Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Unapologetic insolence from an aging subversive

Saturday, 20 October 2012

Hanky Panky

You can blog anything.

To prove the point, I’m blogging a soiled handkerchief.

Handkerchiefs (I think that’s the plural, although spellcheck doesn’t like it) are a vanishing artifact – or at least those who pocket them are.

I’m a member of that endangered species – handkerchief pocketers.

Since I was a wee lad, I’ve always carried one. My mum would have died of shame (now where have I heard that turn of phrase before?) had I headed off to school without a neatly pressed and hemmed piece of square cloth in my pocket.

When I travelled the 1600kms to boarding school at age 14, I carried in my luggage half a dozen white handkerchiefs embossed with the school crest, and with my laundry number (994) written in marking pen in the corner of each.

In the army, we carried knitted sweat rags which were very useful for a range of things. You could tear them into strips and employ them to clean weapons, wipe a sweaty brow, or clean up a dixie (never, of course, in that order).

Last week on a series of school visits, my ever reliable hanky came in for a variety of uses.

One small lad had scratched his arm, which threatened to bleed all over his clothes and the church pew (we were in a church school rehearsing for a service). I went looking for tissues in the sacristy. There was lots of useful stuff including altar wine but no tissues.

Somehow, church sacristies have side-stepped the conventional march of time, and they don’t feature tissues. These days classrooms are full of tissue boxes.

There was nothing for it but to offer him my clean and ironed hanky, telling him to hold it on his arm until the bleeding stopped. He did and it did.

When we got back to school, I was able to raid the first aid box and apply a band aid, but the hanky was well blooded.

I re-pocketed it.

At the next school, I was working with a ten-year old girl who was using one of those laminated sheets on which you write, and then clean the textra off with a tissue as you go along.

There were tissues in this classroom, but because I was in the middle of a busy classroom where the teacher was in full flow, I didn’t feel like disrupting the proceedings to fetch a box of tissues.

Handkerchief was employed again.

Next morning, I had to leave at sparrowfart and drive into the rising sun. The windscreen was covered in dead insects. Once again, handkerchief was used.

The result is at the top of the post.

It’s all good – or will be until my bride does the washing.


Anonymous said...

Holden utes not issued with window washers?????

1735099 said...

Wasn't a Holden ute - but a Hyundai Santa Fe. Anyway, washers are useless against Toobeah bugs.

Anonymous said...

Slow to 80 km/h they don't break up as easily, although the trip may have to be started a couple of hours earlier.

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