Thursday, June 18, 2009

Calling Gloria...

The arrival of my 30th birthday a few months ago was quickly followed by some frantic self improvement as I realised that old age is not just for other people - it could happen to me.

The denial is still strong, so I refuse to say for sure if I too will fall victim to wrinkles, grey hair and a penchant for Midsomer Murders. You just never know when it will creep up. 

So, in order to try and beat the odds, I decided to attempt to beat my (admittedly squishy) body into submission. Before this, I hadn't run since about 1998. 
And even that was a case of utmost urgency.
(I was warned on pain of death not to miss that bus). 

I tried walking to work, but the passing buses just taunted me. 
I tried not taking lifts and using stairs instead, but seriously. That's what lifts were invented for. 
I even tried a weight lifting class but all those musclebound men just scared me. 

But joy of joys, then I found the holy grail of exercise - combat training. Each week, I get to imagine the face of whoever is currently grating on that last nerve of mine, and throw lots of punches in the air. Instructed by the happiest little chappy you could ever hope to meet - and Brazilian to boot! - this class makes Tuesdays so much more bearable. 

Until this week.

It's Thursday now, but I haven't been able to bring myself to speak about the trauma since it occurred two days ago. Rodrigo went on holidays.  

The resulting class was what I imagine hell to be like. 

A tiny blonde girl (I swear she was about 8 years old) on springs (I hope to God she was on springs anyway, otherwise I fear for her knees) filled in. 
She barked instructions. 
She let no desperate, purple-faced unfortunate pause to take a drink. 
She interspersed all sentences with - I kid you not - "Whoop whoop". 
If she wasn't on some form of amphetamine, then she has the worst case of ADHD I've ever seen.

But that's not the worst of it. 

She played that ear withering song "Gloria" over and over. 
And over. 
If you're not familiar with it - and who could blame you for having the good sense not to enjoy terrible 80s pop - you'll probably recognise it from the "Gloria, Gloria, I think they've got your number... calling Glor-i-aaaaa" sample.

The horror. 

I entered the class a normal, relatively well-adjusted person. I left with a face like a blueberry from all of the blood bursting under my skin; traumatised and beaten by an hour's worth of what can only be described as Chinese torture. Although I imagine the Chinese would recoil in fear from this woman. 

Bring on the wrinkles, the expanding waistline and the farm-based crime dramas. 
Exercise is far worse.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Religeratti on the prowl

Just because you're paranoid, doesn't mean they're not after you. 

Like the majority of Irish people, most of my life defining moments before the age of 13 took place in or around Holy God's house. Once teenage years hit I went from the pew to the back door and have been getting progressively further away ever since. 

Now, I am firmly and happily atheist - with a touch of tree hugging Pantheism thrown in. But it seems that I can sidestep the swerving cars and dodge the bullets, but the Religeratti are not giving up that easily. 

And they're not above a bit of blindsiding either. 

What started as one or two followers on my Twitter page with 'kooky' names like 'John the Baptist', has now turned into an avalanche of chanting, psalm quoting followers. I can't block them quickly enough. If I didn't know better, I'd swear (though probably not on the Bible) that someone has issued my photo and details out to the men in the cloth to try and win me back, scientology stylee. It may be easier than ever to 'follow' Jesus via the internet, but as the antichrist herself once said, I'm not for turning. 

Maybe they have a daily target for conversion, maybe they're trying to redress the porn balance with a bit of an aul pray, or maybe tweeting sermons is the only way anyone will listen nowadays. Who knows? They can count me out of their redemption mission though. I'm off to worship at the feet of the god of confectionary.