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5 Jul 07, 9:25 PM - The Joy of Sticks

Posted by Lady Bracknell's Editor

Handy things, walking sticks. (I have, oo, several. They're made out of lucite in lovely colours. Ok, so not everyone wants different sticks to match different outfits, but it keeps me amused. And it does mean total strangers come up to me to ask me where I got my stick from rather than to ask me what I’ve done to my back. Or my leg. Or my foot. Because people are never quite sure why someone might need a walking stick, are they?)

Depending on how lame I am on any given day, I’ll use my stick differently. There are times when I can walk without putting much weight on it at all. But I still wouldn’t leave it at home. I can’t manage without it if I have to stand still for any length of time and, no matter how (relatively) frisky I’m feeling, I need impatient motorists to understand that I really can’t break into a run just because the lights have changed. Also comes in useful when the only remaining pot of yogurt on the top shelf of the fridge cabinet in the supermarket is out of hands’ reach: I’ve corralled many a rogue yogurt pot into my shopping basket with the crook end of my stick over the years. (Oh, yes. Is my life full of incident, or what?)

So, a good thing to keep handy. You never know when one might come in useful. If you don’t have a stick constantly to hand yourself, you might want to ask yourself how you would have fared in the following two scenarios?

In Surrey, an 81 year old woman used her walking stick to fend off a 22 year old man who, it’s alleged, was sexually assaulting her . Good for her. Gentlemen, if you will insist on dangling your dinkle in front of a lady possessed of a stout walking stick, don’t be surprised if she defends herself with the first thing which comes to hand. It might not be only your street cred which suffers irreparable damage.

Found a deadly viper lurking in a bunch of flowers which has been delivered to the intensive care unit in which you’re an 80 year old heart surgery patient? No problem. Just beat it to death with your walking stick. “I was fighting for 10 minutes before I managed to kill it”, says Croatian, Miko Vukovic. Crumbs. I mean, say what you like about the NHS, but you can at least be reasonably certain you’re not suddenly going to find yourself locked in deadly battle with a poisonous reptile. (Oh, ok. Yes, you may insert your own jokes here. I haven’t. I’m too nice and respectful. Ahem.)

• Visit The Perorations of Lady Bracknell

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At 07:55 AM on 06 Jul 2007, Marmiteboy wrote:

I have a good old fashioned ash walking stick which I have had for twenty years now. I have tried others, like a fold away stick, but that clicked at every step when I walked and I got really fed up with it. My stick was once set on fire by some colleagues of mine when I worked with Lady B's editor (it wasn't her by the way) and it still bears the scar. It is a friend and comes in useful as a reachy thing and a play thing to my nieces and my partners daughter.

Sticks, I love 'em.

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