Friday, July 29, 2011

so you think you can...

So it’s finally cold in Cape Town and while I’m having coffee with my friend Good-Knitter this week, she’s bandying around these knitted glove thingies.  You know the no finger ones like Fagan wears in Oliver Twist? I think they’re very cunning. After all, it’s tricky to pick your nose, wipe your bum and do a whole bunch of stuff if you have fingers on your gloves.

Incase you’re wondering, Best Knitter is the friend who provided me with blog-fodder for my piece ‘Hot Fuzz’, which was based on the book ‘Wild Knitting’ that she loaned me.  Oh the excitement!

She kindly forwards me her monthly Knitting Newsletter, which is all about the latest patterns and has included in the past: miniature knitted Royal Families, knitted cars (life sized, go figure) and knitted cell phones (we’re all against radiation, right?)  The latest pattern was very useful. Knitted cups and saucers.  Riiiight.

Back to the gloves. In a patient voice she was explaining how the thumb part is created and though I was nodding knowingly, it sounded entirely unachievable as it goes waaaay beyond knit one pearl one. We decided that some people are just knitting-show offs and that there could be a show dedicated to this. So You Think You Can Knit. I daresay, it would have a wider following then you could ever imagine.  Do you know that there are actual knitting cafĂ©’s around the world now? I’ll bet Gwyneth Paltrow owns one.

Contestants in SYTYCK would be given three balls of wool, two needles and limited amount of time to complete their piece. Kind of like Project Runway but without all the bitchy fashionistas.  Votes would be based on the most creative design (again, knit-one-pearl-one just won’t cut it here) and for interesting wool variations, perhaps incorporating things like your own hair. (And I know this can be done because Good Knitter actually knows someone who as a teddy bear knitted out of her chow’s fur.) There wouldn’t be enough chairs on stage for everyone and contestants would be plied with lots of booze.

To be fair, this idea isn’t totally original. Best Kisser (supported by the other men in the room at the time) already came up with an alternative show to  So You Think You Can Dance. The unanimous decision is that So You Think You Can F(beep)K is going to be the next big thing and given the drivel on TV, I don’t doubt the producers would have a stab at it, if you’ll excuse the pun. I mean apparently there’s a market out there for the Naked News. Which reminds me, which part do you take seriously, the news or the nakedness?

Here are some other ideas Fox dotcom might want to consider:

So You Think You Can Play Ping-Pong.  No fancy stuff with netherparts allowed.  Strictly bat and ball here folks.

So You Think You Can Get Married. Mormons have the edge on the rest of us here and are automatically disqualified.  Sharp objects must be left at home, including nail scissors (oh the shame of a bride who doesn’t have a French manicure!)

So You Think You Can Quarrel. People who have previously been on Jerry Springer won’t be allowed to compete as they’re already considered professionals.  Couples who’ve been married longer than 20 years also can’t compete because they don’t even realize that they’re quarreling anymore.

So You Think You Can Serve Me.  For all those annoying people who love to gripe in restaurants.  Camera ‘number two’ would show the behind-the-scenes shots of what servers do to your food to get their revenge.

So You Think You Can Walk Funny : no one legged contestants allowed (unfair advantage).  Props such as mechanical horses, g-strings, tight underpants, high-heels and chilli powder are allowed (to encourage diversity).

And finally,

So You Think You Can Sound Stupid.  OK, OK. I know that the Kardashians already have dibs on this slot but still, there are so many stupid people out there it seems a shame not to capitalize.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

tight spot...

It was with great excitement that I welcomed my little-big-sister to town a week ago.   For those who don’t know the family structure, she is 6 years my senior and for all that I am (um) big boned, tall and ungainly, she is petit, short and extremely agile.  So much so in fact, that I’ve actually seen her be in two places at once.  How we are from the same womb I will never know.

Bearing this in mind, I always make sure I’m feeling fit and have my game face on for some athletic type stuff when she’s around. It's fortuitous that I often mootch around in my gym stuff for the whole day - and so I was that I found myself scaling the mountain behind our house on the very afternoon that she arrived.

It was actually Mr. Professor-pants’ I idea so I sort of blame him and his recent fascination with Aron Ralstons’ story (a.k.a 127 Hours).  He initiated the adventure because naturally, when you see a movie about how someone survived being trapped in a canyon for 5 days, rehydrating on their own pee for the last three, you want to try it.   Despite the well-worn path to the beacon, the four of us decided to take the scenic route and boulder our way to the top.

I should point out that hiking with my kids is stressful.  Mr. Professor-pants has turned out to be a bit of a mountain goat and manages to get himself (alarmingly quickly) to heights that I couldn’t possibly rescue him from – not even if I had an IV of adrenalin attached to me.   Not only that, but Too-fast-too-furious has a nasty habit (still!) of finding random somethings en route to chew on. This could be a piece of plastic from a careless hiker’s drinking cap, a dead rock-climber’s old shoe, or a used band aid that has found renewed purpose in his mouth. Truly, I have given up on him giving up his oral fixation and plan on buying him cigars to chew on. George Burns at age 6.

I should also point out that my little-big-sister is a rock climber. A va-ery good one. One who has the ability to scale an entirely smooth surface like a hunted gecko. As we clamber away, she tries to assure me that I just need to get into the ‘zone’. WTF! What zone? The Zone Of Death? When I finally face the fact that my walrus attitude is not really working (apparently slithering is NOT very rock-climberish), I really put my back into finding this whole ‘zone’ thing.

At the time, I didn’t hear anything snap. There were no ripping noises and I didn’t accidentally break wind from physical strain. However, when I woke up the next morning, it was clear to me that I no longer had use of one of my legs. Which is a pity really, because I walk so much better with two. The pain emanated from my pubic bone (what? There’s a muscle there?) and stretched down to around my mid inner-thigh.  I quick self-diagnosis on the Internet (Doctors love it when we do that) revealed that I’d done something funny to my adductor muscle – most likely the adductor brevis or longus. Hard to tell really, because my thighs look absolutely nothing like those on the anatomical drawings.

Now what is an adductor brevis between legs, you might ask.  Well, you know how when you get into a car and require some enthusiastic muscle to bring the second leg in – that’s your adductors working. That and of course, it’s the muscle that helps you perform useful daily activities like split jumps, inline skating and just plain walking.

Suitably humbled, it turns out that fear isn’t enough of a motivating factor to give you instant climbing abilities. And just so you know, should you get grievous with your brevis, I can guarantee that having an ice pack on your pubic bone will not be the highlight of your year.