I said our Doris would have an accident one of these days. I said to her, “You’ll have an accident one of these days, Doris” but she pretended not to hear me. It’s like she didn’t want to hear me saying it. I tell her every time we’re out in the car and it was just a matter of time until I was proven right.
I was driving 49 years before I stopped and I had very few accidents, very few. I had a few rear-endings but that’s their fault isn’t it. I was a very careful driver, until my eyes started to let me down. And my knees.
Our Doris has only been driving 25 years, practically a novice on today’s busy roads. I should never have let her keep this car once I gave it up. It’s too big for her. I said to her, “This car is just too big for you, Doris” but she insisted she could manage it and that we would have to buy a smaller one if she didn’t try. We should have stuck to the bus. Or maybe I shouldn’t have given my licence in so soon.
She buys the wrong stuff in the supermarket anyway, so I was telling her what she missed out. “Doris,” I said to her,” you forgot the mint sauce for the lamb, and the beef dripping, and the shredless marmalade.” There we were, still outside SupaValu and she doesn’t want to get back out of the car and go in for what she forgot. And I made her a list of them all too. “Go on Doris,” I said, “you’ll only be 10 minutes,” but she wouldn’t go.
If she had of listened to me and gone back in, she would never have had the crash in the first place. “Now look what you’ve done Doris,” I said to her. “Pulling out backwards like that without a proper look, no wonder you hit someone.” Oh she wanted to say he was going too fast and she had looked, but fact is if she were back inside getting my lemon shredless, it would never have happened.
Then to make it worse, she just sat there, like a big wobbly lemon, quivering in the face and refusing to look up at me. “Come on, our Doris,” I said to her, “you better go out and see what that young man wants to say to you.” He’s out of the car and looking at his front end and our back end as soon as you like, not like Doris just sitting there. “Doris!” I had to shake her with both hands to make her look at me. “Outside to see him, Doris.”
She’s like it at home too. I do wonder if she’s going a bit, you know, a bit senile. She ignores what I say, she won’t look at me, she does the opposite to what I tell her. I would take her to the doctor but I’m not sure there is much they can do. I said to her, “Doris, you’re getting on a bit now, not up to things like you used to be,” and she just shrugs and shuffles off to watch her television programme. Watches it even when she knows mine is coming on, doesn’t she.
Maybe we can’t ignore it any more then, not after this. I said to her, “When we’re done with this man, you take us to the doctor, Doris. We need to talk to him about you and your ways, see what he thinks we can do to help you, eh?” And I gave her hand a friendly pat, I think she values that support from me.
I reached in my pocket for my hankie and found the shopping list. “Oh Doris,” I said to her, “here it was all along. Right in my pocket. And see? It does say lemon shredless.”
“Sod off Bernard,” Doris said, so I didn’t say anything else.