On the day after Christmas my friend Big Jeff dropped in unannounced to the farm to say hello while we were down visiting my Nan. We were sitting out on the veranda watching the rain on the paddocks and Jeff stood in the doorway with a beer in his hand telling us a story about his all-time favourite singer Kasey Chambers.
Curiously, none of us saw it actually happen but somehow he slipped and rolled backwards down the 12 steps to the bottom, landing in the front yard on the footpath. All we knew was that he’d just disappeared!
Miraculously he survived without a scratch, albeit slightly shaken, and hadn’t even spilled much of his beer. We were all in shock though, and astounded he was immediately able to continue his story from where it was left.
Nan heard the racket and got out of bed to come around and see what the commotion was. Here’s a woman desperately clinging on to her last tenuous rites of living unaided at home, alone. But for now the ravages of old age will not keep her from patrolling her domain to see it secure and undamaged.
“What the bloody hell was that?” she asked us.
“Jeff fell down the stairs Nan.”
I feared this might upset her but my inability to come up with anything else left me with only the truth. The others may have even expected some form of grandmotherly sympathy.
“Well I hope he cleaned them on the way down,” she turned around and went back to bed.