I am Morag Woodley the wife of Ted Woodley Sadly he is in hospital and has asked me to write to you saying he
will be absent from your discussion group for some time. Though the burns to his nose will heal quickly, it will be a longer
job for his twisted ankle, dislocated hip, cracked rib, and broken typing finger. He asks me to wish you all a Happy Christmas
and hopes to be back after Hogmanay.
Greetings all ! This is Ted Woodley talking to you - back at the keyboard at last, a wee dram in one hand, and in the other
a large "Get Well" card in the form of a self-adhesive six-incher from the Scottish Federation of Labelling Technologists.
I am home fromhospital and back amongst the bosom of my family - and what an ample bosom it is too !
An explanation for my absence is in order. It was November 6th and my local football team Falkirk FC, my beloved "Bairns",
were playing the mighty Celtic ("The Hoops"). I installed myself as usual in the temporary South Stand of the austere but
functional Falkirk Stadium with an icy wind off the North Sea bringing a warm glow to the cheeks and a bracing lift
to the testicles. As always I had the trusty briar aglow to provide some central heating.
After the match kicked off, as is always the case, I relieved the numbness in my nether regions by occasionally standing,
stretching, and viewing proceedings from the aisle next to my seat. Once while standing I caught the eye of a pretty wee girl
who was on the opposite side of the aisle separated from me by several empty seats. She looked me up and down and smiled winningly.
The next time I stood the same thing happened, her eyes dropped to my feet, then up again and she smiled. Mrs. Woodley has
always said that in my younger days I cut a fine figure, so my chest swelled somewhat with pride. On the third time this happened
I smiled back at her, and she spoke. "Hey mister - your flies are open !". I looked down, and what I saw was not good.
The stable door had been left open and the horse, although he had not exactly bolted, was nuzzling his way out to tentatively
test the icy wind. I flushed bright red, clutched my two hands to my groin and turned my head smartly forward just in time
to see a large muddy football approaching my face at a rate of knots from three feet distant. It made landfall on my briar
proceeding to ram the pipe back into my mouth, strike my nose, render me immediately unconscious, and pole-axe me backwards
onto the terracing where the bowl of the pipe, now immediately under my nose, tipped out its contents onto said bruised organ
where they started to smoulder like a miniature Hindu funeral pyre. I was in such a deep slumber that I did not even hear
the happy cheer from the crowd to welcome my misfortune.
I came to in a prone position with the alphabet mysteriously swimming before my eyes .... F .... G ..... H ..... After
some moments of befuddlement I realised I was on a stretcher being carried up the terracing towards the exit and I was seeing
the seat row identifiers pass serenely before me. When we reached "Q" there was suddenly an enormous roar from the crowd indicating
that someone had scored a goal. The stretcher bearers, local Falkirk volunteers, instinctively turned to see the action and
in so doing tipped me off the stretcher. I swiftly resumed my position in Row "B" by means of a head-over-heels tumble down
the concrete and steel steps.
In this fall I not only sustained all the physical injuries reported to you by Mrs. Woodley, but also the mental scar of
knowing that the catalyst for my downfall had been The Hoops' third goal of the day consigning The Bairns to a comprehensive
home defeat. It never rains, but it pours, as they say in Lerwick with some justification.