THe Accident Continued...

The rest of the gory details. Having made sure that Donnaleen was OK I turned my attention to Thelma, and tried to pick her up, but couldn't do it on my own as she had a completely deflated front tyre. I asked the two guys (this was before the police etc had arrived) to help. One of them was extremely panicked about even going near Thelma saying that she was going to explode! I assured him that I had switched off the ignition and turned off the fuel taps so we were not in danger...or at least I hoped not. He still wasn't keen to help but I think the sight of me struggling to do it with blood dripping from my arm was a bit too much for him and he did actually help. We got Thelma off the road onto the central reservation, I then collected our belongings that were a bit scattered where one of the panniers had come off.

The paramedics were great, though as soon as I mentioned a sore neck, they went into American reaction mode and I was immediately strapped to a body board which was manhandled into the back of the ambulance, the sherrif assured me Thelma would be taken care of and the door was slammed shut, off we went to the hospital - BMH De Soto, coming from an Army background it's a familioar name for a medical establishment as it stands for British Military Hospital, though in this case it was Baptist Memorial Hospital. By this point we were on chatty first name terms with the paramedics- Mona and Adam. The passed us over to the hopsital staff and we were left in rooms strapped to the back boards for several hours before x-rays and doctor's examinations showed we were fine.

 My friend Robin who lives in Memphis, kindly came to pick us up, it was 2.30am by the time we were realeased and Robin's hopsitality was sorely stretched as I spent the first 15 minutes of the car journey vomiting (well, you asked for gory details), this was a reaction to the painkillers I'd been given rather than Robin's driving. We stayed in Memphis for the next three days, recovering, I was also busy retrieving Thelma from the yard she had been taken to, with the first task being trying to track her down. This was complicated by the fact that I wasn't 100% sure where the accident had taken place and my accent seemed tricky for people to inderstand on the phone. In fact wehn using the directory enquiries service for Mississippi State Police, I had to resort to a southern drawl a la Dolly Parton to get the auto voice recognition to accept the word Mississppi, though I suspect my accent was more Brummie than Alabama.

A local motorcyclist called Jamie helped me to spring Thelma from the yard. He turned up in his white cadillac and we purchased an innertube on the way. Thelma was at the quaintly named Olive Branch Motors. True to form, she seemed fine except for a few more scrapes. We changed the tube, inflated it and off I went down the road after a quick jump start from the cadillac. I was nervous about the tyre which in the circumstances is understandable, but everything seemed OK if a bit lopsided at the front. Also three impressive new dents in the fuel tank, I'm still trying to work out what caused those.