Monday, May 5, 2008

The Case of the Walker

I requested that The Father and I drop by one of those Outdoor Fitness Corners (one of these 'Town Improvement Works' by your government to entice you to vote for them in the next election improve your lifestyle) in our neighborhood when he was driving me home from work in the evening.

I needed the workout. Ever since my injury, the type of activity that has any semblance of an exercise is either hobbling my way to work, or the futile practices of hobbling down a flight of stairs at home. Both activities always left me sweating buckets and soaking wet whatever I was wearing that particular day: an image not too great for work, really. Plus my Manager has commented that I've "gained weight" since she last saw me last year. So BO PIAN LAH.

Once again, the crutches invited much attention from the children and aunties and uncles and domestic helpers seated at the benches that surrounds the fitness corner. Well, not THAT much attention: most of them simply glanced up from whatever they were doing after hearing the clak-clak sounds from my crutches, stared for maybe 3 to 5 seconds, realised I'm not much of a freakshow afterall, and got back to what they were doing earlier.

I went to one of those machines that allowed me to work out my flappy flabby arms: there were only two of those around, and I couldn't play with those that required the use of my legs. The Father played along and tested out the different machines as well. He was in his usual office getup, the SAME getup for the past 20 years: tailored collared-shirt, tailored trousers and a seasoned pair of leather shoes. No doubt the man looked really out of place in that getup in a fitness corner, but he really wasn't that kind of man who shops at World of Sports, if you know what I mean.

After awhile, The Father backed off from the fitness corner while I hobbled around in my crutches. My eyes never followed where he went, but I heard his car remote activating his car behind me.

After around a minute, it was one of those WTF moments. The Father returned with a silver wrench and a screwdriver, got on his knees infront of one of the fitness machine, and drove his screwdriver into one of the bolts. I was like "What are you doing" and he was like "It's loose".

The said loose thing happened to be a walker that resembles the one above, the name of the fitness equipment I only found out through the normal means of googling.

Fine, if The Father wanted to contribute to Singapore by providing free maintenance for the public property of our neighbourhood, he could. So he was screwing around with the bolts of the machine, doing what he was good at as a technician in his old job, while I, along with a teenage girl and a bespectacled indian boy, stared at him with much bewilderment.

I glanced up and realised The Father, after retrieving his tools, had forgotten to close his car boot, and was very much yelling Oi you forgot to close your car boot to him, but the man, far too absorbed in his new little 'game', never heard his temporary-paralyzed daughter. On second glance, which really, was the more facepalm moment (except that, if both your hands are holding on to your crutches, you can't really do a FACEPALM) - I realised the car keys were still stuck to the keyhole of the car boot.

I hobbled over to the car immediately, retrieved the car keys and slammed the boot shut. When I returned, car keys safe in my pocket, The Father, clueless that he was inviting his Hyundai to be stolen for close to 5 minutes earlier, was still very much absorbed in fixing the damn walker. After some screwing around, he hopped on to the machine, couldn't get it to move as smoothly as he wanted. And of course it wasn't working well: he was moving it wrongly.

Grunting, I told him I couldn't show him how to do it properly with my leg in a plaster cast. He insisted on walking the walker HIS WAY, and I told him HE WAS DOING IT WRONG AND HE WAS SUPPOSED TO "CYCLE" THE THING LIKE IT IS A FREAKING BICYCLE. With the screwdriver and wrench now stucked in his shirt pocket, leaving streaks of rust stains, he stubbornly continued. The teenage girl had a pained expression on her face on the whole demonstration.

The Man still didn't get it right after around 10 minutes. Before he destroyed any public property, I told him we should get home, on the pretext of finishing my 'workout' on my arms. The weird duo left the fitness corner. I passed him the car keys he almost lost, and we got back within the car.

On the minute drive towards our flat, I was thinking of this weird behavior that The Father was exhibiting. The man is approaching his 60s in a few years, so it could be all the unthinkables which I don't have the courage to come to face with. Or maybe I should just document it by blogging about it.

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