Columbo is like Marmite. You either love it or hate it. Columbo always reminds me of rainy Sundays with my mum concentrating intently, while knitting away. My mum loved Columbo. I think this was because you found out who did the murder in the first half an hour of the programme. With other whodunits, mum would usually fall asleep half way through. It would be annoying explaining to her the next day who did what.
My favourite Columbo episode involved William Shatner of Star Trek fame. In it he played a wine buff. The two of them had a wine tasting face off in the last scene where you were unsure which wine was poisoned. Seeing two such experienced actors play off against each other was great for a Sunday afternoon. Of course, Columbo knew exactly what was going on and off went Shatner, hand cuffs and all.
I like William Shatner. He seems a man who doesn’t take himself too seriously. I read his autobiography a couple of years ago. It’s a good insight into the temporary nature of the acting business. Shatner’s coping mechanism of dealing with rejections that came his way was to shrug it off and keep on plugging away. Our family have a slight claim to fame involving Mr Shatner. My mum’s cousin shared a room with him while at uni in Canada. This was a while ago but in his autobiography, Shatner describes his time at uni by “hanging around with cool guys with red sports cars”. Whether this was cousin Brian or not, is unknown.
My mum also has a quite amazing claim to fame which stunned my husband into silence. While she was at teacher training college in Loughborough, she popped down to the student union to watch the film that would be playing at their weekly cinema club. Once she got there, she saw that the film had been cancelled and that a young guitarist would be playing instead. My mum decided to hang around and see if he was any good. That guitarist was Jimi Hendrix. I don’t which fact is more surprising. The fact that my mum saw Jimi Hendrix in his prime, before he hit the big time or the fact that Jimi Hendrix was in Loughborough. I wonder what he thought of the East Midlands…
I was once again at another marvellous institution of the East Midlands awaiting my follow up appointment in the eye clinic to see what on earth would be happening. On arriving at the Queen’s Medical Centre, a harassed sounding tram driver told us that unfortunately the lift wasn’t working at the tram stop. Not a good start. I checked in at the eye clinic, did the usual eye test on arrival and settled down in the waiting area in time for Doctors.
After about half an hour I was beckoned into a room. I had decided that this time I would use a different strategy. She had probably already decided what she wanted to say, so I stayed silent.
“How are we today?”
“Fine…” (even though I have half my left eye sewed up, I felt like saying, but didn’t.)
“Right let me look at it then.”
She examined my eye and reported back that it was fine.
“I’d like to see you in three months’ time. What medication are you on?”
This put me on the spot. I could remember my painkillers and the cancer stuff. But now I was expected to remember the eye stuff too.
“Urm… something beginning with “L”?”
She frowned. Surely it must be in my notes! I felt like screaming at her but I kept up the silent treatment. She scribbled on a prescription pad. It was barely legible.
“OK. Here you are and see you in three months.”
“So, I guess the stitches are a permanent thing then.”
“Yes, until you…”
She didn’t need to finish the sentence. We both know how it ended.
I nodded and left the room. I smiled one my way to pharmacy. I had a plan…a very good plan…