What on earth is my neighbour up to? I’m watching him out the window as he lugs a large contraption into his garden, and proceeds to wedge it into one of his meticulously prepared beds. It appears to be an inflatable cylinder of sorts, big enough for three people to comfortably fit inside, and seems to have an entry point akin to a very secure tent flap. It takes up the entire patch of soil, which is already surrounded by a complicated rig of mirrors.
Hang on – this must be what I was reading about on his blog the other day. Yes, I read my neighbour’s blog, but only because he takes every opportunity to remind me to do so. I think he expects everyone on the street to up their home farming game so we can have neighbourhood harvest festivals, but he’d probably have more luck if he came at from an angle that was a little more… conventional.
I mean, even though I read his blog post, I still don’t understand what this device is or what it’s supposed to do – either in its intended application as medical equipment, or as garden hack. Let me try and remember what he said about it. I think it was something to do with hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Near Melbourne, apparently, this is an established thing for treating a range of ailments involving oxygen intake issues.
On reflection, I’m pretty sure he made no real effort to really explain how this related to raising tomato seedlings, which is what he said he was using it for. I’m assuming he’s making sizable leaps in logic, conveniently skipping over any kind of biological basis for this approach. That’s totally fine with me – it’s not like he’s not hurting anyone in the process.
It’s just that this thing looks like a fairly serious investment for an undertaking that’s most likely founded on dodgy guesswork. It just seems a little excessive. I suppose time will tell; I shouldn’t write it off until I’ve seen the results. I may come to eat my words in order to eat tons of homegrown tomatoes.
In being really good at everything, I’ve discovered that most people are quite lazy. When you know somebody who can get a job done with little effort, why do it yourself or pay someone to do it for you? Why not give your friend a call and guilt-trip him into helping? Sure, no harm done the first time, but you’re not the only one seeking my help. I haven’t had a holiday in years because I’ve always got all these errands to run.
For example, the other day I was going for a walk to my favourite cafe, ready for a nice day where I could finally relax. That was when I bumped into Alex, an old acquaintance from high school. He looked at me and perked up, then said, “Hey, you’re that guy from school who could administer medicine and help better than the school nurses, right?” Of course, here I am knowing exactly where this is going. I tend not to argue these days. I just go along with it to save myself the time.
Alex explained how he had been wounded while playing extreme paintball and the cut along his upper arm was taking a while to heal. He wanted me to have a look at it and see what I could do. Fair enough, I suppose, but why couldn’t he simply contact a business that provides portable hyperbaric chambers within Melbourne instead? That would be perfect for healing a stubborn wound, with the increased amount of oxygen going to the blood. I even suggested as much to him, but he said he was happy for me to take a look at it instead. Well good for him! It’s not like I had anywhere to go or anything to do. I don’t have a life of my own to live or anything.
I get it. To him, he was only asking for a few minutes of my time. But it all adds up. At the cafe, I was asked to fix the lighting and redesign the table arrangement. And suddenly my day off is gone. Thanks, everyone.
I don’t often get bored, because I’m pretty fond of learning new things. But when it came to that Asphalt conference…phew, too much even for me. We had to sit through twelve modules, each at least forty-five minutes long, and all of them focused on laying asphalt in a specific location. Car parks, play parks, driveways…and the person taking the course had a hypnotic voice. Not in the good way; the ‘sends you right to sleep’ way.
So I snuck out, to my shame. I’d learned everything I could, and I knew there were other courses going on at the venue. Didn’t take me long before I came across the course on how to operate a hyperbaric chamber. Melbourne has these, because a few of my co-workers have said that they kind of like being inside them. It helps with your health, relaxation and the general healing process. So they’re curious machines, but here was a class teaching how to use them. It was a far better option than sticking around to hear about module 11: laying asphalt over a dirt road, is I illegitimately joined the class. I have to say, I’m not really keen on using oxygen therapy myself. That’s partially due to the fact that I’m healthy and don’t really need it (I get all my oxygen from breathing), but also the climbing inside and being shut in. I’m not claustrophobic, just cautious. I suppose if something went wrong I could just break out- they’re not designed as prisons- but I don’t really feel like putting myself in there anyway. Not until I have a genuine injury that needs healing.
But now, because the alternative was going back to learn about more asphalt, I know how to handle and operate a chamber for hyperbaric therapy. Places in Melbourne could be hiring; maybe I’ll look for a job. Except no, I’m not leaving everyone with Sandrine…