Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Old, decrepit and, oh I dunno, smelly?

Recently I had a little run in with my uncoordination and an inflatable air bag at the delightful 'Inflatable World', an establishment designed for people not 41 years old, and who are more nimble, bendy and bouncy than I.

The day started fine, I supervised kids playing on the blow-up equipment, marvelling at their joy and determination. I encouraged my daughter, and others, in their quest to run along an inflatable race way in an attempt to reach as far as possible before being yanked backwards by the elastic tether around their waists.

But, like all good things, temptation got the better of me...I needed to participate.

Remember that show Gladiators? Neither do I, but that was how things kind of played out.

A battle area with two podium-like posts in the middle.
Take your place and attempt to knock off your opponent. Not "knock off", but knock off!

It felt like this...

Your powers are weak old man/woman/sith
Giant inflatable weapons, graceful and targeted. It was a battle for the ages.
In reality, it was a couple of unco 40 something's swinging and missing while children watched.
More like this...

Stop! No, you stop, NO, YOU STOP! etc
Anyway, the adrenaline was rushing, enthusiasm was high, it was on to the Big Ball Challenge, which sounds sexier than it actually is.

For this...thing...you start at one end, lunge gracefully onto the first of four inflatable balls, then skip across them to the finish.

Easy, peasy, and dare I add, Lemon Squeezy?

Exhibit A.

Dainty, nimble, like floating on a cloud
Scaling the side, I watched as children (bless their little hearts) pranced across. The darling cherubs, my daughter, my friend's daughters, stranger's children...we all chuckled heartily. Oh yes, yes we did.

"Ah ha ha ha ha haa, what fun, what a jolly day we're having" was probably said by someone at some stage, I'm probably paraphrasing, but the vibe was similar.

No sooner had my foot landed on the first ball, I was on my arse on the side like a massive idiot.

Completely unco.

Hey kids, aren't I a cool Dad!? Kids? Anyone?

"Ah ha ha ha ha haa, what fun, what a jolly day we're having".

Returning to the scene of the battle from beforehand, I paused to beat up a young friend, then decided it was time to take on a bigger challenge.

Devil's Drop.

Devil's drop is a 3-4 metres jump onto a big airbag. What could go wrong?


It doesn't look TOO bad

For starters, I decided that falling backwards was a smart idea. It was not.
About an eighth of a millisecond into my fall, I suddenly realised I was not the tiniest bit comfortable falling backwards...anywhere! 

Douglas Adams once wrote "The knack of flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

I wasn't actually trying to fly, I don't have the knack and I didn't miss!

In fact, I hit rather well.

As I slammed my back into the airbag I thought "This is dropping faster than I...OWWWWWWW".

A over T as they say in the classics.

Rather than one giant air cushion, onto which I had planned to delicately spread myself and land like a gazelle. Wait, they have horns, so probably more like something unhorned and less leggy, let's just say a feather, or maybe a few feathers cos I'm heavier than that...maybe a sort of squat looking bird.

How about this fella?

A pelican. Graceful, delicate, kinda dumpy.

Rather than plopping gently on the cushion like our friend above, I kind of fell like when you drop your toast on the floor. That pregnant pause. "Oh....ohh. Shit". 

Except, unlike your toast, when I hit my legs flipped up and bent me in half. Although I still made that kind a "Splat" noise.

Why did this happen?

It seems that rather than my target being one BIG airbag, it was in fact six smaller ones covered to look like one big one. So when dingus here landed, one airbag compressed, taking my full weight, and the one next to it didn't need to! Instead when my legs hit, they were flipped away and folded onto me. Surplus to the second airbag's needs.

Good for paper, not good for Michael
A lot of people talk about the pain of childbirth. I won't do that here because I'm not a moron, despite what you've just read which may suggest otherwise, but let me assure you, I could not cope! 

This pain was immediate, sharp and made be cry.
I think the Dr at the ER gave me two weeks off work on "Stupid Leave".

My friends and family were lovely looking out for me. It's hard seeing anyone you care about in pain, more so when they're a big man-sook who doesn't realise he's too old to be jumping off inflatable ledges.

The Dr was nice and assured me it wasn't because I was old, it could happen to anyone.
The inference being I was just an idiot.

The moral of this story is to simply look after yourself.

There's a lot that's going to go wrong with us all eventually, it's a reasonable suggestion to not contribute to that by being a twit.

Having said that, I have vowed to experience more things this year. To do stuff I haven't done before or try new things. You only live once and as long as you're not dead, that's a good starting point :)

So...who wants to go rock climbing?

Seriously though...

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