It happened when I went to collect my son from school.
Now I am always late for school - this means that I have to sort of power march the whole way there in order to ensure my son isn't the last kid sitting on the carpet sobbing 'but I thought mummies came back?'.
The sun was out, the pram was moving like a salmon through a glacial stream, my iPOD was on and I was STRIDING. Striding very very fast.
I had just passed the HQ of one of Britain's leading employers and was outside the muscle man gym (name changed for legal reasons and pending court cases). The muscle men were outside - taking the sun, catching the rays, stretching their limbs, dealing drugs (allegedly), sharing tips on how to best annihilate the enemy (allegedly). Life was good. I was in the 'zone'.
And then it happened.
Without any prior warning the pram stopped.
It went from moving extremely fast to standing totally still in about 0.09 seconds.
Obviously there was a delay in my reactions. Whilst the pram crashed, my body continued to move forward very fast and I found myself continuing my journey, up over the handlebar and onto the pavement. The pram pitched onto it's side. The baby dropped his muffin and looked annoyed.
Some of the muscle men came over to help me. I wasn't hurt - just shocked and rather embarrassed.
What had happened? It had felt as if a wheel had just sheered off (this did actually happen with a previous pram - I ended up having to push 2 children 2 miles with an entire wheel missing - the pram was up on it's back wheels doing a sort of extended wheelie for the duration of the journey. It must have looked an utter dick - for a change).
As I brushed the dust off my hands and checked for cuts I glanced down at the offending wheel of the pram.
What on earth?
It looked as if a large, bright ginger, Persian cat was caught up in the wheel.
How could I have hit a cat and not even noticed? NOW WHAT!? Was it dead? Did we need a vet. Oh god - I've killed something! With a PRAM!
Then I realised that it really couldn't be a cat - cats don't, generally, have ringlets.
One of the muscle men bent down 'there's something round your wheel love' (observant these men of steel).
'Yes, I can see' I said as the grim reality dawned.
It was not a cat. It was my wig.
The situation was thus: some time ago I attended a fancy dress party as 'Ginger Spice'. For this event I wore a waist length curly ginger wig. I was recently having a big clear out and took loads of stuff to the charity shop. The wig fell out of the bag and got left behind so I chucked it into the basket under the pram so I could drop it off next time I passed. At some point during my journey some hairs from the wig must have got caught round the moving part of the pram wheel. As I walked, faster and faster, the hairs spun tighter and tighter until KABOOM - the entire wig was catapulted out of the pram basket and embedded itself, like an angry ginger octopus, around the pram wheel causing it to instantly stop.
So I was now stuck - I was already late for school and I needed to get moving NOW but the wig was really very very tangled round the wheel. Of course ALL the muscle men wanted to help.
'What is it love?'
'It's a wig'.
Silence. I don't think they felt up to commenting. Or maybe they had already used their word quota up for the day.
Thus ensued a 5 minute farce where various men capable of lifting 100lb barbells with a single hand grunted and struggled to release Ginger Spice's barnet from my pram wheel.
As the time ticked by my anxiety grew. I was now running really late. Did I need to call the school? 'Yes, sorry I will late to pick my son up. I'm currently outside the gym experiencing technical difficulties. Synthetic hair in my gears - you know how it is! Don't worry - I have a lot of men trying to get them out'.
No, I would not call the school.
At that point one of the muscle men rose up clutching the wig in triumph.
'Got it love!'.
'Thanks so much!' I gushed, shoving the scarlet tendrils into my handbag and leaving the scene at even greater speed than I arrived.
So there we are but that's the thing about life - strange things rise out of the past and stop you in your tracks when you least expect it. Especially wigs.....