The Ruminator

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Tuesday, April 08, 2003

The Wednesday Whinge

I know that violence against children is wrong. It's just that, sometimes, it's really, really tempting.

One of my latest resolutions has been to go swimming every weekday during my lunch break. There is a 50m pool quite close to my office, which means that I can swim 1km and get back to the office looking vaguely respectable within a reasonable timeframe. Yesterday I approached the door with some foreboding - there was a group of around 40 teenagers standing around outside. I went in anyway as they appeared to be waiting to leave, not enter. As I walked down the corridor toward the change-rooms, I realised they were waiting for the rest of the class.

Don't get me wrong, I actually quite like children, in general. In principle I would like to have some of my own one day. But a room full of shrieking 13-year-old girls is a hell which no one should be forced to endure. Particularly if the room is small and tiled, causing every sound to rebound and echo with frightening intensity. There must have been about 30 of them. It felt like 300.

At one point, sick of dodging around clusters of young girls clutching towels protectively to their non-existent breasts, I retreated to the toilets. This was a mistake. Every other cubicle had a 13-year-old girl in it, and they were yelling at each other from one end of the block to the next. Then they actually started a 'who can make the loudest noise' competition. Through all this there was a teacher in the next room, but she was obviously immune to this by now (or deaf) and didn't try to get them to stop. Which meant that not only was she of no use in stopping the madness, she also prevented me from following my natural instinct, which was to start screaming "Shut the fuck up you little fuckers before I come in there and make you", and move on from there.

Fortunately I managed to blow off a lot of my acquired tension in the pool.

And another thing. Every time I go to the pool these days there is at least one person walking up and down in the shallow end. I have no problem with this. It is probably quite good exercise. But given that it makes you, by quite a substantial margin, the slowest thing in the pool, wouldn't you think that this was an activity best undertaken in the slow lane? Especially if you decide to relieve the boredom by going with a friend and walking side-by-side in the lane? No? Well, let's just hope that I don't cause us both the trauma of swimming straight into your spongy arse before I realise you are there.

My other whinge for the day is that I have to get my windscreen replaced today. I was just driving over one of the bridges that cross the lake, heading for the city, when a small stone flung up by the car in front of me made a chip in my windscreen. Which turned into a crack. Which got bigger. I wouldn't mind so much if I had been driving somewhere exciting, on a dirt road. It's a chance you take. But I can't believe I ruined my windscreen driving through the middle of bloody Canberra.

Oh well, I feel better now. One of my housemates made everyone blueberry pancakes for breakfast this morning, so life can't be all bad.