Saturday, July 22, 2006
A day like a train wreck
I can't believe today. One of those days when I really should have just lazed around the house with a good book or caught up on my sleep.
Instead, since it was Bumblebee's first full day home in two weeks, we took him and a friend to the swanky new indoor pool near the Belconnen town centre. When it came to paying the entrance fee, we (BB and I) discovered that we had no money. I had left my card wallet at home, BB had left his wallet at home (thinking that I would have enough cash) and I only had about $4 in loose change. Bugger. Luckily Bumblebee's friend's dad had given us $10 for her to spend, so we scraped together the basic entrance fee and I negotiated that if they let BB and the kids in with full waterslide rights, I would dash home in the car and get the difference. OK, said the prepubescent cutie at the cash register, and I went on a mercy dash, feeling cranky at myself.
Of course, crankiness begets brain slippage, and although it didn't take long to dash to the magnificently titled Downer (named after Alex's dad or grandad) and back, my embarrassment was still in its early stages.
Since I now had my card wallet (I keep a business card wallet full of cards and a separate change purse), I paid for a locker to stash my gear. These lockers are cunning beasties. You put your money in, key in a pin number, then it tells you which locker is yours and you have about 5 seconds to open said door before it locks again.
My problem started with being flustered and not reading the instructions first. I saw an open locker door, put my stuff in, and went to pay for it. Realised then that this was not going to be my locker, grabbed my stuff, then managed hastily to open the door of the right locker in time.
Swim swim swim, a few goes on the waterslide (which brought back memories of being a teenager in Townsville with only a waterslide and a skating rink for entertainment -- and also memories of those horrible stories people used to spread about the plastic tubes cracking and cutting people, or that thugs used to place razor blades along the tube with chewing gum for the next unsuspecting victim... oh, it still makes my skin creep now) and an attempt to do some laps for my health, and then we all wanted a snack and a drink. Time to get my money out of the locker.
I am not a technically unproficient person. I am also not a helpless female. But those f**king lockers had me beat. No matter how many times I keyed in what I thought was the right information, the screen kept telling me to 'sod off and get the manager, you daft twat'. When I finally got the lifeguard on manager duty, I could tell that the 'daft twat' thought didn't just belong to the machine.
Eventually we did get the locker open. And it was empty. And then I realised what I'd been doing. My extremely visual memory had locked onto the FIRST locker, the one I didn't use. DOH. So I thanked the manager and tried the right locker. The pin didn't work here either. Gritting my teeth worse than usual, I got the lifeguard again. And he all but rolled his eyes, of course. Opened that locker and yes, there was my bag. Very embarrassed, I grabbed my bag, thanked him and scarpered.
It was only after a snack and a bit more of a swim that I realised -- with a chill -- that I'd left my shoes in the locker. I really hate -- hate hate HATE -- ebing thought of as incompetent. But that lifeguard had me pegged. He saw me approach the machine, try my pin hopefully once more and fail, and he'd started walking towards me before I'd even turned to look at him. Gnash.
Driving home with a carload of warm chlorine scented people, I pondered what had gone wrong. I popped into the shops to buy some booze to absorb the crankiness and keyed my usual pin number into the EFTPOS machine. And then it hit me. I'd been trying the wrong pin. Because the locker keypad was upside down from the EFTPOS one, and there were no little letters to aid me visually.
Only minor glitches in relation to war in Lebanon and starving millions, but enough to make me wish I'd stayed home. Cats know these things. There are days when Padge gets up, looks at the day and goes for a wander around the neighbourhood. Other days, he takes one look outside, and rain or shine, just goes 'nuh' and keeps his head low. Don't you, big boy?
POSTSCRIPT: I forgot to mention that not only did all the above happen, but Bumblebee's swimmers (an all-in-one suit) chose yesterday to completely lose all elasticity... what used to be a quite well fitted Spiderman suit suddenly looked like a wrist-to-ankle floppy see-through sack! He didn't care, just ran around hoiking it up constantly. Absolutely no inbetween sagginess over the last few weeks! Ay ay ay. I have to take him out today to find a new set before his swimming lesson on monday. But it's mid-winter? Will there be anything to find?
Actually, I'll probably have more chance of finding him a new swimsuit than of finding him a winter jacket, which was last fortnight's saga. Shops are weird that way.