Monday, 6 September 2010

My Ankle Rankles

My friend Imran (British Pakistani, 5' 9") has requested that I write a blog about my ankle. This is not a fetish of his. The fact is that Imran (jogger, cocky) seems to find it hilarious that I have a bad ankle and wants to read about it 'for a laugh'. Fine...

Take yourself back to March 2000. Brit pop was on it's last legs. Noel Edmunds was still safely in hiding. Jack Whitehall was nine. Let me say that again. JACK WHITEHALL WAS NINE!* Contrary to what it says on my Wikipedia page I was at Manchester Metropolitan University 'studying' acting. I spent one Saturday evening drinking John Smith's (1.25 a pint) in the Student Union and then me and my mates left for a house party because we were cool. Pissed and brimming with post-pubescent energy I ran down the stairs of the Union. I think I may have been trying to recreate a scene in 'Heat' (which loads of people hate when it is in fact brilliant) in which Al Pacino runs down lots of steps very quickly and yet maintains his lovable intensity. I fell, like a twat, and in the process turned my right ankle, severely spraining it. It says something for the largely charmed life I have lead that that moment is easily the biggest regret of my life. One has to wonder, despite the fact I was already 20, studying acting and shit at football - if not for that fall could I have played for England?

So, for the last 10 years I have had a bad ankle. Some months I hardly notice it. Some months I hobble round like Paul Robinson**. I've been to a series of physios who have all told me that I will have a bad ankle for the rest of my life. It's hardly a disability but it is a genuine source of annoyance and the bane*** of my bloody life.

In the early noughties, as was my want, I spent a lot of time in nightclubs wondering how to make girls like me. My strength in the arena of courtship has always been my rakish wit and capacity for japes. Basically I'm a fucking hoot. It's difficult to let this ability shine through in a noisy nightclub. That didn't stop me trying - acting out the words to songs like the desperate tit I was. What made my evenings even worse (and they were, on reflection, caked in misery) was this pissy bad ankle of mine. Like many of my fellow revellers I could often be seen munching on pills except that mine were Nurofen. Dancing for hours at a time is tricky with a Grandma sized swollen ankle so I chomped on ibuprofen like they were jelly babies. Incidentally in googling the spelling of 'ibuprofen' just now I learnt that it is not in fact 'ibroprofen'. I have been saying the name of my drug of choice wrong for the last decade.

Since you ask, I'm having a good month ankle-wise. I even had a bit of a kick about yesterday and was reminded that I really can't do more than about 7 or 8 kick ups. Keeping a ball under control (wink) in the air is mighty difficult. Whatever your opinion of Tony Blair is he should always get credit for that head tennis session he had with Kevin Keegan in about 1996. Look up the footage if you've not seen it. It's really quite impressive and if he had just done that at the Iraq War inquiry I think his 'legacy' would still be very much in tact.

One final point on ankles in general. I fear for the current crop of young men who wear deck shoes and the like with no socks. Not only must their feet stink but their ankles have no support. Forever a slave to the whims of fashion, Imran (30, angry) is one of these poor souls headed for disaster. It must be boom time for the physiotherapy industry with thousands of Vampire Weekend fans limping in to their clinics with fresh sprains. I now, on the other hand almost exclusively wear high tops which not only give me the support I need but also help me to fit in when I visit the ghetto. Thank and and goodbye and if you like this blog then spread the word for I have an ego that needs feeding.

* Jack Whitehall was in fact eleven in March 2000 but I thought it would be funnier to say that he was nine. The soon to be equally as famous, Daniel Sloss was nine in March 2000. The fact is that there is a strong chance that when I sprained my ankle neither of those young men, who are both more successful at comedy than me, had pubes. Depressing. Oh and I realise that I have pondered on the likelihood of other other men having pubes two blogs in a row now. This is a dodgy habit I will keep an eye on.

** That was a reference especially for those of you who still watch Neighbours. Paul Robinson now has an artificial leg and in turn, a limp.

*** Following on from the footnotes of my last blog, 'bane' is another one of those words. I only ever hear it in the context - 'bane of my life'.


  1. I'm not sure that Paul Robinson comment is fair, I remember him and Izzy (probably spelt wrong) breaking into a house not long after he got his prosthetic and he could walk fine that day.

  2. Watch any episode now and you will see a limp. Stefan Dennis NEVER shirks his responsibilities as an actor.