Mistakes, or as behavioural psychologists are wont to call
them, cockups, are just mistakes. Or cockups. Nothing more.
They are not senior moments, or evidence that you should
never have got out of bed that morning. It is important as
grownups that we learn to accept such mishaps, and then life
will become so much simpler.
I however have not learned this. I just blunder on, and then
look back and wonder how I could have been so stupid.
Take Wednesday of last week. It is entirely possible that
this was one of those days I should have stayed in bed, for
as I lowered my body for a reluctant slither on to the floor
at 8.16 (my wife leaves for school at 8.15), I needlessly
cracked my head on the bedside cabinet.
A rational man would have understood that omen and slithered
back into the bed and slept on a thousand slumbers until it
But no, I dressed, breakfasted, did the housework at blinding
speed, and headed off to see Louisa Baillie's stunning
sculptures at the art school, an exhibition for a time I
thought I might be a part of, having been one of her recent
I was, however, left on the cutting room floor, but I am not
a vengeful man, and I duly marvelled at the handsome males
she had chosen, and also Brian Turner.
It was only when I felt something long and hard in my pocket
that the day began to slip away on me again. It was the home
landline phone. This is what happens when you do housework at
blinding speed and try to do three things at once.
As I jabbed fruitlessly at the phone's buttons and realised
Uniden phones cannot function five kilometres from their
base, I was forced to ask myself, what sort of a man wanders
around Dunedin with his home phone in his pocket and a bump
on his head from a bedside cabinet?
Unfortunately, everything happens in threes, so it was only a
matter of time before last Wednesday completed its sorry
Upon returning home, I went to the computer to check the many
one-day auction sites I subscribe to, an addiction I have
been unable to shake after nearly 15 months of unparalleled
retail idiocy, everything from naked matching man-woman
toothbrushes to 43in televisions.
I won't list them all, but I should mention that many of them
did not live up to the picture.
I will, however, defend last Wednesday's choice, for it
seemed to be absolutely top hole: an EVERLAST Freestanding
Punch Ball. $39.99.
Anyone who has ever watched boxing on television will know
the word EVERLAST.
It sits prominently on the waistband of every pair of shorts,
plus all over damn near every other potentially advertisable
thing in sight.
The EVERLAST Freestanding Punch Ball then was not only a
brilliant physical training tool, it was a designer product,
the Yves Saint Laurent of boxing paraphernalia. It is due to
arrive any day.
A killjoy will be saying that something will go wrong with
this thing, because it was a third bad thing in a day of
senior moments when I shouldn't have got out of bed. Pshaw.
What could possibly go wrong?
Perhaps because the punch ball comes back at the puncher at
10 times the speed it is hit and from many different
directions it will whang me senseless because I have no
peripheral vision and lack the reflexes of a jungle leopard?
Perhaps when I fill the base with water and sand to make it
secure, I won't read the instructions properly and the water
and sand will burst out and ruin the carpet of whatever room
I put it in, probably the lounge?
What is that ugly stain on the carpet, prestigious visitors
will ask. It is from Roy's EVERLAST Freestanding Punch Ball,
my wife will reply.
He is an idiot, I don't know why he even gets out of bed some
Roy Colbert is a Dunedin writer.