Tuesday, October 27, 2009


I've had days where
nothing ever fits into my mouth except my food, stray insects and - sadly - Milly's tongue when I was bending down to pat Skipper and she seized an opportunity to stop licking her clacker and dash past and slurp me across the kisser before I could stop, sniff the air, feel my face and wonder, "Who just farted?" - but today I've had a Physlexic day.

Physlexia is debilitating, often humiliating and certainly time wasting ailment that results in nothing I touch ending up in the right spot, sometimes not even on the fourth or seventh try.

It is probably the universe's way of throwing a little Karma - and unwanted dog lick - my way for having a shameful propensity to guffaw loudly and inappropriately at people tripping over, falling down or being pooped on by birds. I'd like to think it's because it happens to me so often as well but if I ever catch an episode of 'Australia's Funniest Home Videos' a bit of wee often slips out and that's certainly not anything to be proud of.

Back to my case of Physlexia. This affliction is not a general descriptor, but one that applies to several hours of severe uncoordination performing tasks that can usually be done with my eyes closed. Therefore, it doesn't relate to lack of sporting ability when balls thrown or caught are required, but everyday stuff like hanging out the washing.

My OCD tendencies usually reign supreme during this mundane chore - undies, bras and socks at the back so that any surprise visitors aren't treated to a breeze-filled side-show of the Lockett family's underthings; then a line or two of Sapphire's clothes, adult clothes and finally the large items like towels and sheets. The trouble is, if it's windy, the sheets billow out across the outdoor table and have been known to turn a surprised guest into an instant mummy for a second or two before whipping back into position and resulting only in a surprised expression and a spilt cup of tea.

With the smalls, I usually grab six in my left hand and six pegs in my right and get cracking. Trouble is today Physlexia ensured that I'd drop a peg - bend down to retrieve it - straighten up and a bra would fall out of my hands. I'd bend down again to pick up the bra and three pegs would fall to the ground just as I'd straightened up again. I'd leave them there, reach up to hang up the bra and Sapphire's knickers would drop. I'd swiftly bend down to pick them and the pegs up and forget that I had four socks that would slip out of my grip during the upwards movement and land on Skipper's roof. To the fat guy smoking on the second floor balcony next door, all you'd have to do is edit out the clothes and pegs via a blue screen and I'd be doing a good imitation of Quasimodo doing his daily bell ringing.

This pointless process went on and on and on and by the time I'd finished the clothes were all securely on the line but covered in a fine layer of dust, dead grass and leaf pieces.

Inside wasn't too successful either. First I somehow misjudged the width of the bedroom door (maybe because I'd only passed through it about, oh, a thousand times before) and the thick, unforgiving stainless steel knob decided to puncture me in the upper thigh. I staggered backward and snagged the very same thigh - in the very same spot - on the edge of our bed frame. Poo-Bum-Bugger-Shit-Fart it HURT!

Working in the kitchen proved more challenging than usual (and that's really saying something). Stripping the long hairy bits off sweetcorn cobs is often a bit clingy at the best of times, but today they clung to my hands like mini Maggi noodles. I'd shake one hand and they'd fly off and stick to the other like those unwanted boogers we all try to flick off but don't want to admit to. Thankfully Physlexia didn't seem to be interested in playing havoc with any sharp knives and my only other misfortune was when the top of the squeezy honey container fell off and it burped out a cup load instead of a tablespoon onto my meusli.*

I found myself back outside by the letterbox struggling to pull out the log-sized load of junk mail wedged in there by a little old lady with a wonky old wheelie cart who I've often imagined must have the secret strength of someone a different gender and five decades younger. This daily event always then leads to me walking around to our wheelie bins and sifting quickly through the brochures with my left hand and throwing out the rejects with my right hand, whilst simultaneously flipping the bin lid open. Not today of course. Physlexia's foul foolings meant that I ended up re-enacting the snapping jewellery box scene from Pretty Woman more times than is worth counting.

Alas, even in the bathroom - the last refuge of solitude and simplicity - Physlexia won the day. Reaching in the lower shelf of the vanity for a new bog roll I tried to stand up and doinged - yes, doinged, it even sounded like that - the top of my incredibly thin skull up against the sharp-edged bottom rung of our heated towel rail. Pain and burns for the price of one doing.

Since then, I haven't the courage to try opening my carton of iced coffee at the lip or fold up Skipper's triple-hinged playpen and Love Chunks and Sapphire are out hunting down a rotisserie chicken for dinner so I can avoid hopefully avoid dealing with any apparatus more dangerous than a fork and a plate for a few hours more before this day ends.

Thank god for screw top wine bottles, ugg boots and rows of chocolate - even Physlexia is powerless against my skills in those areas.

As if honey is going to make the world's most boring breakfast food any more interesting, but apart from drizzling the bowl of raw oats and nuts and bolt-type things with melted chocolate (and thus undoing my cholesterol reduction campaign) there's not much else that can be done, apart from powderise it in a blender and somehow breathe it in.


Cat J B said...

Yuck, what a very annoying day. Physlexia usually only hits me full on when I am in a hurry. Maybe mine is karma too, I find Funniest Home Videos howlingly funny.

Lorna Lilo said...

Some days the planets are just not in alignment. And some days they don't even bloody show up for work. Tomorrow's another day (planets permitting).

Helen said...

You poor thing! I hope youo recover soon!

Baino said...

I hang washing out that way too but I leave the pegs on the line so I don't have to juggle them with the Bridget Joneses. Although one of the bonuses of living on five acres, in a street of five acre lots is that we don't get junk mail. Just as well cos someone knocked the top off my mail box and it just balances precariously without a hinge. My best friend worked in the same office for 15 years, she's thin as a whip yet reliably, at some stage during every day would bash her not so funny bone on the door jamb when exiting . . some people are just like that. I just break 'things'.

Deep Kick Girl said...

Being on somewhat of a health campaign myself, I have found that 3 or 4 slices of tinned peaches (in juice) on top of my muslei does the trick. A bit of tangy, sweet moistness to make the otherwise bland stuff go down.

The Plastic Mancunian said...

G'Day Kath,

I don't want to laugh at your expense - but I'm going to.


Mrs PM suffers a bit from physlexia - so do I sometimes. Usually, for me, such moments come in fives or tens. If you drop something you will bash your head bending down to pick it up; you will spill something and slip, etc. You know what I mean.



Rowe said...

Kath, you are hilarious. The dog licking it's clacker, then your face ... love it.

Kath Lockett said...

CatJB, I'm glad it's not just me with Funniest Home Videos thing - I try to avoid when I can - especially if we have visitors over - because my lack of control is a bit alarming.

Lorna, yep, today's another day and Sapphire's woken up with a headache, earache, stomach pains and an inability to go to the loo. I can't get her into to the medical clinic until 12.30 (which, let's face it will be 1.30pm) and am somehow meant to be at the airport at 1.50pm to pick up my parents who are staying for a few days before flying out again to have a 5 week holiday in NZ. Milly is sulking because Sapphire's in bed and there isn't any 'walkies to school'. Sicklexia Day today?

Thanks Helen!

Baino I might try leaving the pegs up too - so obvious and yet it's never even crossed my addled mind before.

Peaches, you say, Deep Kick Girl? I would try them except once I got sick eating them when I was six years old and have gagged on them ever since. Maybe TODAY is melted chocolate day?

Plastic Mancunian - there was definitely a snigger from the balcony next door as the bloke outside smoking saw my clothesline performance.

Er thanks Rowe. That's more than I did for Milly!

drb said...

You must have something against orangy-red veg/fruit = pumpkin, sweet potato, apricots and now tinned peaches!!!

Sorry to hear that Sapph is not well, not good timing with G&G coming....
Maybe drop J&P off at our place, will be a bummer to have a cold at their NZ trip... Wonder whether they had their H1N1 shots. We had ours on MOn.

Benjamin Solah said...

Ah, I've had my fair share of Physlexia. It usually comes when the pressure is on.

i.e. I'm an awesome typist but always worse when I'm being tested.

River said...

I have days like that....

Re the washing: you hang the sheets so that people looking out your window aren't treated to the sight of the family underwear, but this same family underwear is on full view to anyone looking over the fence, or in the case of the flats, out their windows? Wouldn't it be better to hang a sheet first, then the clothing and finish with another sheet?
How's the doinged head feeling?

River said...

oh, and the knickers etc? Slip them onto your arm via a leghole, bras through the strap, then just peel off and hang one at a time keeping your other hand full of pegs of course. Although if you're like me half the pegs will be upside down and can't be turned without dropping the lot.

franzy said...

I have a related ailment: dooropia. This door frame I've walked through 4000 times? Suddenly it's way too narrow. Not just 'ooh my elbow' too narrow, but 'bouncer giving you a full-on chest shove' too narrow. I'm talking bruises and police reports too narrow.
Maybe I looked at it the wrong way. Maybe it got pissed off with not having a door to go with it.