26 April 2008

Car Assembly & Temporary Ineptitudes

The conception of this blog was Tanya’s, but she is too considerate to actually write it. I, however, think it is a great idea. Seeing as I am the subject of the blog; I have no reservations in lying bare my occasional – and not so occasional – ineptitudes. So enjoy now Confessions of a Confused.

One of my first memories of illicit ineptitude was as an eight or nine year old. As I recall one evening my sisters and I were being babysat by a family friend. She was an older lady and as such didn’t put us in front of the TV as any young self-respecting babysitter would; rather she decided to entertain by playing games, but these weren’t board games or anything of that genre, rather these were the games of a bygone age when the only thing you had to entertain yourself was yourself, and the occasional stick if you were lucky.

One this particular evening she decided that we were to play “London Bridge.” The archaic game involves the raising and lowering of arms in a bridge-like fashion to ensnare the frantic kids running through them in a circle. I felt awkward at first, running in a circle in the living room, trying not to get caught in the old woman grip-of-death, which would mean exposure to extremely toxic doses of cheap, watered-down, yet nauseously potent, perfume.

For some reason that evening, my sense of direction became instantaneously impaired – the effects of which I still suffer today – and I became disoriented in my own living room. The circle, which to this point had been rotating in a counter-clockwise fashion, suddenly didn’t make sense to me anymore, and I began to run in a clockwise fashion. This led to an inevitable, and slightly painful, collision with Rebecca as I breached the flow of the circle, and hence, according to the babysitter, the natural flow of the karmic Universe. This was the beginning of my life-long exchange with sudden bouts of inexplicable confusion.

Now for more recent events. This week Tanya’s car was broken into. It was an upsetting affair; this being the second time her car has been broken into right in front of her own home. My car was in the repair shop that morning and Tanya was going to drive me to school. She picked me up in her parent’s car and we went back to her place to survey the damage. We decided to skip our normal institute class as I had a paper to finish and we were already fairly late. I finished my paper, and we headed up to school. The dashboard of her car was still torn out and lying on the passenger’s side floor like the sad remains of a gazelle after a lion hunt. I sat down, buckled the seat belt as a formality – those of you who know Tanya’s car will be familiar with the recent breakage of her seatbelt, which no longer retracts and leaves you with a pile of belt in your lap – and began to inspect the dashboard.

I found the central panel and decided to be useful and reinsert it into the dash. I attempted to instate it in its former position, but for some reason it wouldn’t go in. I remember briefly attributing this in my mind to possible damage from the burglary. As I continued my attempts, the dash still would not go in. I sat rather baffled for a moment. Tanya, meanwhile, had been taking note of my failed attempts, and began to chuckle slightly. Confused at the apparent humor in the situation, I attempted one last time to reinsert the panel. Tanya was laughing full on by this point. She took the panel, flipped it around, and easily inserted it into its previous location. I had apparently been trying to insert it upside-down the entire time. My man-ego slightly bruised, we continued to school joking about the incident.

The day went by uneventfully and that evening found us once again at Tanya’s house. We sat in the kitchen, Tanya had just showered, and I was enjoying an episode of Seinfeld. As Tanya started to wash her face I became distracted, and start to observe the process with some interest. She took the opportunity involve me – something I think she may have been attempting for some time – to get me to clean my face. I proceeded to clean my face, not without some difficulty, I hadn’t shaved and the cotton pad kept getting hung up on my stubble. This step finally accomplished, it was time to moisturize. She passed me the bottle of lotion and I attempted to extract some. My attempts proved futile as I pushed the lotion bottle, nothing came out. I again pushed and still no lotion. Looking to Tanya for a bit of help, she laughed, reached over, and opened the lid. This apparently was not a pump lotion, but rather a squeeze lotion. I had been pressing against the sealed lid the entire time.

I could go on for quite some time in this vein of investigation, but this blog is becoming tediously long. If you are interested in the subject, don’t mind asking me one day about Mac & Cheese, right turns, divided candy bars and fi, fi, fi.


Tanwon said...

Thank you for letting me relive those moments again through your writing! I'm still laughing. :)

Michemily said...

John, you write wonderfully well.