Sunday, June 4, 2017
This bouncing life
I bought a trampoline. It's a big one, so big that you might think there's some kind of Freudian Trampoline Complex which I am unconsciously acting out. And perhaps if there isn't, there should be, because I've got a big one.
I found an ad online for this used trampoline and got interested, which is a feat in itself. It's not until you start reading ads for other people's second hand goods that you realise that the majority of people are idiots. People will post ads without prices, without pictures, without salient features of the goods or even without a goddamn description of what the stuff is. "Sale on Saturday. Many things." Jesus.
So I texted the guy late at night and he got straight back to me - he wanted the trampoline gone pronto so I agreed to buy it and go pick it up on Saturday morning. I was pretty chuffed with myself, but my Smaller Half was innately more suspicious. "Why are they selling it? How old is it? Has anyone ever vomited on it? What does their house look like?" She seems to go through life half-convinced that homeless people are trying to sell her old beaten up trampolines that they've been using to strain their vomit, perhaps to make a delicious clear vomit broth in the French style. And why not - we all have our peccadillos (peccadillo: an armoured chicken).
On Saturday morning I drove to the guy's house, and out the front is a sad looking kid. It occurs to me for the first time that only people with kids own trampolines so I am going to be snatching this kids trampoline away from her. I feel bad briefly but then see the trampoline. It is, as I've mentioned before, pretty big. I'm stoked at the bargain price I'm getting on this baby so my qualms pretty much evaporate.
I double check with the crying kid that I'm at the right place - she tells me her dad said that I could start taking it apart. So I get out my collection of four thousand Allen keys which are all the same size and discover that they are all the same wrong size. Luckily I can work my way around this because I have a screwdriver which I can misuse to take this thing apart. It takes me about 90 minutes to knock it down and shove it into my car.
Because there are some bits which I can't figure out how to separate, I end up having to drive home with the trampoline safety net draped over my head and shoulders like a demented beekeeper. I hope I don't have a car accident or I might strain my neck. I'm almost home when my phone starts ringing - it's the guy who sold me the trampoline letting me know that I've left some pieces behind in his driveway. But I reckon they're mostly superfluous safety devices, included only as a regulatory requirement, and certainly not expected to impinge on our fun by their absence.
By the late afternoon I have reassembled the trampoline in my back yard and it is bigger than it looked in the old owner's yard. By some miracle of geometry I have put the same pieces back together and ended up with a trampoline which is nearly twice as big as it was before. Awesome. I'd be keen to get on and have a bounce around but the mat is soaking wet from my Smaller Half having spent an hour hosing off all the vomit. I hope it's a sunny day tomorrow.