Manchester airport last night on the way back from a funeral. For the first time EVER my metal right clavicle (collar bone) caused the metal detectors to go off. The rather grumpy security man (he’d had a long day, I expect) poked and prodded me, and seemed unwilling to accept my explanation. I was taken off and almost stripped (not a pretty sight). Eventually, he had to let me go. He could find nothing. The cupboard was bare. I was rather pleased. Such things give a warm glow of satisfaction. Beating the system.
Once upon a time in the mid 1980s Jack was cycling home in Nottingham. Jack was returning to the nest after a particularly tedious University Senate meeting followed by several particularly refreshing jars. The sky was moonlit, but the street was ill-lit. A motorcycle parked transversely was sticking out into the road. The motorcycle and Jack’s cycle became embroiled in discussion. The motorcycle fell down, and Jack fell down and broke not his crown but his clavicle. A fall onto the outstretched hand damaged not the scaphoid nor the radius nor the humerus, but the clavicle.
The treatment, a mere sling, was utterly inadequate. Any fool could see that. Jack needed a figure of 8 bandage to pull the shoulder back. Would A and E staff listen to Jack? No, they would not. So the clavicle ‘healed’ in the form of a Z.
Weeks and months went by. Drinking tea became fraught, for as the arm moved, the two mobile edges of the clavicle jammed up against each other, their sudden springing apart causing the cup to jerk and the tea to spill. Jack was not happy and neither was Jill.
So by and by Jack had had enough. Jack was cut open, part of the clavicle was replaced by a piece of metal from the planet Krypton, and chips of bone grafted in from Jack’s iliac crest.
And they all lived happily ever after. Until Manchester airport yesterday. The moral of the story is: brace yourself with jars before meetings, not after them.