My exercise ball has burst! There was a tearing sound, wind rushing past my ears, the sensation of sudden descent, and a painful collision with the floor! Suddenly my favourite office chair was no more!
I don’t expect a long life from my exercise balls, although things have improved since I filed the sharp edges off my keyboard drawer. But all the ones I used in the past simply punctured and went down slowly and with dignity, like the Titanic. This one, which was red and spiky, blew up like the mine it resembled. It serves me right for buying the cheapest model on eBay. I wondered why some of the more expensive types were labelled ‘burstproof’: now I know.
I use exercise balls for seating because I have a Bad Back — a legacy of hurling around lumps of scrap metal while working at Port Kembla steelworks in the university holidays. The balls keep me on my toes — literally — and seem to alleviate the problem: but like most seating arrangements in this crazy world, they are usually the wrong height for a standard desk. In fact they come in four sizes, 55cm (titchy), 65cm (moderate), 75cm (big) and 85cm (super-colossal), although the larger sizes rarely appear in sports shops. The one that burst was a 75cm model: the new one I have on order is 85cm, which is probably a little excessive. We will see when it arrives if both of us fit in the same room.
Oh, and it’s burstproof.
*Hamlet, Act One, Scene Five