Little white lies don’t hurt

MEMORIES: Of that first meeting on a beautiful Bermuda beach.

TALKING about an ingrown toe nail is not the best chat up line in the world

THE Princess and I celebrated our wedding anniversary recently, and it brought back the day that I first met her on a beautiful Bermuda beach.

She had remarked upon a number of discernible scars on my abdomen, and having shown some false reluctance to talk about the subject, I eventually gave in and recounted the story of how they had been received.


Some years before in my home town of Reading, I was passing a Building Society branch when two masked armed robbers burst out of the door.  

Stupidly and without giving too much thought to my actions, I gave chase and received a shotgun blast to my stomach for my troubles.  

But I somehow still managed to wrestle one of the robbers to the ground and with the help of other passersby, we managed to subdue him and his accomplice until the police arrived.   

Being a modest kind of a bloke I don’t talk about it much, but the shotgun pellet marks are still visible.

Bet you’re impressed. 

My wife certainly was when I originally spun the tale to her many years ago in my efforts to win her affections.  

But the truth is, I had surgery years before for a scary ingrown toe nail which was removed along with a significant chunk of my big toe.

Grafting was deemed necessary before I was allowed to go home and a dozen or so pinch-grafts were taken from my abdomen. A routine procedure under local anaesthetic, but one that had me chewing the bed pan in agony once the effect of the drugs had worn off.   

I left the hospital two days later with a throbbing mid-section; limping and chastened with lectures about the perils of wearing winkle picker shoes ringing in my ears.  

I was 18 years old.

My good lady was a tad unhappy when I eventually told her the real story, but let’s face it; talking about a manky ingrown toe nail is not the best chat up line in the world.  

And I did get the girl.


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