Wednesday, March 14, 2012

let's waste time, changing tyres...

I burst a tyre today. It’s not as easy as it sounds.  Not any old fool can do it. You have to be a very special kind of fool to get it right. You have to pick exactly the right kind of curb and then jab your wheel in at exactly the right angle.  You don’t have to be going very fast. It’s the angle that counts.  And the style of curb.  A normal curb won’t do the trick, you need to pick one that is made of stone with impossibly sharp edges.

A bergie sauntered up and offered help. Not so much mechanical help as moral support.  ‘I’ll be over there if you need me’ she said, pointing to the very, very far end of the park.

I’ve never had to change a tyre all on my own before and I was quite looking forward to it.  Well, not so much doing it as boasting about it later. How easy it all was and that I’m obviously a natural.  Bugger the whole breast-feeding in a power-suit; we all know that what truly proves your mettle as a modern woman is changing a tyre on your own.

Feigning annoyance (actually amped to use that winding thing) I set to work.  As I’d been on my way for a walk, I was comfortably dressed in my short-leggings (phew, Wheelchairboy not in sight). Leggings, you’ll be interested to know, are the perfect attire for tyre changing.  It’s all about stretch folks. With my arse on the tar and my legs spread-eagled I thought it would be helpful to keep calm by humming Gwen Stefani’s “Wind it up”.  At least I saw the funny side.

Not very far into my humming and winding (oh please, for the love of God, why is winding and winding spelt the same?!?!?) I hear a voice above my head.

‘I read somewhere once that when you come upon something like this, you’re supposed to help’.  What could I say?  I was hardly going to chase this helpful soul away.  Besides, the winding business was taking much, much longer than I’d expected due to me not quite getting the whole motion down pat. 

It was my turn to stand around unhelpfully, offering unhelpful moral support whilst HelpfulSoul changed the tyre for me. 

Just about to go for a run, he asked?  (I look like a runner?  That’s a first.)

No, I said. Just a walk, but there’s no point now. Would this count as exercise?

Maybe. No. Not really. So, do you work from home? (How could he tell? Do I have that home-worker look about me?) 

Yes.  How about you? 

Yup, working on a new venture. More stressful than being a salaryman. Do you live close by? (Friendly smile).

Just over the hill. Over that saddle over there. You? (Goofy smile).

Oh, close by. Just up there.

Had I been a single, leggy blonde, half my age, with a French accent, the whole exchange would have been a perfect movie moment as HelpfulSoul was no slouch in the looks department. What sealed the non-movie moment deal however, was that I was wearing my special Einstein-hairdo (which had gotten progressively worse with all that winding), my back-up Far-Side style sunnies (because bad hair is not enough) and my cycling leggings (in which I look exactly like a Russian hammer thrower - male.)

‘Gee, thanks so much – er, sorry, I didn’t get your name. You totally saved the day.’ (Paging Captain Corny. WTF?!?!)  

‘No problem, I’m Bruce. And you are?’


He looks at me funny then says ‘Bruce (points to him) Lee (points to me). What are the chances?’  I couldn’t stop laughing. Maybe there was a bit of a movie moment after all. 

Friday, March 9, 2012

green is for go ... to the doctor

I’ve been sick this week so my alter ego, Grumpyfuck, has taken over my personality. There’s something about being sick makes me seeeerrriaaasly miff.  Is it too much to ask to have perfect health and perfect weather year all round? They’re such simple needs, really.

Of course, sickness isn’t really newsy or exciting and by even admitting to health issues I sound like one of those old farts who likes to talk about their ailments.  It got me thinking though, about how it might be time to write a long letter to God, questioning where exactly he was going with this whole illness and disease business.

My first message to God regarding the whole body-fail business was via Twitter but apparently he’s not on Twitter (another shortcoming perhaps?) because he didn’t reply. It read, “Dear God. The whole menstrual cycle thing? Not your best work”. 

He certainly didn’t take the hint (it’s because I don’t pray enough, isn’t it?) as there’s been no improvement in that area to date. He probably thought that I was a bit of an upstart for suggesting he could have tried harder. Lucky for me, it turns out he’s an open-minded, approachable kind of chap as he didn’t strike me down with lightening. (Although given that he hasn’t changed the whole menstrual cycle thing I have my doubts as to whether he can actually do the whole lightening thing at all. I do miss those KZN electric storms - it might have been a fabulous way to go.)

Back to the bacteria. What exactly is their purpose?  I’m told we get sick as a way of strengthening our immune systems but if there were no bacteria to fight off, then our immune systems wouldn’t need to be so strong.  We’d all be milling around, in perfectly good health, having a fine time. 

Then there’s the natural selection theory.  The weak get sick (bad news for me) and the strong don’t – or at least do but get better eventually. But why can’t the weakest never be born in the first place? (although that'd be really bad news for me). Is the whole sales pitch ‘you’re a winner because your sperm came first place’ a hoax?

My more esoteric friends (I’m a little hokey) tell me that you get sick when your spirit is sending an important message to you.  That’s very kind of you, spirit, giving me the whole heads-up and all, but don’t you think it might be rather more effective to erect a big neon sign above the kettle?  This cryptic shit is for the birds.

Of course, the problems only start with illness itself, then there’s the treatment.  Why are there twenty thousand mucolytics on the market?  Surely one really kick-ass one is the way to go?  If we’ve been able to mastermind a universal remote then surely a universal-illness pill should be imminent? Now that’s innovative thinking right there, folks (take the hint, Cipla).

And if we really have to get sick, can’t we all just get the same sickness but in varying degrees (depending on how shitty you've been), using the same treatment but just doubling up as need be? 

As for stomach bugs. Puking and shooting through the eye of a needle? Really? That’s the best plan Big G could come up with?  If a virus or tummy bug entered my body via the air then surely I should just be able to fart it out – redistribute it via the air, so to speak.

More than anything, kids should not be subject to illness.  Really.  Till you’re old enough to read Lord of the Rings you shouldn’t get sick. 
(P.S.  I know that without illness there’s would be a lot of medical folk and pharmaceuticals out of work, but think of all the fun they could have doing other things instead? Hiking, singing, becoming tennis instructors, that kind of thing.)