Tuesday, June 17, 2008


This week, I'll be playing in three football matches in the space of four days, including my first 90-minute, 11-a-side match in several years.

The last time I even donned the football boots was back when Mrs Wife and I were living in Argyll, and I was training with the local amateur football team.

I'd decided that the world wasn't complete without me showcasing my magnificent footballing abilities on the pitches of Scotland's west coast, but I was scandalously short of fitness.

So I threw myself wholeheartedly into the club's pre-season training campaign.

Until, a couple of weeks in, I suffered one of the worst injuries I've ever received.

Bizarrely, this incident didn't occur on the football pitch, but on the aisles of a supermarket.

It was the weekend of T In The Park 2005, and I had arranged to meet Baby Brother so that we could travel home together to get ready for the festival.

Unfortunately, I forgot to factor in that Baby Brother is an organisational nightmare, and it was after midnight that we finally left Glasgow.

I hadn't eaten, and hadn't bought any food for T In The Park, so I persuaded Baby Brother to stop at the 24-hour Tesco on Dundee's Kingsway.

For those who aren't aware, this branch of the supermarket is roughly the size of Wales. The aisles must be half a mile long. And at 2am on a Friday morning, they were deserted.

And so it came to pass that I rounded the corner with my trolley, and saw a vast expanse of empty aisle in front of me.

The opportunity was too good to resist. Pushing the trolley in front of me, I ran at full tilt down the aisle, until I determined that I'd picked up enough speed to go from trolley driver to trolley passenger.

I should probably explain now that the trolley wasn't a full-size effort with a seat for a small child and enough space inside for a large television set - it was a flat bed one designed for the shopper who needs a grocery receptacle bigger than a basket but smaller than a wheelbarrow.

But I digress. Running along this deserted supermarket aisle at 2am, I hopped on the back of the trolley.

The physics of the situation are simple - 14 stone suddenly hopping on the back of a flimsy trolley at 10 miles an hour doesn't work. The trolley shot out from beneath me and went skidding across the shop floor. I was left to slide along the aisle on my face. Unfortunately, my right foot caught on the floor. My leg, suddenly stretched between my sliding body and my stationary foot, pinged.

There is no cool, calm and collected way to pick yourself up off the floor of a supermarket at 2am when you've got a pulled hamstring. Nor is there a subtle way of picking up and refilling your trolley, or of completing your shopping with an all-too-obvious limp.

As far as I'm aware, no-one saw my mishap. But I'm still dreading the day that I appear on You've Been Framed, my fall from grace (and trolley) having been captured on CCTV and preserved for posterity.


Misssy M said...

Now I may be wrong but I read somewhere that in the interests of Data Protection or something you could request any footage of you taken on CCTV. Mind you I think it was just the police cameras.

You'll just maybe have to hope it turns up on youtube

Anonymous said...

.... heh heh!..... been there, brother.... been there many, many times......


Inchy said...

The local 24hr Tesco here in Olde Falkirk Towne is no longer 24hrs on Friday and Saturday nights between midnight and 4am because drunken people were apparently making their own sandwiches and playing footy with frozen chickens, both of which I'd rather watch than Big Brother.