Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Purple Toe of Discomfort
My trek across the my now diminished territory (radius of 18 kilometers) was fraught with interruptions for no logical reason. No accidents mind you. Just a chance encounter with a fire truck on the way to the Day care/ReEducation facility for the Swim/Underwater Demolitions Pickup and then a chance encounter with a police cruiser on the way to TSD Karate/5 Point Death-Blow training. Hah, no emergency vehicles on the way to work though. Must have been on the wrong road. In any event, swimming went very well and in a fit of sagacity, the Tyrants insisted that I find diving targets for them. They want to be able to search the pool bottom for treasure. It was particularly interesting to see them so focused on doing laps and such. They really impressed the daylights out of the older ladies in the pool. Jake actually STALKED them at times, suddenly surfacing near them, launching battlefield nuclear torpedoes and then slipping away beneath the waves like some UBoat of ages past. After their hour was up, they were sufficiently exhausted so as to offer no incorrigible resistance regarding my calls for retreat. I'm still amazed at how long they can hold their breath and how far they can swim when submerged. I'll have to check their torso and neck to see if they have surreptitiously grown gills of some sort. I'll wager that if they have, the boys down in the genetics research lab have been compromised. Most likely blackmail.
Karate went splendidly in the first hour. Yes, there is a caveat there for a reason and I'll get to that in a moment. Both of the Wonder Twins actually listened today. Alexis more so than Jake. He's a lover, not a fighter. In any event, their practice kicks are getting very powerful and I'll consider setting up a kick-pad for them in the basement should they ask. That, or if they crush my tibia with one of their adapted flying side kicks. Deadly. The Mrs picked them up at promptly 1900 hours and I started in on the adult class as planned. It's not an hour. It's not 90 minutes. Its one hour and 45 minutes. The ribs are not prime time yet and recidivist nature of my interstitial muscles to fall back on delivering blinding pain was inevitable. You know you are in over your head when you beg for jumping jacks or '6 inches'. Yeah, you want to know what type of Medieval torture technique this could be? Hold your heels 6 inches above the mat, hands behind your head and legs straight out. Call me after 90 seconds. Frankly, I though I would have worked out all the kinks in the first 30 minute warm up with the kids session, but no. I was sweating up a storm till the bottomless well of bodily fluids surprisingly ran dry. And although my comprehension and technique can be classified somewhere between extraordinarily poor and tabula rasa (blank slate), the other participants gleefully accept me since they all have to wait for me to complete my sets ... they rest in blissful inactivity.
Now here is the nadir of my efforts. In my quest to become inured within the boundaries of the art, I am pushing my own limits but taking care to not damage my already decrepit joints. Indeed, I was prepared to declare victory as I was strolling off the mat when in my exhaustion, I failed to pick my foot off the mat fully and caught the 2nd toe (from the big one) on my left foot on a crease. Now, I have very little control of these digits beyond the large one. I cannot wiggle them and simple manual manipulation registers very little sensation. This is why I wear boots. As I drag my foot over the crease, I hear a little sssnICK and look down to see the rogue little ronin curled under my foot. I would have winced in pain if it had happened. I thought nothing of it till I arrived at the manor and found that the same toe had become an angry, dark purple auslander amongst it's peers. Putting pressure on it delivered an crisp reply of throbbing pain. Nice. Well, at least it does not hurt when I laugh.
Finally, I wanted to share this one last development within the walls of the manor with you. I have started a new activity with the Tyrants. Every night after dinner, I pull out a large tome. It's like the internet, but printed on paper. Hyperlinks don't work on it, but it does not require an outlet or network card. Apparently, it is made of pulverized and bleached trees. Weird. Anyways, there are words in this book and the front of the hard cardboard cover is mislabeled as a 'Dictionary'. No matter, it serves a purpose. Each night, I ask the kids for a letter from the alphabet. We go to a page within that section and pick out a word that we spell, pronounce and define. That is the word of the day and we don't leave the table till both of the Tyrants spell and say the word. I then highlight the word with a marker along with one of the more applicable definitions. I'm hoping that this will amount to something. If, by chance, you happen upon a person who can recite the entire Random House Dictionary circa 1976, you know who you are talking to so take great care.[+/-] show/hide the rest of this post
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