The Princess and the Pirate

Adventure / Comedy (more)

05 April 2004

Perambulation and Other Motivational Speaking

Hard hatted chaps are performing construction work on the street next to the State Capitol Building, where I work. More accurately, they are perfoming destruction work with a Seussian contraption that repeatedly drops a massive cylindrical weight that transmits a deep, rumbling shiver through the entire office. Though my fears are certainly unfounded, when I must leave my desk, I try to walk without rhythm just in case. It's not as easy as it sounds. Try it. You basically get some variation dutifully cataloged by the Ministry.

I dream with some frequency about sliding down stairs, so a couple weeks ago I decided to try it. Almost works. The idea is to put both feet parallel to each other at the edge of the top stair step. Then, rotate your feet downward, pivoting at the ankles about 30 degrees. Your feet slide off the step and, if as long as mine, should land atop the edge of the next step in pretty much the same position. Ideally, the slope and landing position of your feet should not vary between steps, producing a controlled and steady slide down the staircase, but this might take practice. No, I am not responsible for your broken bones.

Another method of movement has made appearances in my dreams. I've never tried this one. Think of stilts upside down, so that the long parts reach several feet above your head. Then, add large, flat hooks to the tops, parallel to your feet, pointing back behind you. (Maybe Ed could sketch this for us.) The idea here is to step onto the footholds (which are fixed to the bottom of the poles), grasp the middle of the poles in your clenched hands, stride a couple of steps to pick up some speed, then lift one side and back-hook a lowish tree branch. You should then straighten that leg to pendulum forward, then back-hook another branch from the other foot and pick up the original foot to unhook from the first branch. Back and forth, swinging from branch to branch. Works in my dreams, anyway.


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