Friday, 11 January 2008

if it was gonna happen it would happen to Archie.

Our family reckon he should have been called Murphy, cause the law applied exclusively to him.
My brother had the knack of being in the wrong place at the wrong time for all the right reasons.
As I sat next to his hospital bed waiting for the nurse to finish fussing about, we got to chatting and the latest saga brought me up to date.
Archie was a painter by trade. I say was because he had to give it away when he fell and hurt his back. The woman was very sorry and everything, but Archie couldn’t hold a brush for very long after he fell off the ladder. It seemed he was painting a window on the upper level and got his shirt button caught in the bedroom window frame. As he tried to free himself the woman entered her bedroom and saw his trouble. She did the first thing that came into her mind and opened the window to help. Well Archie was pushed off the ladder and hung there with just his shirt button suspending him in mid air. All at once the woman could see he was stuck and prized off the button and poor Archie landed on the washing line. The line actually cushioned the fall, but the woman who was obviously distressed ran downstairs to free him and folded the line up so he could reach the ground and that’s when he was folded in the contraption and hit his back against the wall. She visited him in hospital a couple of times and we thought there might have been a romance blossoming, but Archie dipped out on that score.
Not that he hasn’t had a relationship. He went out with an Italian woman for a bit, but her father was one of those strict sort of fathers and it was just a misunderstanding that his car ended up in the bay.
Carla was dark haired and had legs up to her armpits, if you know what I mean, and boy could she eat. We had a family get together for our parents wedding anniversary and Carla sure gave Archie a run for his money at the dinner table.
Anyway they had been seeing one another for a time and so Archie decided he would teach Carla to drive. She was a model student and soon got the hang of things, but the father was getting suspicious of the regular outings and so decided to tag along one afternoon. He said they would use his car, "Because-a it-a have-a ta bucketta seats"
So all three are driving along, doing ok when they come to a "sop lit". Carla ‘sops’ and Archie tells her to put it in first gear to get ready to go.
"Na, na," Mr. Brigolletta says, "youz gotta puttz youz footz on-a da brick"
So Carla putts her footzes on the brick without taking it out of gear. The car jumps and stalls right in the middle of the intersection. So now Mr. Brigolletta panics and says ""stip on da gaz and fasta, fasta" so Carla stips on da gaz, but thinking he said pasta, and ever mindful of her stomach, she turned around. Then Dad reaches from behind, throws the gear stick into first and they roar over the road, through the pedestrian crossing narrowly missing a woman, and head straight down to the jetty. "Sop, Sop, "yells Dad and Carla slams on the breaks. Archie then takes a hand and reaches over to pull the hand break. Mr. Brigolletta thinks he’s up to funny business and grabs his arm from the back seat. His knee hit the gear stick and with the gentle slope of the jetty and the car in neutral while Archie is trying to explain himself and Mr. Brigolletta telling him "Youz gotta ta nerve, and threatening him with "I have-a da connects in places" the car slowly rolled into the bay. Archie actually saved Mr. Brigolletta but that didn’t save him from the mans wrath and his ‘connect in places’ although it all squared out in the end when Archie found out the ‘connects’ were the Mancini family and he had painted their house to much acclaim. They suggested Archie buy Mr Brigolletta a lottery ticket and when the Brigolletta family became instant millionaires Archie was off the hook.
He had actually bought two tickets and kept one for himself, but as he said,
"that’s the luck of the draw".
Although he was lucky once when he went to buy a television set. It turned out he was the millionth customer to walk through the door and they showered him with electrical goods. Well Archie was never one for collecting too much stuff and so he decided to donate it to the local children’s hospital. He loaded it up on his truck and while he was in the back some thieves closed the door and drove away. It turns out Archie has won a mobile phone in the door prize, and so he called the police. They followed his truck and rounded up a bunch of criminals and smashed the whole operation. Archie was commended by the Mayor for bravery etc and wound up at a fancy civic reception. He didn’t mean to end up a national hero but when the Mayor was choking on a prawn and Archie just did the big squeeze and the prawn popped out, well they just decided there and then to give him some sort of award. It would have all happened too if he hadn’t got the Mayor’s wife’s dress caught in the limo door and it just ripped straight off in front of the waiting press.
"Easy come, easy go" I remember him saying just after all the fuss died down.
He said the same thing when I had to take him to the doctors after his welding accident.
Archie had the bright idea that he would build his own boat and so he bought the welder, the power tools and a nice fix-er-up-er.
"How hard can it be" he said to me as he went about the process of making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. All was going well until one day he rang me in some state of distress.
I rushed right over and it all became clear.
Archie had been welding inside the boat and because it was hot he had taken his shirt off, then his long trousers. Welding in your underwear is fraught with dangers, especially if you are a; shall we say ‘big man’. Archie had it all hanging out so to speak and had got welding flash in some delicate areas of his anatomy. As the burn progressed so did his discomfort until he needed medical treatment. The cream supplied also took off his hair, hence the easy come, easy go. But on the plus side the nurse who administered to his burns is now his fiancĂ©e, and they have a dream to sail the oceans. Just as soon as he recovers from his broken ankle.
So here I was sitting by his bed and wondering how he got there.
"I broke my ankle," he said,
I knew there must be more to the story and lifted my eyebrow. "yeah, right"
"Well how was I to know she had an anaconda under the bed".
I settled back, it was going to be a long afternoon.

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