Thursday, 20 April 2017

The Exercise Machine

For audio click here 
“Hey dad,” Bobby said. “I reckon I could crawl through here.” Bobby was looking down the inner barrel of some exercise contraption that was stationed in the local park. All the swings and slides provided for the kids and my two, Bobby and Rory, were more interested in the moonwalker, the cross trainer and the rowing machines that were ignored by the obese adults scattered around the place. 
“Don’t even think about it,” I said, turning back to Rory who was threatening to fall off the moonwalker.
“Image if he got stuck,” I said to Rory, “we’d have to feed him his food through the bars.”
Rory laughed, “And we’d have to leave him there when we went home for our tea,” he said. 
“True, but it is probably safer than what you are doing. C’mon, jump down,” Rory little legs struggling to control the mechanism. 
“Dad, I think I’m stuck,” he said. I steadied the machine, lifted my lad off and released him back into the wild. 
“Dad, I think I’m stuck.” I turned around and saw Bobby squeezed into the tiny space, that he’d threatened to climb into moments before. 
“Bobby, stop messing about. Get out of there.”
“I can’t dad, I’m stuck.”
“Go back the way you came?” 
He wiggled and squiggled but with no luck. 
“Okay,” I said. “Well let’s see what we can do.” 
I pulled gently at his feet and tried to jiggle his body through the gaps in the bars, but my son did appear to be stuck fast in the bloody thing. 
“I’m scared.” he said. 
“Don’t worry Bobby, we’ll get you out.” 
“My shoulder hurts.” His arm was twisted above his head. Were his fingers beginning to go blue?
“Just stay still, and breathe,” I said. 
“How does he stay still and breathe,” Rory said. “If he’s still, he not breathi…” 
“Not helpful Roar.”. 
I got my phone out and dialled nine, nine, nine. “I need the fire service; my lad is trapped in an exercise machine.”
There are things you never think you will do in your life. Holding your silently sobbing son’s hand while a firefighter uses a cutting device down near your son’s nether region is certainly something that isn’t included in the parenting manuals or in my wildest dreams.
“Just hold still,” I said, as the firefighters worked their magic. 
“One, two, three,” the firefighters lifted the top part of the contraption up and carefully laid it on the ground.  One of them reached into the cradle.
“Out you come,” he said, lifting my youngest out of his trap. “We’ll just get the paramedics to check you out.” He handed him over to the ambulance staff. 
Within minutes Rory was smiling sweetly and posing for photos with a firefighter helmet at a typical jaunty angle. 
“No lasting damage,” the paramedic said and smiled. 

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