Evan Andrew sets out to see a book buyer. An important meeting that he doesn’t want to miss…
It just started out like any other day, frantic! All went well until after mid-day I got the call from daughter number two. Youngest grand-daughter was in the sick bay at school in Epsom, and could I please collect her and take her home to Coatesville as mother was at that school assisting on a class visit. Her father was in Wellington on business, my wife Annmarie at North Shore Hospital visiting a sick friend. I had an appointment at four in the city with a book buyer, and judging the traffic, and timing, I knew I could just do it if everything went okay.
Arrived at the school, collected the sick child, turned over the car key... nothing!! Calmness in a crisis is a trait I have taken on board throughout life's constant turmoil, so, as grandchild looked at me imploringly, I assured her that the trusty man from AA would duly arrive, and we would soon be on our way. Outside it started to pour with rain. I told her it was just a passing shower and it fortunately stopped fifty-five minutes later as the AA van pulled up beside me. Thirty-five minutes after that we were on our way, and luckily the traffic on the western motorway was only just starting to build up when the words every car driver dreads to hear were announced.
'Grandad, I think I'm going to be sick.'
'No, no, you’re not,' I replied, desperately trying to think if I had a bag, or a hat, or anything to be sick in. 'Sing me doe, a deer, a female deer,' and desperately I forced her to sing with me the entire musical score of 'The Sound of Music,' while I put my foot down, and thankfully deposited her into her mother's loving arms.
Time! I made a phone call to the book buyer, got his answer phone, and explained I could be slightly late because of an emergency, but I would be there. Back I raced on the motorway, traffic getting a lot heavier, and finally after much searching found a place to park. The parking meter wouldn't take any notes and I had no change. Bugger! I would have to wing it! Raced up Queen Street, into the lift, time four-fifteen. The receptionist gave me a frosty stare when she got off the phone and when I said I had an appointment with so and so, sniffed and said, 'Oh, he's not in today, down with the flu.' Words failed me, and I slunk out of there, back to my... and yes you guessed it! There under my windscreen wiper was my gift from the Auckland City Council.
I crawled back home through the five o'clock rush, went inside and decided I needed a scotch. Only the decanter was empty, and I had no tonic for a gin, so brandy and water it had to be.
However, at eleven o'clock that night after watching our Olympic rowers get the gold medal they so richly deserved, the rest of the day was erased from my mind!