald Ford could famously not walk and chew gum at the same time; it seems I can’t move a newspaper and a bag at the same time. Or at least not safely. So I poked myself in the left eye with a pointy bit of the Guardian.

Which has caused me significant suffering.

And that, I hasten to point out, calls for sympathetic fellow-feeling rather than mocking laughter.


Danielle said...

Mocking laughter throughout! :DDD

Victor Chisholm said...

Never will I mock the paper cut again!

(Eye injuries can be very serious - speedy recovery.)

David Beeson said...

Laughter's good, and so is sympathy, so thanks to both of you, Danielle and Victor.

I'm keeping a close eye on the injury (the other eye, obviously) and will get medical help if it doesn't seem to be clearing up. As for the cackhandedness that led to the problem in the first place - I guess that's incurable.

Awoogamuffin said...

Yes, mummy mentioned the injury, but not how it came about. It's true - learning the truth did diminish the sympathy, and increase the mirth, though still, hope the eye's ok now.