Now everyone, try not to fall over with shock but...I have signed myself up to a course of Zumba! Of course I did this on the understanding that everyone should learn a foreign language, and by the time I found out that it's actually a form of dance/exercise, it was too late. I wondered why the teacher looked at me oddly, she asked if I thought I'd find Zumba difficult and I replied 'I already speak French and German'.
I haven't actually done any zumba-ing yet, of course. Possibly after the first two lessons I may be rendered unable to type due to sprained knuckle joints - but, as yet I am blase and full of hope that doing the zumba (I have still to attain the correct terminology - is it a verb? Do I zumba, or do I do zumba? Does it have a past participle? Do I need a past participle to be able to do it? I've got double-jointed elbows if that's any use...)
I understand that I get to look like this after a fortnight, or my money back. Or she might have been pointing at the picture of the walrus on the other noticeboard, I wasn't really paying attention.
And here I find my true dilemma - what does one wear to Zumba? In the picture they're all wearing little vesty-top things, well, I can tell you here and now, they're not getting me in one of those, not if I'm going to be ...doing whatever it is one does when one zumbas. And particularly not if there are going to be other people present - I can just picture the scene; there I am strutting my funky thing, when the whole class comes to a standstill muttering 'is the human body supposed to move like that?' whilst watching my torso perform its own version of a Mexican Wave. No. I shall search out shops which sell Zumba-Armour, chin to groin protection wear in some kind of non-mobile fabric. Possibly some kind of plastic body-cast. They'll thank me for it in the end.
And then the lower half. Pert as my bottom might be (and it is, trust me on that), it still has the capability to look like a waterbed being delivered if forced to move at more than natural speed. Perhaps the Zumba-Armour (I'm still not one hundred per cent convinced that zumba isn't going to turn out to be some kind of martial art) could have some kind of extension put on round the back? Like an Everest conservatory for the bum? Purely for the protection of the other zumbaists (zumba-istas? Zumba-doers?), because in those tiny trousers the girls are wearing in the picture I would appear to be one constant column of movement, and I fear for the flooring...
There are other concerns too. Like my congenital inability to tell my left from my right, my innate clumsiness, the fact that my hair leads an independant life and only makes occasional contact with my scalp and my elbows, which are like two pre-sharpened pencil points. Perhaps I will be doomed to zumba solo, whilst my instructor hides behind protective screens, watching me on a video monitor and shouting instructions through a radio-mike. I think a lead apron might help too.
Either my instructor wears this or I do. Not sure which. Although I think I look fabulous in silver... I don't know about the shoes though.
So I shall keep you posted. Although it may be from a hospital bed, imbibing liquids only. Or it may be from a sea-lion colony on the Falkland Islands...