Weeble’s, wobble…

Scary Weeble.

In the last few months, I’ve taken so many hits that I’m beginning to feel like a “Weeble” and just in case you’ve forgotten what a Weeble is or you’ve never heard of one, they are little oval (egg shaped) toys with rounded heavy bottoms. They are made to look sort of like people and the advert used to be, “Weeble’s wobble, but, they don’t fall down.”

So okay, the heart attack and the resultant surgeries could technically count as “falling down.” But (and a very big one) I did get right back up as quickly as six days later, when I was released from the hospital under my own recognisance. Which in my mind makes me a…

Weeble.

Unfortunately, since the heart attack I feel like all I’ve been doing is wobbling. Getting knocked around and over and getting back up again for another Weeble style pounding.

I can’t say that I really enjoy this pounding. And although I am still getting back up after each and every hit, it is getting harder. I don’t know if that’s because as I lose more weight I am becoming less bottom heavy or if I am just getting disoriented from all this wobbling.

My daughter and I used to love playing with the Weebles. They really did not fall down. You could smack one across the room. Bounce one off of a wall. Or even kick the little Weeble around the place like a tiny bottom heavy football. They would wobble wildly, but they did not fall down.

But to be honest, I’ve been taking Weeble hits since February this year.

SMACK!

13 February this year, I hurt my back at work.

WAP!

Mid March I go see my personal banker (lower caps because she couldn’t help me) and she says sorry, we can’t help your debt problem.

PUNCH!

24 August I go in to get two steroidal injections in my lower back for the pain. The last one hurts clear through the local anaesthesia.

KICK!

30 August I have my heart attack and then two surgeries. After the second emergency surgery I am told that they made a booboo in my aorta.

SLAP!

24 October I see the specialist who saved my life and find out I’ve got a “man-made” aneurism in my aortic arch. I will have it till I either die or it kills me. Surgery for this problem has such a low percentage of success, it is not an option.

STOMP!

23 November I get a letter from the medical organisation that determines my fitness for work and recommends me for a lower tier ill health retirement. This equals a poverty pay out. Oh and I could be declared as disabled.

K.O!

This would make the financial plans that have been worked out for me null and void and I won’t be making anywhere near the amount of money that the company based my plan on.

Now as a Weeble, the K.O. will not put me down, just out. I know that I will wobble about for a bit and then once movement has subsided, I’ll brace myself for the next assault. Unfortunately, I’m starting to flinch somewhat uncontrollably.

When I hear the letter flap go on the front door, I wince. As I look at each envelope to see what address is on the back of it, I hold my breath. If it is just junk mail, I let out a sigh of relief that would blow out a fifty candle cake. If, however, it is another Weeble type assault, the air rushes out of me like a punctured tyre.

Now I have not seen a Weeble advert in years on television. I had to Google Weebles on the internet to see if they still made them. To my surprise they still do make them, although they look a bit fancier than the ones my daughter and I played with. I did look at several images of Weebles, but I could not find one that looked like me.

So despite the fact that I feel like a battered and bruised Weeble, I don’t look like one.

Yet.

As I sit here, wobbling from this last attack on my existence, I think I might market a new toy, “The Meeble.” It would be a combination of a Weeble and a Timex watch. It will never fall down and it can take, “A licking and keep on ticking.”

Or at least it will as long as the battery doesn’t run out.

PLUS

EQUALS

Of Mosh Pits and Concerts

English: Willie Nelson and his guitar "Tr...
English: Willie Nelson and his guitar “Trigger” (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I was 53 years old before I found out what a ‘mosh’ pit was. And yes before you ask, if you did your maths right, that was this year. I only discovered what it was after reading an article on the BBC News website.

Not being a devotee of concerts (I have only been to two in my almost 54 years on this earth) I didn’t have a clue. It’s not that I don’t like ‘live’ music. On the contrary, I’ve seen enough live performances at clubs and the like for years. I can see you shaking your head in disgust now, “Only two concerts? Only…two? What a boring life you’ve had.”

In my defence I can only say the timing of concerts has, as a rule, always precluded my attendance. Only twice in my life has everything come together just right for me to attend proper ‘live’ performance.

In 1977 I went to my first concert. It was Willie Nelson and it was kind of accidental that I went at all. I had met a young blonde girl who worked as a waitress at the local Coney Island hot dog eatery. On a bet from a mate, I asked her out on a date.

Now this bet was not because she was ugly or overweight or strange looking. No, the bet was because the girl was gorgeous. My mate bet me that I could not get this heavenly creature to go on a date with me. I can only think that she was taking pity on the shy gawky teenager who tried first flirting then awkwardly asked what music she liked. This was my mate’s suggestion as he reckoned that as Fayetteville was a university town there would have to be a concert of some kind going on.

“Chicks just can’t turn down a rock gig dude.”

Amazingly she accepted, even after finding out that the concert was not of the rock variety. She was a Willie Nelson fan and was quite excited at the prospect of going. I secured two of the rapidly disappearing tickets (Nelson was and still is wildly popular) I rang her to say I had tickets in hand. We set up a time for me to collect her and that was that.

Or so I thought.

Between the phone call and the collection date, I met my first wife.

She worked in a local burger joint. One that I did not like to frequent because I’d once gotten a huge lump of soap in my milkshake there when they’d not cleaned their machines properly. I had a mate, not the same one that I’d been in Coney Island with, who was having a tough patch. He asked me go with him to the burger joint, I went along and made a note not to order a milkshake. As we were walking through the door and I was loudly telling him not to order a milkshake as they had soap in them, I looked toward the service counter and stopped dead in my tracks.

Behind one of the tills stood the most beautiful girl I had ever seen in the short time I’d been on earth.

I turned to my mate and said, “You see that girl there? I’m going to marry her.”

The first thing I did was march up to her till and ask her to attend the Willie Nelson concert with me. My mate stood at my side and his jaw dropped open. I then proceeded to talk her out of her current relationship with her boyfriend. By the time I left that night I had a different date for the concert and a new girlfriend. I ‘blew off’ the other girl (ah the cruelty of youth, although to be honest, she didn’t seem that bothered) and we went to the concert.

The moment the lights dimmed, a great cloud of pot smoke rose from the stage floor. In minutes we were engulfed in the stuff. I was so nervous that I was almost hyperventilating and was getting as high as a kite on the second hand reefer cloud. Before the music started, I noticed that my aunt and uncle were in the row in front of us. We started to chat and I went to introduce my new girl to them.

As I went to give them her name, my mind blanked completely. I would get to the bit where I’d say, “and this is…” Nothing that even remotely resembled a name appeared in my head. Everyone had a good laugh, except for my new girl, she was a bit irritated but managed to hide it fairly well.

I still blame it on the pot.

I would not attend another concert till I went to London with my daughter to see a visual Kei band a few years back. *I did write about that lovely experience in my blog, The Night My Ears Exploded.*

So it’s not surprising really that I never knew until today what a ‘mosh pit‘ was.

I wonder what I’ll learn next?

Mosh pit.

Relationships on line…The New Blind Date?

Come Dine with Me
Come Dine with Me (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

While  eating our tea and watching Come Dine With Me, a particular vice that we’ve grown accustomed to in our house (Don’t judge!), an advert for an ‘on-line’ dating service came on the telly. It was a very good one, they’d picked pleasant looking actors to play the parts of the singletons want to become a couple.

It prompted a short discussion, it had to be short after all we were on a commercial break.  My daughter mentioned that several people she knew had all met via the internet and were now in relationships. I found this very interesting, especially since most of the people that she was referring to were in their early twenties.

I suddenly realised that these young people would have had the same access to the internet that my daughter had. They were  probably about the same age when they started getting access to computers. It made me pause for thought.

Fourteen years ago, we got our first computer and we received a modem (dial up) for our initial ‘browsing’ on the web. In those days ‘chat rooms‘ were king. Every where you went had a chat room. Not only that but apart from the public chat rooms you could carry on a more in-depth conversation in a private version of the public room.

Chat rooms are still here, of course, but they are ‘supposedly’ monitored better.

Chat Room (film)
Chat Room (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Horror stories abounded. A thirteen year old girl was groomed by a thirty year old sailor. A twelve year old boy found that ‘his mate’ on-line was a fifty-four year old paedophile. Parents were understandably concerned and not a little paranoid.

We were lucky, my daughter was not a stupid child and the one time she felt alarms firing off in her head, she logged off immediately.

We had friends who were even luckier. Their daughter went and actually met the faceless person she had been interacting with via the net. I say luckier because the guy she met turned out to be who he said he was, another teenage boy her age and not Hannibal Lecter.

Other parents and their children were not so lucky.

Some of the children still haven’t been found.

Police and community groups scattered literature all over the place warning of the danger that the internet posed and that chat rooms were the devil’s playground.

Now just a short time later, everyone it seems who is single is using the internet to meet other singles. I don’t know but I should imagine that this whole dating over the net thing is worth millions if not billions of dollars/pounds/euros or currency of your choice or country.

I had a sudden thought. Are internet dating sites the new blind date for the single folks searching for love, companionship, or a quick fumble in the dark? It certainly looks like it. And it appears to be safer than its predecessor the ‘real blind date.’ But I don’t trust it.

Why? Well I remember the horror stories too well. Hell, I related them to my wide-eyed daughter repeatedly. I didn’t want her to wind up a statistic in a ditch somewhere. Yes, I know we have Skype and windows messenger, yadda, yadda. But the couples I know who initiated their relationship through the computer never used any of the chat vehicles where you can actually see who you are talking to.

Image representing Skype as depicted in CrunchBase
Image via CrunchBase

Is it all luck? Are the ‘dating Gods’ giving the single folks a break or are we becoming more truthful. Have the predators of the web moved on to easier targets? Or are they still out there and interested only in the very young fish they want to catch. It still scares me a little. The idea of meeting a stranger who you’ve only ‘spoken’ to on-line.

I’m not old-fashioned enough that I don’t like computers or the world-wide-web, I love ’em. I am computer literate enough to get my self in trouble.

No I just don’t like anything that just a few short years ago was considered dangerous. Despite the hazards that we all face when getting to know someone new, I would still rather do it the old -fashioned way.

Face to face and in person.