One fine, balmy afternoon at pre-school I conducted a little experiment with the railings on the side of the stairs. I’m not sure what my intention was, but, of course, I got my head stuck and it would not budge.
Apparently they had to call the fire brigade to cut me out of the tight metal bars. The Jaws of Life may have even been bought in; I can’t quite remember how it ended.
“You were the only child ever to ever get their head stuck in those railings,” my mother recalls, a note of pride tinging her voice. Or exasperation, I can never tell.
It is one of many exploits that have stemmed from my rather active curiosity. I’ll be the one standing over the road kill, watching intestines ooze out, saying “wow, how weird do possums look on the inside. Cool!”
It’s a habit that has gotten me into a pickle many times. But, gosh, there are some funny stories.
Recently I was in Sydney at an Egyptian Coptic Christmas dinner. The food was spectacular: authentic, full of garlic and generally delightful. Alongside the normal baklava there was a tray of multi-coloured and multi-shaped sugar-syrup-soaked pistachio treats. Every cut of meat was on the table somewhere. Some of the loveliest ladies I have ever met urged me to eat more, more and more. Even as I undid my top three buttons they were packing me lunch for tomorrow.
Part of the cultural experience, for me, and the pearler that ignited my curiosity on this particular night was in the bathroom. The toilet seat had some unusual knobs on the side.
So I sat down and moved the dial to the right. A large jet of water shot into my bottom at speed.
It was an almightily strange sensation. “That was interesting,” I thought, with a look of consternation on my face and a dripping wet bottom.
But, still, my curiosity was not satiated.
Wanting to see how it worked, I stood up and turned it on, once again, to full power.
Straight into the eye, the bidet water went. My shirt and skirt copped some of the flow, some dripped down into my shoe and another spurt went across the room and dripped down the mirror.
“Well done, Pen,” I congratulated myself, laughing and marvelling that, of course the water is going to come out at an angle.
We all had a good giggle about that on the way home. It’s a good story, I reckon. But, most importantly I now know what it’s like to be shot in the eye with a bidet. Cross that one off the bucket list.
At times I think I will do anything, just for the experience. The sensations: smells, sounds, a different touch or feel, and especially tastes.
These experiences do not need to be positive. That’s not the point, at all, in taking a whiff of festering home brew or rotting mango. What is it like, I continually ask.
I’m not talking about taking pointless risks, that’s about adrenalin; curiosity is about learning. If you push yourself, you realise your limits.
For instance, now I am fully aware that a bidet squirt to the eye is slightly painful and quite drenching. I even know the squirt angle.
So, what’s the use of that? Well, aside from my new knowledge, I reckon it is a fine story and that’s all I need.