Saturday, July 22, 2006

A day like a train wreck

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?

Padge extends a paw


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.


Boysenberry said...

Certainly sounds like a day I had a few weeks ago. Anything that could have gone wrong, did; but the end result was satisfactory.

Kerryn Goldsworthy said...

And are you at home today, under that blanket with that cat, getting your boys to bring you what Helen Garner calls 'pretty snacks at sensitive intervals'?

Hot chocolate made with Haigh's Gourmet Drinking Chocolate and Kangaroo Island honey from the only pure strain of Ligurian bees left in the world is good.

seldom said...

mmm - went into DJs in civic the other day to buy some winter pjs for a 10-year-old. Couldn't find any, only summer shorties. The sales assistant looked snootily at my dirty blunnies and said 'Retail doesn't work like that'--ie in tune wiht the seasons. I think you'll be fine looking for swimmers. :)

Ampersand Duck said...

Yeah, what is that? I don't remember this happening when I was younger. When did our retail cycle start staying in sync with the Northern hemisphere? it's totally illogical.

Yes, found some swimmers today quite easily. And our ancient video player died last night (see? the universe was really against me), so I went shopping for a new one and found that DVD recorders have become quite reasonable. Unfortunately middle-of-the-range DVD players aren't as flexible (inregard to world zomes) as dirt-cheap DVD players, so to watch our dodgy Bollywood DVDs we'll have to keep our old DVD stcked on top of our new DVD!

Who thinks up these things??!!

Ampersand Duck said...

[sigh] world ZONES

... and STACKED.

Ampersand Duck said...

And, oh, PC -- you make me feel like such a pampered kitty! Helen has such a fabulous way of phrasing things. She's one of my favorite authors.

I'm a bit fond of Russian Caravan tea with a small spoonful of strong honey and milk. I got a cup this morning, which gave me the strength to get up!

Zoe said...

zomes was good - but "I really hate -- hate hate HATE -- ebing thought of as incompetent." was better.


love ya babe

Ampersand Duck said...

DOH! heh. It's been a really frustrating weekend. I keep stuffing up the doorbitch codes, too...over and over. Temporary dyslexia.

Anonymous said...

We have the cheap dvd too - but be careful, ours died in a blackout. So keep the receipt - or keep it switched off.

Val said...

I read your blog every day, and reasonably enough, you do not post every day. So why is it that when I go away for a couple of days, no internet access, yea, access to the electricity grid, you have about 6 excellent posts for me to catch up on. Hmmmm?

Har har! Was the lifeguard a good looking hunk? You didn't say - important info!

The out of synch clothing retailers have been at it for years, I'm not surprised you found bathers in the middle of winter. And when else can you find warm woollen jumpers except when it's so hot that you can barely tear yourself away from the jug of gin and tonic at your elbow?

Love that photo of the train, have seen it somewhere before, and so appropriate for your day.

Mr. Padge, as usual, as the correct response to such days, anticipating them in advance.

Melly` said...

I disagree about cheap dvd's - the more expensive ones have added stuff for copywrite type stuff (i am not advocating stealing) HOWEVER... get one that reads vcd dvd etc etc.... ours cost under $50 at Big W and they play EVERYTHING. It suits me to copy movies to vcd... cd's are cheaper.... We have been so happy with our cheapo's there is one for ever tv in the house now.....and XP lets us throw the vcd movies to the tv if the codec is the wrong one for the dvd player.