“It’s 8.32!” I shout. “What?” replies Mrs Grump. “It’s 8.32!” I repeat, recovering from the sudden dizziness of jumping out of bed suddenly.
There’s nothing so shocking about 8.32am on a Saturday morning. Not usually anyway. But considering Mrs Grump had to be at an appointment in Bromsgrove for 9am it was certainly a bit of a shock.
Mrs Grump considered cancelling her appointment for a minute. Making up some random excuse to hide the fact that we over slept and therefore bad let down people. Don’t you just hate those bad let down people? But what excuse can you give with less than 30 minutes to go?
Not today! I insisted we must go. There was an appointment of medical importance and we were not going to miss it. Better late than not to show at all. After a quick wash and brush of teeth we were soon in the car, on our way. With my 2005 Vauxhall Astra Life with a cool 1.6 injection under the bonnet I was confident that I would get the good lady to her appointment on time. How could I be in any doubt with a 0-60 acceleration of about 11 seconds, downhill? Mrs Grump had to strap herself in tight and hold on because this was nothing short of an adrenaline pumped journey at high speed, within the limits as set by British law.
We arrived outside the practice at 9am on the dot. We had made it. A sigh of relief from the both of us although I felt like I was getting a bit of a headache and starting to feel a bit funky. Not in a good way either. I was far from James Brown’s funkadelic feeling.
We were here because Mrs Grump had been having a bit of trouble with her neck and a certain practitioner based in Bromsgrove town had been recommended. Specialising in spinal injuries and also adept at Chinese medicine this Jedi of medicine combining both Eastern and Western philosophies seemed to know her shizzle.
She was waiting for us and we were led through the practice towards the treatment room. She exuded a confidence which really made us feel like we were in the right place.
She was warm yet firm. I had the feeling that I wouldn’t want to cross her despite her tiny frame. You just know, when you meet some women, that they could just kick your ass. I tried to gauge her age and I was pretty certain that she was in her 60’s but despite this there was a youthfulness about her. This I put down to the Chinese medicine and also the suspected facelift.
We are lead to a treatment room and I was actually invited in, to sit in a very comfortable armchair.
Whilst the two ladies talk, I can’t help but try to study the lady’s face, to look for expressions. If it’s not obvious, the only way to tell is if they are able to pull expressions like a normal person. If they continue to look like they are in a wind tunnel, it’s safe to say, they’ve had a facelift.
I started to continue to feel rough but I was sure that the relaxing and meditative vibes of the therapy rooms filled with healing energy, calm and tranquillity, well, apart from the odd crack and whimper emitted from a couple of doors down, would help ease my discomfort.
Mrs Grump’s head is being jiggled about as the Jedi, whilst holding Mrs Grumps head, appears to be moving her hands in the fashion of someone dancing at a rave in the mid 90’s with a little box, big box style routing.
It is strange to see the one you love having their head moved around so vigorously. You know they are putting trust in that other person but still you see a look on their face that seems to ask, “Am I safe right now?”
Then, after Mrs Grump’s neck was popped back into place, she had some acupuncture. With confidence and accuracy, the Jedi effortlessly popped the needles in at various points and stated what point on the meridians of the body they were. She really knew her stuff.
At the end of the session, the Jedi asked if I was all right. I said I had a bit of a headache. I was hoping she could do something to help. She came over to examine me. As I sat there in the armchair wearing my, “ill face,” trying to see how taught her face was, I noticed that despite being seated, we were almost eye to eye.
But don’t let the sweet little old lady thing fool you. She took her one little hand and with an iron grip, clasped around the back of my head so I couldn’t escape whilst with the other hand she decided to ram her rod like solid yet wrinkly finger into my face!!! Pressing against a pressure point, it was very, very painful.
Having told us she had studied in China, I was convinced it was not at a school of Chinese medicine but at a Shaolin Temple learning Iron Monkey finger technique.
If it had been a bloke I would have punched them in the throat.
“Count to twenty,” she said and then twenty milliseconds later, through grimaced teeth I said, “OK!”
She released the pressure. I sighed with relief. I hadn’t really noticed the pain in my head anymore. But then when you’ve got a pensioner with half their hand imbedded in your face, it’s no wonder.
But it wasn’t over. No, she then proceeded to jab her solid thumb with the force of a pro wrestler into the top of my head. Now I was grimacing with anguish again and I may have let out a little, “Aaagh,” but at no point did I cry. I did not cry! Not on the outside anyway.
It says something when through someone’s physical actions, if they were to shout, “Have that you F*****G B*****D!!!” it wouldn’t have been out of place.
“Count to twenty,” she said again and so in my mind I counted to twenty missing out numbers three through to nineteen. She released the pressure and I felt for the dent in my skull she must have left behind. I don’t know what I had done to upset her. Maybe she could tell I was scoping out her facelift.
But despite that, I was optimistic. This is Chinese medicine! She knows her stuff. I wasn’t expecting to feel like I could cartwheel out of the practice but I expected some improvement. We paid, said our thank yous and left.
Mrs Grump felt so much better. She was able to move her neck. She felt like she had a boost of energy and was once again vibrant and full of life. I felt like I had just had a stroke.
“Let’s get some fresh air,” suggested Mrs Grump now looking like she might be my carer as I walk down the road slowly, looking more and more ill. My “ill face” from earlier had long gone. My face had reached new depths of illness. Indeed I had reached a deep chasm of “ill face” contortion.
We wandered through the pleasant market of Bromsgrove and browsed in some of the shops. I could see the looks on local peoples faces. The admiration towards Mrs Grump for being a volunteer for some sort of charity and taking this ill person around Bromsgrove, whilst they look with sympathy at the young stroke victim who looks like he hasn’t really got that long left. If I happened to wander into a shop before Mrs Grump, the shopkeeper would look in horror, probably wondering if there was a risk of me dribbling on their stock.
The final straw came when, as we entered an Oxfam bookshop, rather than wanting to look for a bargain book to purchase, I felt the sudden need to take a mahoosive poo. I had to run to Costa coffee and use their facilities without even purchasing a caffeinated drink. What a cheek.
We came home and I went to bed. Mrs Grump felt amazing. The little old Jedi had sorted her neck out. I felt quite the opposite and blamed the little old Jedi. But then following the Chinese theme, perhaps that’s Ying and Yang.