Life is terrifying

How’s the new year going for you guys? I had a piece of exercise equipment, in a somewhat inauspicious vein, try to crush my skull about 7am on the morning of January the first. Ever since, I’ve been reflecting on the fact that, just when you least expect it, irony can leap out and mash you. I hope, despite appearances, that incident wasn’t a harbinger of things to come in 2011.

Given the fact I was almost bitten to death by an exercise machine—right at the outset of my New Year’s kick-start to an exercise campaign—I have concluded there’s no point in trying to second-guess the Grim Reaper. That bugger is liable to pop up out of the least likely places at the most unexpected times.

What I’m saying is, if the weight machine doesn’t get you, then the saxophone spittle will—here’s something Bill the Mathematician has just sent me: Saxophonists die younger. I have a friend who’s a jazz saxophonist, but I’m reluctant to pass on this information for fear it messes with his style, or turns him into a guitarist or something. Just as my recent encounter with a weight machine has turned me towards yoga. (Not really, for the actual moral of this story is rock on, because there’s nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, so you’d might as well have a good time en route to your final end.)

Does the weight-machine attack fall under the category of “random structural violence”?  Or just plain boneheadedness?

“Why didn’t you check the equipment first?” Sara asks me, with special reference to the cable that snapped with a loud bang, releasing 120 kilos’ worth of weights and thereby slamming metal bars into either side of my head. Two inches lower, and the pincer on the right side might well have killed me. (One day I’ll relate the story of an accident I once had riding a rental motorbike on Phuket, and how I was surprised to find, later, that the front tire, the cause of this mishap, wasn’t much more substantial than tissue paper. “And what was I telling you?” says Sara.) In any case, I don’t go around lifting weights as a rule, and it never occurred to me this apparatus might have some other agenda.

The truly unfortunate part of the crushed head thing is that this didn’t happen in California, where I’d be on easy street for the rest of my life. But given the way the year has started out, I’ll probably be asked to pay for a new cable.

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