Escapee prawns, girl crushes and dodgy pelvic floors


I was a little bleak yesterday – hormones – so deciding what to blog about today was tricky because I was completely not in the mood.

The thing I most wanted to download was my terror about getting old. An old woman in crimpoline pants and a polyester floral shirt shuffled past me in the gym carpark yesterday. She had a terrible hacking cough. I looked over my shoulder to make sure she was OK and not lost, because she seemed a bit … not right … and that’s when I noticed she’d wet herself. But she got into her car, so I figured a combination of weak pelvic floor, illness and old age were to blame rather than disorientation.

So I left her to it, rather than embarrassing her further. But I went into the gym feeling gloomy. Because old age is so horrible. The incontinence, the thick, dry old skin on your calves, the ankles swollen with fluid retention, the loose, shrivelled skin everywhere else. The failing eyesight, the failing memory, the failing everything really.

Gym class perked me up slightly. A lovely mid-30s lass called Lianne takes the 8am Sunday body pump. She’s Dutch, so there’s a gorgeous accent and the most dazzling enthusiasm that she brings to an otherwise arduous hour. But then, I get girl crushes on most of my gym instructors. They’re so motivated and fit and cheery. Everything I wish I was …

I got a bit wobbly again at one point though, when we had to do a series of squat jumps. It reminded me of the old lady’s pelvic floor, which lead me to worry about the pelvic floors of all the other women in the class. Surely squat jumps are a little … hazardous … after you’ve popped out a few kids.

My pelvic floor – fortunately – is the tautest bit about me, since both my children came into the world via caesareans.

And then I started thinking women wetting themselves wasn’t really the sort of thing people wanted to read on a Monday morning … so I scrambled for something else and … nuh, nuthin’.

Unless I trot out my prawn story again … sooooo …

We went to yum cha yesterday – ah, the joy of credit cards – and every time I go there I’m reminded of the time we saw a prawn madly scrambling down the street, presumably having escaped from one of the restaurant’s fish tanks.

Here’s the blog I wrote about it (and other weird things I’ve seen in my life) …

A funny thing happened on the way home from jail yesterday. I looked out the car window and saw a guy toting an enormous wooden cross down the street. I’m talking three metres long by two metres wide and really thick. There weren’t any churches nearby. He didn’t look like a nut job. More like a nice, lost country boy, with his jeans and leather akubra. His destination remains a mystery, but it started me thinking about the quirky moments life throws at you. Like the time I looked in my rear-vision mirror in a busy Leichhardt street and saw two rabbits shagging on the bitumen. Or the day a clown in full regalia, driving a rainbow-hued clown car, chugged past me on the freeway. Not all the weirdness has involved cars and therefore can’t be blamed on exhaust-leak hallucinations. Like when I walked the “pilgrim trail” – which involves limping 400km across Spain and sleeping in dormitory-style accommodation with lots of farting Frenchmen – and saw a couple of fellow pilgrims staggering along with a two-metre-tall statue of the Virgin Mary. You’d catch glimpses of her head bobbing along above hedges along the route. Another couple decided a six-month-old baby was a good thing to strap to their chests for the journey. I thought that was more bizarre than the Virgin, even before I had kids. Post-kids I think it was complete madness. Exploring Vienna, I saw a guy trying to beat another guy up with a ladder. A big, long ladder. Not an easy thing to do, but he was giving it his best shot. Last week, I spotted a live prawn struggling along the pavement in Crows Nest. The logical side of my brain tells me he’d probably been emancipated from the fish tank of a nearby Chinese restaurant by a helpful toddler. However, I like to think he’d made the leap himself and crawled half a block on sheer bloody-mindedness. My point? Hmmmm … I don’t really have one. Other than that life is quirky. And I like it that way.

Aaaaand hopefully those wacky recollections have made you feel a little less grim than you did when you started reading my blog. Happy Monday!

PS I have no idea why I didn’t stop and rescue that prawn, or even return it to its tank. We were dashing across a pedestrian crossing and the moment just passed. I kinda regret not going back. Poor prawn.

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