How I was defeated by an inflatable air lounger

REVIEW: It was clear from the instructions we were in trouble. There were only four steps to follow, each with a corresponding picture, but blow me down with an inflatable air lounger if I knew what I was supposed to do.

"1. Open and flatten the product, stretch one side of hole," said step number one.

Okey-dokey. There was a cartoon image of a milky mochaccino coloured boy standing on the grass with three trees behind his over-sized head doing exactly that. So far, so good.

Whip it, whip it good. How easy does this look? (Note, not the author in action.)

Whip it, whip it good. How easy does this look? (Note, not the author in action.)

"2. Ran a few steps maintain this position to fill in gas."

There was another picture to go with this instruction. Milky mochaccino boy with the big head looked relaxed. I forgave the grammar and punctuation mistakes. I'm pretty sure I understood what the instructions meant. The 'gas' was air. Where it said 'ran' I was to 'run'. So I did run.

READ MORE: Australians warned not to use air loungers in water after near drownings

And once you are done, you can start relaxing. (Also note, still not the author.)
SUPPLIED

And once you are done, you can start relaxing. (Also note, still not the author.)

"3. Rotate the product and stretch the other side of the hole. Repeat step 1 and 2."

It was at about this stage of the process things went a little pear shaped – or more precisely, they went flat pancake shaped, which rather defeated the entire purpose of the inflatable air lounger. I ran. I stretched the other side of the hole. I repeated step 1 and 2. I re-read the instructions. I ran some more.

I looked at the picture for guidance. Mochaccino boy was smiling. His eyebrows taunted me. I looked at the three trees behind him in the picture for guidance. Was I missing something? There were a couple of red arrows in the picture indicating rotation of the product. The picture of the boys' air lounger was pear shaped. I looked down at mine. Still it was a flaccid pancake.

I skipped to the final step of the instructions in vain hope it would offer salvation.

Ad Feedback

"4. Quick shell nosing, rolled up hole 4-5 circles, Plug in the jack."

Say what? Shell nosing? Rolled up hole? Plug in Jack?

I had no idea what a 'shell nosing' was let alone a quick one. As for plugging in Jack – where does he fit in? I went back to the empty carry bag that the whizz-bang beach-couch air-lounger thingy came in and looked for more parts. Surely I was missing something. The carry bag was full of nothing but air. If only I could shove some of that into the useless air lounger.

My son gave it a go. Thankfully he looked as stupid as me.

Both of us ran up and down the driveway like cartoon characters in a Spongebob Squarepants episode trying to catch butterflies in an overly long flat sleeping bag. Still nothing. Perhaps this is what is meant by 'shell nosing' – to make a complete arse of oneself in front of friends and neighbours.

I re-read the instructions and looked at the pictures again. Nothing.

At this stage I did what all good fathers do when opening up Christmas presents that require construction to work. I gave up in disgust and went looking for a beer.

The nieces and nephews came round and we let them have a go at embarrassing themselves with the double-holed sleeping bag that pretended to be an air lounger. Thankfully they obliged. We all read the instructions and concluded we had been sold a lemon. A flat air-less lemon.

Then someone said, 'YouTube it." So we YouTubed it.

The first thing that came up was 'Inflatable air lounger FAILS'. What a relief. We weren't the only ones. All around the world we were united in our failure to get air in our air loungers. Nothing says Christmas quite so much as watching other people make fools of themselves trying to make useless presents work.

After rolling around the floor in laughter at just how stupid 'other' people are, we decided to watch the correct way to 'fill in gas' and 'shell nose quickly'.

Just as there are countless videos of people hurting themselves, there is also a lifetime of video of how to do things correctly. Such is life in 2017.

It turns out filling an air lounger with air is rather straight forward. I'm not quite sure how we got it so wrong. Two weeks on from Christmas, I'm rather the expert now. Let me tell you all about it. No running is required.

So now the butterflies are safe from suffocation inside a limp sleeping bag. And blow me down with a beach couch if those inflatable air-loungers aren't the most comfortable thing I've ever stretched my weary body out on. I can't think of a better place to lay down and imagine all that lies ahead of the world for 2017. All it takes is a little hot air and you're away.

 - Stuff

Comments

Ad Feedback
special offers
Auckland

Sport: Ten in starting XV

Auckland and Aorere College No.8 Glory Aiono was named player of the tournament at the combined Blues/Chiefs regional ...

South Auckland players dominate the champion Auckland under-15 girls' rugby team. South Auckland players dominate the Auckland's champion under-15 girls' rugby team.

Winning ticket kept under pillow

The Auckland woman knows exactly what she's going to do with the money.

Powerball's latest millionaire spent a restless night waiting to claim her $8 million Lotto prize.

Writing improves overnight

Northcross Intermediate principal Jonathan Treadway said marking writing was subjective.

A new method of teaching writing has seen achievement rise at one Auckland intermediate school

Blank round fired in court

Gustav Sanft is on trial for the manslaughter of his two-year-old daughter.

Gustav Sanft wailed in court as the sawn-off shotgun which killed his two-year-old daughter was fired as evidence.

Wellington

Sports fields turn to mudbaths

Wellington City Council may be forced to close some of the city's traditional grass sports fields, or restrict play on ...

All Wellington's grass sports fields are closed, with many now "sodden bogs".

Porirua rates shock 

The hilltop suburb of Camborne, overlooking Pauatahanui Inlet, has had the highest average rates increase in Porirua ...

Many residents have been flabbergasted by double-digit increases on their bills.

'Always challenge parking tickets'

Consumers should challenge "unreasonable" parking tickets,  Consumer NZ advises.

Pay what's reasonable and let them chase you for the rest, says Consumer NZ.

Matterhorn bar to close

Matterhorn restaurant has called Cuba St home for 54 years.

Wellington bar will have to shut so old Farmers building can be strengthened.

Canterbury

Going blind with no warning

Andy Dickerson says he's "very lucky" an eye exam revealed he had glaucoma - before he went blind.

Andy Dickerson had no symptoms, no family history, and good eyesight – but he was going blind.

Rebuilds years late

Construction continues at Waltham School. The school's redevelopment was meant to be completed last year.

Education Ministry says all on schedule to finish in 2022, but just 12 of the 115 rebuilds are complete so far.

Assault ends career

The relief teacher grabbed the boy's backpack, but the strap broke and the boy fell between closing doors.

Teacher grabbed 12-year-old's backpack for a word, but the strap broke and the boy fell.

Sheep to the rescue

Rabbits catch a ride out of floodwaters on a flock of sheep on a Taieri Plains farm.

A small colony of rabbits rode a flock of sheep to safety from the floodwaters in Otago.

Waikato

Storm set to roll in from Tasman

A brief respite from rain won't last long, with more forecast towards the end of the week.

Heavy rain and possible thunderstorms on horizon before cracker weekend.

Brother's final minutes

Anthony Hallmond died on Sunday night after what was believed to be an altercation on a Te Awamutu street.

Family arrived to find paramedics trying to revive Anthony Hallmond on a Te Awamutu street.

ACC U-turn on glasses

Hamilton man Glenn Hodges' eyesight was damaged following a crash at Hampton Downs Motorsport Park in December.

After an eight-month battle, motoring enthusiast Glenn Hodges has scored a win.

Outrage over skids on cemetery

Skid marks from vandals are all that remain at the Ngaruawahia Cemetery

The Ngaruawahia Cemetery has been targeted three times since June by drivers skidding on the grass.

Taranaki

Protecting Taranaki's historic bridge

A cyclist has absolutely no problems with the new width restrictions at the Bertrand Rd suspension bridge.

"It's not something that you need to race over anyway, just take your time."

Couple rescued 

The Taranaki Rescue Helicopter was able to get to the couple in time before the cloud came in. (File Photo)

If the helicopter hadn't reached the injured German couple, it would have meant an extra six hours stuck on Mt Taranaki.

Man attacked abuser

On Monday in the New Plymouth District Court, a man avoided convictions for burglary and assault, after a successful ...

After he was taken advantage of while drunk, a man sought retribution against his abuser.

Agency in liquidation

Liquidators were able to recover fees from a failed debt collection business.

High Court gives liquidator permission to recover fees but customers owed almost $200,000 will miss out.

Manawatu

America's Cup secret weapon

Palmerston North's secret weapon in the America's Cup racing Ryan Thomas.

Engineer Ryan Thomas was programming machinery for factories when he was discovered.

New gorge route likely

A third slip fell on the already-closed Manawatu Gorge road this weekend.

Rocky old road could remain closed as officials turn their attention elsewhere.

House prices spike

Feilding's Smeaton family sold their home in just eight days. From back left: David holding Evie, 1, and Hayley holding ...

House sales prices in Feilding are at a 20-year high but that hasn't stopped them selling fast.

When rural pests invade the city

A possum trapped.

UNDER THE RADAR: What to do if you live in suburbia and spot a stoat or possum.

Nelson

New plan to save grandstand

The fight goes on to save the grandstand.

It all looked done and dusted for Takaka's grandstand. But could it get a last gasp reprieve?

Shooting 'justified'

The shooting of Ford Hurinui, by police during an alleged armed standoff in Motueka in 2015 was justified, an inquest ...

Nelson police officer who shot a wanted man cleared of any wrongdoing after inquest.

Time to fix 'scary' highway

The section of State Highway 6 from Okaramio to Havelock is the most dangerous stretch on the Blenheim to Nelson road, ...

The Nelson-Blenheim road has claimed 12 lives in 10 years. NZTA says it's unacceptable.

Judge's blunder boosts jail time

A woman convicted in the Nelson District Court earlier this year on drugs charges has had her sentence quashed and ...

Woman convicted of meth dealing will spend longer behind bars after a sentencing error.

Marlborough

Burglar caught by paper trail

The diamond ring was pawned at a Cash Converters in 2010. (File photo)

Seven years after burglar pawns diamond ring, police realise he gave Cash Converters his real name.

Picture perfect

Marlborough photographer Jessica Jones won four awards at the annual Iris Awards for professional photographers.

Professional photographer Jessica Jones impresses judges in one of New Zealand's most prestigious competitions.

Guerrilla knitters yarn-bomb town

West End retailers Stephanie Thompson and Jacqui Harnett are behind Kaikoura's yarn-bombing project.

Many a good yarn has come out of quake-hit Kaikoura over the past few months, and that doesn't seem to be wrapping up anytime soon.

Teen denies knifepoint robbery

Dylan Joseph Dredge admitted seven charges at the Blenheim District Court. (File photo)

He wasn't trying to rob the woman, he was just attacking her with a knife, court hears.

South Canterbury

Keeping culture alive

Ti Kouka Kindergarten children sang some of the waiata they will perform at the festival in front of Beaconsfield School ...

Hundreds of children are gearing up for events designed to help keep Maori culture alive in South Canterbury.

Disease reaches NZ

Cows on a South Canterbury farm have been found infected with the disease Mycoplasma bovis, the first time it has been ...

A highly contagious cattle disease has infected a South Canterbury dairy herd in the first recorded case in NZ.

Insurers face expensive year

The Plains Irrigators business in Washdyke was flooded on Friday. Technician Theo Joubert looks at the mud.

Flooding expected to generate about 2000 claims nationwide, adding to expensive year for insurers after two cyclones and the "Tasman Tempest".

New burner rule pitched

The warm glow of a good log fire: a residents' group says the resource consent process could keep older burners burning ...

Retrofitting old burners should be made official, group says.

Southland

ILT prank 'disappointing'

The "GET LIT" T-shirts are advertised on the Bunker Bar Facebook page.

Young people using the Invercargill Licensing Trust's logo to promote drinking is being called "disappointing".

Pedestrian hit by car

Emergency services were called to the intersection of Don and Kelvin streets, Invercargill, after an elderly pedestrian ...

An elderly man was struck by a car in central Invercargill.

Early start for Barclay

What exactly Barclay has been doing in his electorate has been in the spotlight as he continues to sit on a $170,000 ...

Disgraced MP arrives back at work with smile on his face.

Factory worker awarded $30,000

20082014   
Image ID : 21188809
Image Type : Stock Photo
Copyright : Matthew Benoit
attorney, auction, authority, brown, ...

An Invercargill factory worker has successfully claimed over $30,000 from his former employers, after being unjustifiably dismissed.

Ad Feedback