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Published July 16th 2008

Gym Bunny

My friend Damian has a 5 year old daughter called Lola. On Saturday, she left her favourite stuffed bunny at my house after a visit. They live just down the road from me, so  no biggie I thought, I’ll just drop the rabbit round. But first I think I’ll go for a swim at the Gym. The bunny was upstairs, so when I went up to get my swim shorts, I picked it up at the same time. There was some small drama at that point as I couldn’t find my car keys quickly (why didn’t i just put them in the key pot as always?! Argh), but I found them in my jeans pocket, so all’s good. I picked up my towel in which I have wrapped my shorts and goggles and we’re off.

When I got to the gym, I found a locker in the men’s changing rooms and unfurled my towelling bundle. Out rolled a little pink rabbit. Oh shit I thought, I must have rolled the bunny up in it by mistake. Slightly odd to have a small pink fluffy rabbit in a men’s locker room, but hey, if I throw it into the locker quickly, no-one will notice and all will be forgotten.

But after about a minute a guy wrapped in nothing but a white towel came up to me

“Was that a small pink toy you found in your locker?” he asked “it’s just that a friend of mine’s kid left a little pink toy in the changing room here, so could I take it?”

My first reaction was a small panic.

“Um, no, actually that is MY friend’s kid’s small pink rabbit” I said. And as I said it I became completely aware of how ridiculous that sounded

I started to blush.

He looked at me with a strange quizzical look on his face. Then another guy who was seriously buff and standing right there turned around and looked at me.

They think I’m trying to steal a small pink fluffy rabbit that I found in the gym, I thought.

Then the words of my friend Damian flew through my head “…thank God you found it, it’s Lola’s favourite toy….”

“oh” said my half-naked inquisitor, “really?” He’s offering me a way out, I thought. I could laugh and say “course not, here you go”, hand him the toy and we could all laugh in a slightly embarrassed way and they would think “he’s a bit odd, and hey, it takes all sorts”

But NOOO, I can’t just hand over Lola’s favourite toy to a towelled up toy thief I’ve never met before, so I try again.

“Yes”, I said, trying to be all casual, but feeling the tension rise up my through my stomach “she left it at my house yesterday, and I meant to leave it in my car, but hahahaha, it got wrapped up in my towel by mistake and wouldn’t you believe it when I unrolled my towel, out popped flopsy” [smile like an idiot]

No smiles coming back – just more “I don’t believe you, you weirdo” looks.

Plan B

“OK, guys, it’s my bunny. I don’t usually bring it out with me but I feel safe when I have Nu-nu with me”

Now they are smiling, but in a ‘I need to get away from you’ kind of way. I lock the locker and go and jump in the pool and try to swim off the embarrassment.

Lola will never realise the trauma that bunny caused me.

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