My Life As The Bathroom Scales

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Nine years. It's been nine long years that I have sat on these cold tiles, staring at the mold between them. I can still remember vividly, the day I was brought home from the corner drugstore. I was excited by the whole new experience of becoming the bathroom scales. It had promised to be a better occupation than being a bicycle - but the excitement wore off quicker than I thought. The excitement fled when I saw my family.

The Logan's, much like any other family, have their physical flaws. Despite this, on my arrival, they seemed somehow at ease with my presence. I must admit their style of introduction was quite unique and disgustingly arousing. I always thought people exchanged names before they felt comfortable enough to take their clothes off and prance around in front of strangers, like the dancers in a Cabaret. I thought all healthy relationships began with "˜Hi'? Apparently not.

In this household, it was whoever undressed the quickest, who would become more acquainted with me. Nevertheless, I watched on.

It took me several days to clearly distinguish between two members of the family. Observing from the angle I was at; it was hard to make out the father from the mother. They both had enough curves to qualify for the opposite gender. They both had enough wobbly bits to qualify for both genders. They were so easily confused. I later figured (I cannot tell you how, your too young and innocent for my detailed account of the story) that the obese of the two characters was Carmela, a mother of two. People are right when they say having children ruins your figure, although by the cognitive faculties she displayed, it seemed as though she had never had a figure to begin with. Bernard, the father (I assume so, anyway), seemed to have been reincarnated several times. When he takes his towel off, he is without doubt recycled. Although his physic is not all too appealing, I have grown rather fond of him, all the same. It must be his damaged hair follicles. He seemed so tragically disillusioned by that bald spot, that no words could accompany it. Unless you're a sadist.

Then there is our daughter from hell; our daughter who is too obsessed with her weight, that she fails to recognize she eats too much. She has the sort of thighs that would make a number 18 chicken step aside on a narrow bridge.

The one who fascinates me the most is Steven. Steven yearns for biceps that would cause confusion in the fruit shop if he gripped his wallet too tightly near the watermelons. Steven wishes he could scoop vanilla ice-cream out of the tub using the muscle formation on his upper torso. Steven is obsessed. I can tell the way he pretends to have left the toothpaste lid off, as an excuse to come into the bathroom and admire himself in the mirror. From my positioning in the bathroom, his torso reminds me of a photo I once saw of Mick Jagger (slightly fanciful, I know). His arms have elicited from woman who say things like, "sensitive" and "don't bowl overarm, love, you might snap something." Don't get me wrong, he has a great body for an ectomorph whose pet rat used to eat most of his school lunches. Oh, if only I could yell out, "No you are not an omnipotent, all-powerful, godlike being after all. You're just a kid with feet of clay, funny knees and a tendency to sound like Cyndi Lauper when you sing in the shower." He wouldn't listen. Nobody in this family listens to me. They think that I am an insignificant object, but as you may have already gathered, much of the world can be seen from the bathroom floor (Mount Kosiosko just walked in). The number of times I have been ignored would actually have me believe that I am merely an object, without perceptions or feelings. I am a sensitive new age scale (others would call me vain) - after all if I wasn't, Carmela would have closed down Jenny Craig by now.

I can recall the first day I came into this bathroom. I was overwhelmed by the attention and quite liked being a new respected member of the household. However, as quickly as I came, I was just as quickly forgotten. It was hard settling in to the bathroom. The Logan's did not realize their bathroom floor had a gradient, that next to the shower I would get wet and I was exactly positioned opposite the bathroom mirror. That was not a good thing, especially after our daily jobs had been done and the bathroom door was closed. When we were left for the night to relax, that was when the bitching started. The wall mirror thought she was so superior because she occupied the bathroom wall and was so much higher than myself. She often told me I only deserved to be stepped upon. I just respond by pointing out that feet are much more attractive than the other body parts the family had to offer. That put her in her place. She knows that one would rather my respected position; to face the ceiling all day rather than a transparent shower screen, where all can be seen and nothing is concealed.

I had made a stand! Every member came to learn of my new found status. I was not to be stepped on! (Figuratively speaking, of course.) My other colleagues were quite friendly, although they preferred to keep to themselves, than end up in a feud with me- I had a certain reputation and air of respect, after all. I tended to make friends with the short term visitors, the toothpaste, soap and shampoo, as they tended to be good listeners. They were such good listeners I do not recall ever hearing them speak (hmm"¦). There was one member of the bathroom, who kept to himself - the bathroom cabinet. I loathed him and the way he had a weird compulsion to rattle every time the toilet flushed. I figured it was a consequence of depravation.

The bathroom mat had a crush on me at one stage. I did not find her attractive. That's why I was secretly glad when the Logan's decided to renovate the bathroom and change the color schemes. She was replaced by a younger peach mat who was much more attractive. However, to my disappointment she would not mix work with pleasure. I would not say I loved her, it was just an attraction. My closest encounter with love was Nikey, Carly's left running shoe. From the moment I saw her I knew it was true love. These feelings were confirmed when she stepped on to me, her feel, her touch"¦ just recalling the memories sends shivers down my batteries. Our meetings were rare but when we did meet, it was as though we had never been apart. We caused fireworks to explode (a small exaggeration - that's what the toaster did. We just ignited a small candle flame- but it shone brightly!) On one occasion, we were packed in Carly's suitcase together for an Orienteering Camp. What a weekend that was! We had fun frolicking in that suitcase! Then one day she never came back. I have never known why, but I suspect Carly bought new shoes. Not even a goodbye. It was too painful to bare. Traumatized, I refused tell anybody their weight for weeks. The Logan's were convinced I was broken or had a loose spring. Then I was severely unscrewed and when they realized nothing was loose, I was reassembled then left on the tiles for dead. It only took them a few days to replace me. They went to buy "Mr. Perfect" scales, those digital kind they advertise on television. He cost them an arm and a body panel, but he was "worth it", after all he was guaranteed not to die. They also figured any scale with a built in winch was not designed to run forever (I did my job"¦). Their purchase proved to be the silliest thing they had ever done. They were children of the "˜60s, so you can imagine how bad some of the things had been. I later heard Bernard complain that the "Mr. Perfect" scales cost the same as their first four-wheeled vehicle, 14 years ago. On his arrival he entered the bathroom, nose up in the air, chest puffed out (a pathetically outdated piece of macho posturing) ignoring my presence and resided in "˜my spot'. Some "Mr. Perfect" he turned out to be! Twenty-four hours later, the shower started, he got wet and a short circuit killed him (it was either that or Bernard's dermatitis). Really reliable.

The day Grandma came to stay is a quite a memory. She came into the bathroom for a shower and when she started undressing I knew there would be a problem. She begun with her dress, then her second and then her third. You needed to call the State Emergency Service to help her undress. Why do old people feel the need to wear so much in summer, let alone know their weight? My pointer arrow popped out of the number dial from such an overwhelming exposure to "˜wrinkles and rolls.' Then on she hopped. I could feel my oxygen intake ceasing and my screws tightening. I felt choked and unable to breathe from the voluptuous woman that had casually lifted her leg to stand on top of me. If I had cheeks they would have been as red as hers. Poor, poor Grandma! No wonder she feels the need to wear so many pieces of clothing, she has so much of everything to conceal. It was a very traumatic experience for me and if there had been some kind of "˜Scale Anonymous Group,' I would have gone for therapy.

Apart from her occasional visits I would like to think I have managed my afflictions well. Now, even despite the trauma, as I sit here waiting for the recycling truck to come and take me away, I know I will miss the Logan's. After many years of analysis I have come to the conclusion that the Logan's are not such a bad family after all. They appreciated my worth eventually. They needed me. Okay, I must admit I needed them too. Over the years they have offered me affection, athlete's foot and a great survival story to tell others. My story is bound to leave all other appliances in tears. Truly, I am one of a kind- a hero, a pioneer for all my battery operated, electrical and digital comrades, who are currently enduring similar human torture.

I wonder with whom the Logan's will replace me with? I am sort of looking forward to a new experience. Another change of image would do me well. Who knows I might end up in the Logan's kitchen this time"¦, and they will not even know it.