Feeling The Burn

According to the BBC News Website and Niume, you can buy a Lycra outfit for a camel……

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“The trouble is,” said her mother, “that you’re stuck in a rut.”

Florence of Arabia sighed. She hated it when her mother decided she needed advice. Though she meant well, she could be very sharp-tongued, possibly because all she ate was cactus.

“I’m not in a rut,” said Florence defensively. “I have a job -”

“Yes,” said her mother, “walking across the desert in a caravan, then turning around and walking back again. As ruts go, that’s practically the Grand Canyon.”

“I’m a camel, Mother,” said Florence. “That’s pretty well the only career path we’ve got.”

“Well, there’s more to life than work,” said her mother. Oh God, thought Florence, she’s going to talk about boyfriends. “For example,” said her mother, “it’s ages since you had a boyfriend.”

“It’s not like I haven’t tried,” said Florence. “Several times I’ve thought I’d spotted the perfect male, only to find when I got closer to him that it was all just a mirage.”

“Females of all species know exactly how you feel,” said her mother. “Trust me on this.”

“Anyway, I’m surrounded by three million square miles of nothingness,” said Florence. “Boyfriends don’t exactly grow on trees, and in any case there aren’t any trees around here for them not to be growing out of.”

This was slightly cruel of Florence. The movement in a camel’s face while it’s trying to unravel a sentence like that one is rather like that of a bulldog trying to speak French. Florence waited patiently. Eventually her mother spoke again.

“What you need,” she said, “is a hobby. Which is why I’ve bought you this.”

Florence stared at what appeared to be a large blue bin-liner. “What is it?” she asked.

“It’s a Lycra jumpsuit,” said her mother. “I want you to join a gym.”

“I don’t need to,” said Florence hotly. “I’m perfectly happy with my body.” Though it would have been nice if my humps had been a bit bigger, she thought to herself.

“It’s not to lose weight,” said her mother, “it’s to get out and meet other camels.”

Florence was going to argue, then realised it would be less tiring just to go to the gym. She took the shiny blue garment, went behind a dune, and put it on. She stepped back out.

“Does my bum look big in this?” she asked.

“You’re a camel,” said her mother flatly. “You weigh seven hundred and sixty pounds.”

Half an hour later Florence was outside The Gym Genie. She put a bright pink sweatband on her head, set her MP3 player to Midnight at the Oasis, and stepped inside.

At first she didn’t enjoy it. She tried the treadmill, but these were arranged not side-by-side but in single file, as is the camel way, and trudging for mile after mile with nothing to look at but another camel’s arse reminded her too much of work.

She tried yoga, but her neck and legs were so long that during one exercise she actually turned herself inside out, a situation that was corrected by means of a bicycle-pump and a procedure that she was never going to tell anybody about, ever.

She was dejectedly leaving when she saw a sign on a door that read “Aerobic Dance Classes”.

She was intrigued. She had heard of dressage, of course, which is Irish Dancing for horses, but it had never occurred to her that camels might dance too.

She pushed open the door and saw twenty camels, faces flushed with exertion and delight, doing the actions to The Birdie Song.

She was hooked.

Camel in Lycra

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