SPLAT. Like a giant purple dish of raspberry jelly sliding off a greasy plate, somersaulting down, down, then smacking the floor with a massive squelch.
That was me.
Waverley Station, Thursday, around 6pm as it was heaving with fellow commuters and my feet met the slippery surface of the stupid glossy tiles at the Market Street entrance and down I went.
My purple coat and I landed on ageing knees that like to take the stairs gradually these days and don’t like sudden contact with hard floors. My handbag went one way, lunchbox the other. My beak made contact with the floor and my face turned the colour of my coat.
Oh well, I thought, isn’t this embarrassing?
It became clear I was on my own. Feet passed by, so obviously there were people around, but none in the mood to stop and help the daft bat with the purple coat get back on her feet.
To his credit, one chap muttered ‘Y’all right?’, as he walked on but the absence of blood and sobbing – I put on a very brave face – was clearly the signal for everyone to just keep going.
I’m aware there is nothing travellers prefer more than to pretend people around you don’t exist, in case they end up engaging you in dreary conversation about their children, work or ingrown toenail that lasts the length of your entire journey. But, really, a wee bit of help would have been nice.
My unfortunate episode of cleaning the wet Waverley Station floor with my coat wasn’t quite in the league of Channel 5’s Law and Disorder: Catching Criminals Live programme last night, but the same lack of care for our fellow man was there.
It staged various scenarios – a mugging, a very public domestic row, two little lost girls in a busy street – and waited for the response from passers-by.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the lost girls, aged five and seven, were ignored by all but a single passing granny, no-one batted an eyelid at the angry “domestic” row and only one man made a move to tackle the “mugger”.
Maybe folk fear getting involved in other’s misfortune, maybe they are worried they will end up having to give evidence for some boring insurance claim or can’t be bothered looking up from their phone to see bodies lying on the ground next to them.
Whichever it is, the woman in the purple coat with the red face would like to say thanks for absolutely nothing.