Awkward Moment #3: Puddled.

As a writer, I like to take inspiration from the pros – Blake, Hardy, Hornby, Fry, but most of all, my good friend Will. You may not have heard of him, he mostly writes plays and poems, but has been known to do other stuff, like inventing words. One of my favourite words in the English language came from his pen: hobnob (true story). As such, I’ve taken to inventing my own phrases (or at least taking normal words and adapting their meaning to suit my own needs) and so far I have one. To puddle.

pud-dle [puh-dl]
– The act of spontaneously covering something or someone in a shit load of water (usually from a roadside source).

This very phenomenon occurred at approximately 10.45pm this evening on my walk home. I’ve been working for the better part of two days at Newmarket Racecourse, involving an overnight stay at Stanstead Airport’s Premier Inn. That, as a whole, is another story for another time. For now I shall stick to the matter at hand.

So we drove back this evening, a five hour minibus journey northbound on the motorway, most of which I spent listening to old recordings of my choir music. It rains most of the way, water gradually dripping onto May as she sleeps, blissfully unaware.

I disembark the plastic-clad, leaky vessel onto a rainy Smithdown Road outside the Tesco Express Car Park (those Liverpool dwellers amongst you will know exactly where I’m talking about). I now face a maximum of a 15 minute walk home with an aching bladder (which has now turned to nausea after not stopping at service stations). I begin my walk with trepidation, wary of the kind of folk that may or may not linger here on a Saturday evening, clutching my only weapon of self-defence, a long stemmed rose given to me by a friend (again, another story for another time). However, the rose now too has fallen victim to exhaustion and has wilted beyond recognition.

Heading along the road, I pull my hood far over my head to stop my enormous glasses getting rained on (on a quick side note, to all the glasses wearers out there – how irritating is it to get rained on when you’ve forgotten your lens cleaner?!? (On an even quicker side note, to all the non-glasses wearers out there – that wasn’t as geeky as it sounded)). I put my music onto shuffle and I quickly forget the cold and rain and begin my usual, uncontrollable trick of miming and dancing on the move. What I fail to notice, however, is the oncoming blue whale that is the 699, Halls of Residence bound. It glides elegantly past me, and then…

I feel it before I see it coming. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up, like that part of a scary movie when you know something horrible is about to happen, and the atmosphere can be cut with a knife. Where you know the horribleness is both inevitable and impending, but it’s still a shock when it does actually happen. I instantly know something is wrong. In what can only be described as slow motion, my skin crawls as the icy water hits the backs of my knees first. It then spreads, like Swine Flu in Mexico (quickly and vengefully), all over my body, and before I can even begin to think about how much pain I’m in, there it is. The solitary water droplet, sitting on my nose, staring me at me smugly.

“You just got puddled!”, he yells in a helium filled voice. I glare back at him. He promptly takes his leave as I shake my head violently to rid myself of excess moisture.

Then, the shock of the event kicks in. My body reacts before my mind, “WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED?!?”, and then my mind catches up, and answers back. “I swear we were dry a second ago…” My heart quickens, my ears burn and finally, the old man having a fag outside Chester’s, with his empty hand, points at me and starts the engine in his ROFLCOPTER.

What do I do, you ask? I keep on bloody walking.


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