On a fifteen kilometre drive through the city of Belo Horizonte (Brazil`s third largest city) I counted sixty eight sets of traffic lights. A journey that could have taken me twenty minutes took me nearly an hour. The traffic lights are not on a timer, so you can`t hit a green wave. Many of the lights are there for pedestrians, as the city has not built any underpasses or overground walkways. There are only a handful of roundabouts for a sprawling urban metropolis that is now supposedly home to over four and half million people – and those that do exist no one knows how to use. Drivers seem to think they are some fun new addition, akin to a formula one chicane, where rather than stop when approaching one, you speed up and try to take the corner as fast as you can without skidding off the track. The cars already on the roundabout then have to screech to a f***ing emergency stop, because the local boy racers believe that cars coming on to the roundabout have the right of way. That is going to prove interesting during the world cup when thousands of foreigners hire cars and proceed to join the locals in creating suitable venues for mass pile ups.
As you can probably tell I was not in a particularly good mood this morning. My youngest did not sleep till midnight and was up and bouncing around again at five a.m. I`d had one of those nights where you dream all kinds of crap and end up having no head rest. But to top it all I was on my way to my first Pilates class, which the wife had booked and this was something I had not been looking forward to. Someone had given my mum a Pilates video for Christmas, so I naturally associated this new fad, as yet another new form of fitness routine for fat middle aged housewives who no longer wanted to look like Mr Blobby. Definitely not the kind of thing any self respecting red blooded male should be seen taking part in. However, a friend of my (who is definitely not in any way shape or form a whoopsie) had tried it and said it had helped his knee pain and as I`d had all kinds of physio for my snapped Achilles tendon, and nothing was helping, I thought what the hell.
I arrived late and the class was already in full swing. All manner of contraptions of torture were assembled in the room along with a load of brightly coloured rubber balls of all shapes and sizes. These gave the room a surreal kind of 1960`s Barbarella feel. My wife was lying prostrate on her back, on something that looked like a rack, with her legs in the air waving around a couple of shackles tied to her feet. Kinky I thought, we must try that at home! A friend of mine was lying tummy down spread eagled across one of those huge rubber balls, and looked as he was trying to make love to it. I called out to him;
`Mind you don`t puncture that!`
His wife was rolling around on a rubber log and regularly sticking her vagina in the air. This might get interesting I thought! I was immediately summoned by the Madam Pilates instructress to mount my own balls on a large rubber one. She then used another smaller rubber ball, which looked like a ball sack with small rubber protrusions emanating from it, to bum me from behind. Squeezed between two rubber balls, this was my worst f***ing nightmare. I could not have looked more gay had I been auditioning for the part of the gimp in some gay porno movie. Had it not been for the fact that the Pilates instructress was a fit young female I`d have told her to go play with some rubber balls, or Chinese love beads, or whatever else took her fancy on her own time.
We followed each other through one form of ritual humiliation after the other, while passersby would stick their heads into the Pilates suite, point at whoever was in the most compromising position and then cackle and leave. I just hoped to fuck that no one was putting this on You-tube, I`d never live it down.
Incredibly the women were loving it, the other guy said it was great, and I just said `You`re all soo gay!`
When it came to the instructress putting my wife and myself on to the rubber roly poly logs to gyrate our hips and bits into the air. I said to her; `When do we get to do the sex pilates!?` She was not amused. But only a threesome with her and the wife could have redeemed this ueber humiliating experience. And when she was about to strap my legs to the wrack, I knew that there were not going to be any benefits from taking this kind of pilates course.
If they`d had Pilates for Swingers, I think these exercises would have formed part of a great warm up act, but failing that I had certainly lost interest. I was actually looking forward to seeing red again and to get out there and face the traffic. Frustration is after all better than sheer humiliation.