There is an art to flying. The knack lies in learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.— Douglas Adams, 'The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy'
One of my old blogger buddies Kraz (Wreck Tangle) recently went sky diving - I saw a you-tube (Fabulous video) of the whole event right from the take off stage to the landing.
I know it’s my duty as his friend and occasionally blog-flirt (or at least one of them, hmpf!) to bat my eyelids and ooh and aaah about how brave he is (which I do think, incidentally) and how the whole adrenalin rush thing looks like fun (which it doesn’t).
But I also have to state here for the record that I think Kraz is completely insane. That’s also what I think of S’s sister who went bungee jumping a few years ago. And all the other people who go paragliding or parachuting or doing any other of those gosh-darned silly things God never meant us to do.
Why anyone would voluntarily jump, nay, pay money to voluntarily jump from places very, very far above the ground is something I have never quite understood.
What is wrong with the good old terra firma I want to ask them? It’s nice. It’s solid. It’s utterly comforting. There are no sudden winds that can take you off course. There are no birds of floating around who might fancy a tasty morsel of you for breakfast. There are no sharp edged rocks which might split your head open if you land upside down on them. Why would one want to leave that and go floating around in the air for no rhyme or reason?
Why not, people have argued with me. Adrenalin rush they say. Bah I say to them.
I once thought I would try and figure out what all this fuss about adrenalin was.
Being the cautious and sensible type of person - at least when it came hazardous-to health activities (I always wear my seatbelt when the husband is at the wheel and the MIL is backseat driving for instance); I thought I would start with the most basic of adventure sports.
Thus, one fine day a few summers ago, I and some jobless friends went to get our first taste of adrenalin – at a suicide-camp in amusement-parks clothing.
Egged on by these same moronic friends I climbed onto a ride called the “Super Heart Stopping Ride of Death” or something equally silly (name I mean not ride).
My love affair with terra firma began during the course of the ride. To be precise, it began round about the time I was suspended upside down contemplating the top of a 15 foot tree (from a height of about ten feet) for about three minutes, with nothing to break the sheer fall to the ground. And when I say nothing I mean precisely that. Nothing. Not even the odd rod or bar twenty foot below – just a flimsy rubber belt which those people optimistically hoped would hold us in place.
That’s when I discovered how much the desh-ki-dharti meant to me – and how I had been taking it rather for granted, and promised myself that I would in future I would not so .
As far as possible, I have stuck to my resolution. I don’t part very easily with terra firma. In fact any attempts to part me are met with it (even if it is to climb a stool) are met with vociferous protestations. (Fortunately I have now acquired a husband instead of a stool who can take care of whatever task needs to be done in the rarefied regions of the stratosphere)
The only time I willingly part from my much loved solid ground is if I have to take a plane to go somewhere. Somehow, my office seems to have a strange antipathy to people taking more than three days to reach their destination. But if truth be told, I disapprove of planes as well.
Give me the Good Earth I say. Flying it seems. Bah.