PICTURE THIS: A 63-year-old woman with with one arm stuck in a post box, while desperately trying to summon help from passing motorists with the other.
It might sound like a scene from a comedy TV show but that's what happened to grandmother Teresa Taylor in Southshore two weeks ago.
"I parked beside the post box on the corner of Caspian St and Rocking Horse Rd. I was just posting a cheque to pay my rates.
"It was a windy day. I've posted dozens of letters at that post box and have never had a problem. Sometimes if it's quite windy, the letter will come out of the box as you slide it in.
"The envelope was quite flimsy so I wanted to make sure it went all the way in," she said yesterday.
``I pushed it right in. My two flat rings on my right hand finger had gone through, which had jammed my fingers in the
slot of the mail box. I was stuck.''
She tried desperately to pull her hand free, but nothing worked.
Her grandson, Alex, 4, who she had just picked up from kindergarten was sitting in the car. So was Mrs Taylor's cellphone.
``I was in panic mode and I just wanted to get my fingers out of the post box. So I kept pulling and pulling. I didn't care about the pain or my rings I just wanted to get my fingers out. I could feel my hand getting fatter and fatter.''
For 15 minutes she desper ately waved to passing cars in the hope they would stop. But the drivers generally waved back, unaware of her predicament.
Finally a motorist stopped. He tried to free her, but couldn't. So he called the Fire Service.
``Alex asked what I was doing. I just told him my hand was stuck in the post box. But when I told him the fire engine was coming he was so excited.
``He was dancing on the bus stop seat with his fingers in his ears hoping the siren would be going. There was no siren,
thank goodness,'' she said.
``Four good-looking firemen'' came to her rescue, she said.
``They came down so quickly which was great. My fingers were free in a few minutes. I appreciated their efforts be
cause it was such a silly thing.
``My fingers were stuck in the post box for about half an hour,'' she said.
Wainoni fire station officer Mark Elstone said he thought fire communications were joking when the call came through.
``I thought: `how the hell do you get your hand stuck in a post box.' I couldn't believe it,'' he said.
Equipped with a Halligan bar, which has a claw, a blade and a tapered pick, like a crowbar, the crew managed to
manoeuvre the bar into the slot and lift it up, which widened the gap for Mrs Taylor to get her hand out.
``Her afternoon definitely took an unexpected turn. Given the circumstances, she was calm.
``It's the first time in my 25 years experience that I've ever attended an incident like this one,'' he said.