Monday, February 12, 2007

Monkeys swimming in a circle

The class that I was… uhm… blessed to be a part of from the age of seven to fifteen, consisted of 25 monkey-brains (and a small handful of normal people). That’s right; monkey-brains. I honestly think that they all escaped from a lab, or something. I once saw a documentary where a bunch of scientist were doing research on monkeys. One of them was given lipstick and a large mirror and immediately began to smear its face with it. That’s half of the girls in my class, right there.

But I digress.

Once a week, our teacher would herd us all into a pool where we were supposed to swim around and around in a large circle. It didn’t take me very long to realise that this was a tremendous waste of time, since there was no way to swim in a circle with close to 30 people without being kicked in the face by the idiot swimming in front of you. Neither could you increase the space between you and the aforementioned idiot, without whacking the moron behind you (not that that necessarily was a bad thing). So I ended up trying to find a mode of swimming where I wouldn’t be kicked or kick, yet at the same time stay floating just enough so that I wouldn’t drown. It would not stand. And since I’m not a monkey-brain, I quickly came up with a cunning plan.

I scratched my thighs, legs and arms and claimed to be allergic to the chlorine in the water. And my teacher actually believed me (I guess that might made him a monkey-brain, as well). So from that day on, I spent every swim class in a little, green room with a book. Nobody kicked me, and I didn’t have to swallow a bunch of icky water that 30 other people had wriggled around in. The room also had a window, so that I could watch the other poor bastards as they swam and tried (mostly without success) to avoid flying feet and arms. Perfect.

Could this strategy be transferred to gym, I wondered? And indeed it could. I had a wrist injury. I didn’t fake it. It actually required surgery at one point. Our teacher was fairly strict about his students showing him reports from home when they were going to sit out on the oh so fascinating rounds of volleyball or football, which was all that the classes consisted of. All of the monkey-brains thought that both these things were tremendous fun. If they could chase a ball for a couple of hours and then go into the locker rooms and inhale half a can of hairspray (and in those days they had the kind of spray that looked like dust if you used to much of it), they were perfectly happy.

Then one day when I had forgotten to bring my gym clothes, I discovered that the same rule didn’t apply to me. The coach seemed to assume that it was because of my poor, fragile wrists. I had started to feel that if I had to catch another damn ball, I would break someone’s face with it out of pure frustration and boredom, so I couldn’t let this opportunity just slip away. From that day on, I never had gym again. Nobody questioned it.

I did read a lot of books, though. And I got a B.

Monkey and a duck by Scottobear for


Hageltoast said...

ah the trials of youth, oh hang, it doesn't really get better. Sharing an office with monkey brains is simliar to sharing a pool, but less wet.

Jazz said...

Can't help but wonder if I could use the same sort of excuse to get out of work... I dunno, like I'm allergic to databases or something?

choochoo said...

Hagel - I'm working on a way to transfer what I learned back then to now.

Jazz - you are allergic to databases. You get all weird and scary every time they make you handle one:P

Anonymous said...

Sounds as though your approach to gym was very similar to mine. I in fact avoided gym for a whole year by never turning up for the first class.

mist1 said...

I have a fear of monkeys in people clothes. Tomorrow, please post about shoes to make up for the scare you gave me today.

Jocelyn said...

Wow. I'm starting to think you might not like football.

And I totally had you pegged as a real "football" kind of gal.

The world feels off kilter now.

Steven said...

You've just reminded me of somthing that will soon become a blog... ;)


Mr. Fabulous said...

I hated gym. As such, you are totally my hero.

choochoo said...

msdemmie - I'm surprised that more people didn't think of these things. lol

mist1 - oh dear... And I thought for sure that the duck with clothes on would soften the blow.


Steve - now I'm curious;)

mr. Fabulous - it almost requires some sort of superhero outfit

Evil Spock said...

That was brilliant! Evil Spock hopes that the lack of physical fitness, coupled with your love of literature didn't turn you into a stick with a large cranium. Though Bobbleheaded people seem to be all the rage lately (see Olsen twins, Hayden Panettiere).

Oh, would you be interested in doing some sort of blog link exchange?

Anonymous said...

nice post. the monkey thing reminds me a way to handle office stress, which advise people to see monkey... monkey seems contributes a lot to people :)

choochoo said...

evil spock - Well, my hair was awfully big back then, so my head could very well have matched it better. Sure we can exchange links.

aroengbinang - Gotta love a monkey