I went to hospital yesterday. I was visiting Alfonse Aubergine. A French friend of mine.
Now before you start thinking ... I don't want you to assume that I categorise my friends according to their nationality. The French, the Italians and so on. I said French on account of his name being Alfonse Aubergine. It means small hostel; from auberge meaning hostel.
Had his name been Giuseppe Broccoli, I would have mentioned he's Italian. It's by way of conversation ... you know ... Angus McDonald for instance would be a farmer by trade.
Anyway, where was I before you interrupted my thoughts? I wish you'd stop doing that. It takes me ages to think what I'm about to write.
I can hear you, you know. When I'm writing I can hear your thoughts say, "Why did he mention Alfonse is French? Did he think we'd assume he is Greek or Swedish with a name like that?"
Well, I was going to tell you that his cousin is called Marcel Ratatouille, but I won't bother now in case you make an issue of it as well.
Also, when in France he stayed at a hostel run by Madame Leggert. But I won't mention that either.
In fact, I'll have you know that I love the French.
A few years ago I was in Paris on holiday and I hit my head against a low door entrance at a restaurant and ended up in hospital.
The doctor asked me, "Did you not see the sign saying low door"?
I replied that I did but I could not read French.
The doctor in question was called Dr Michelin. For some reason he was always tired. Maybe he worked too much.
There's a lot of other things I was going to tell you about the French. But I will not now, in case you comment about it.
So as I was saying, I visited Alfonse Aubergine in hospital yesterday. He is about 80 years old. Not too steady on his feet and he suffers from vertigo. His wife says he hates heights and gets dizzy by just putting his socks on. Maybe he should wash them more often.
But to continue; he'd come round my home that very morning to help me clean the rain gutters up on the roof. He insisted on going up the ladder to do the job.
Being the cautious type, I was going to do the job myself, but readily agreed when he volunteered. I thought that if he'd happen to fall off the ladder I could easily run away so he doesn't land on me.
As it happened he did fall.
He landed right into the pyracantha bush. You know, the one with red berries and many thorns. You should have heard him scream in pain. Totally out of tune he was. No wonder he's not in the church choir with a voice like that.
At the hospital a couple of nurses spent ages taking the thorns out of his backside. I was told by one of the nurses that his whole back is full of spots from where he was hurt by the thorns.
If you join all the spots together with a pencil you get a picture which you can then colour with colouring pencils.
His wife likes colouring books; so she'll have a good time colouring him when he gets home. She was there in hospital with a box full of small pots of paint. Maybe she'd paint him instead.
Portrait of Alfonse as an old man.
Whilst in hospital Alfonse was tested for various allergies. The doctor put various liquids on his arm and wrote next to them what they were derived from - like house dust, animal fur and so on, to see which liquid would cause a reaction with the skin. Turned out he was allergic to the ink in the pen the doctor used.
Better check the paints his wife brought too, I guess.
Anyway, Alfonse is back home now. His wife tells me he has a beautiful painting on his back, but did not tell me what painting it was.
I wonder if it is a painting of a nude ... you know, like the old masters used to paint nudes. Rubens, Manet and the others. It would be the first painting of a nude painted on a nude body.
I wonder if it's a painting of the Mona Lisa on his backside. That should bring a smile to her face.
Have you got any paintings on your back?