Children with wheels in their shoes falling over

Things that make me happy: #2

Recently, I went for an hour-long walk. At the end of this hour-long walk, I walked up a steep flight of stairs. At the end of the flight of stairs, I tried to beat all of my weightlifting records. At the end of making my body hate me for 90 minutes, I went for an hour-long walk.

I gingerly walked along Oriental Parade, my thighs meekly complaining with each step. “Why. did. you. do. this. to. us?”
I had just enough energy left to do two things: move forward in a straight line, and pay attention to Greg Proops’ nasal pontificating. I did not have the energy to play slalom with the hundreds of people zigzagging across the footpath.

Children are hazardous and unpredictable. We all know this. By the time I have kids, I hope that society has done a 180 and has decided that putting one’s offspring on a leash is acceptable. However, as it stands now, it seems that parents are all about letting little Sally and Timmy experience the world. Run free! Don’t worry about the grimacing girl hobbling along the path! Consider the entire world your playground!

To make matters worse, it seemed that all of these hippie parents had decided to affix wheels to their wee urchins. Scooters, rollerblades, tricycles… I felt like I was in some sort of treacherous circus.

And that’s not even the worst part.

More than once I passed an innocuous looking child, scampering along the path. Then, with one sudden leg flick, wheels descended from their shoes and they were gliding.

Worse than Crocs, in my opinion.

Worse than Crocs, in my opinion.

I find these shoes incredibly, unspeakably horrifying. Children with wheel’ed limbs become a cross between a wheeler (the creepiest characters in Return to Oz: a movie that also contained a rock demon and a woman with a hallway full of disembodied heads that could speak) and one of the Gentlemen from the ‘Hush’ episode of Buffy.

I wish I had this Wheeler's eye makeup skills.

I wish I had this Wheeler’s eye makeup skills.

The Gentlemen. Not as polite as the name would suggest.

The Gentlemen. Not as polite as the name would suggest.

  …now, hopefully you’re on board with both of these pop-culture references. If not, all I’ve done is show you some guys with funny makeup on, so you’ll just have to use your imagination, and picture them all gliding around, no hinging of the knee necessary, no heel-toe walk, just alarming FLOATING. And now go rent both of these things, because they are amazing.

So, my thighs are protesting, Greg Proops is soliloquising, and all around me, these innocent looking sprites are transforming into unpredictable gliding monsters. Ten minutes of playing dodge ’em with these imps and I’m ready to get on a bus. Then something glorious happens. One of them falls down. He wasn’t hurt, just embarrassed. And I felt a flutter of delight.

Here’s where I should tell you not to judge me. I should tell you I’m a good person, I promise, I put money in buckets. But perhaps I’m not that nice, really. Because the shiver of schadenfreude I felt when I saw that kid flail and fall is still with me. The little internal chuckle of delight has lasted for a week and shows no signs of mutating into guilt. So, to add to my list of things that make me happy (read #1 here):

#2: When children with wheels in their shoes fall over (not a proper faceplant, but just a tumble); leaving them red-faced and perhaps a little wary of continuing to wear their creepy, gliding shoes.

Happy fat dogs

I am a huge fan of the blog 1000 Awesome Things. Celebrating the things in life that give you that little spine tingle of delight? Amazing. It makes me happy about the world that this blog even exists. I even bought the book, knowing I’d never actually sit down and read it… I just wanted to give money to someone because I liked them. (Note: this is not a good habit).

My favourites are the really specific ones:

#78 Finding the right lid in the Tupperware cupboard immediately
#482 When your shoes are tight enough to stay on your foot but loose enough to slide on and off without untying them
#652 Using any item within reach to help grab the remote control so you don’t have to move

So. Yesterday I went for a walk. The sun was out, which was nice. The air was warm, which was nice. The water was blue, which was nice. Basically enough bland ‘nice’ to make me shoot an Obama-not-bad-face at the universe.

Not bad, not bad at all.

Not bad, not bad at all.

But as I got closer to the area with the cafes, I started encountering people and their dogs. Fat ones. It seemed that everywhere I looked, slightly exasperated thin people were dragging along rotund corgis. It filled me with utter joy to see these dogs thoroughly enjoying the sun and thoroughly enjoying their own beefy frames. I don’t know why. If I were writing my own 1000 Awesome Things list, this would be the first thing on it:

#1: Dogs that are fat – not so fat they are unhappy or immobile, but just cuddly and wobbly, sort of like the Dawn French version of a dog – out enjoying the sun. Bonus points awarded if their owner is whippet-thin and seems embarrassed by their dog’s chunky build.