Tuesday, April 17, 2007

M.o.M.’s Guide to Walking

According to just about everyone, walking is going to be the hot new trend this year. But what exactly is walking? According to anthropologists, walking is an activity that humans used to engage in frequently. For example, during the Ice Age, people would walk for miles and miles in order to track a woolly mammoth, kill it, roast it, eat it, and smear its blood on their genitals. In more recent times, people would walk to the subway, jump on a train, disembark, and walk to their office, whereupon they would promptly fall asleep for eight hours.

Sadly, in even more recent times, and in cities such as ours, the ancient art of walking has been almost entirely forgotten. The only people who still maintain this custom are the homeless, some of whom will keep walking even if their socks wear out.

But things are set to change. Walking is going to become glamourous because it can make you fit. And also because it gives you something to brag about to your friends.


Friend: I drove here for my double-double and a dozen Timbits.

You: I WALKED here for my double-double and a dozen Timbits.

Friend [now visibly impressed]: Holy fuck!

Because of the popular demand for more self-help literature, the M.o.M. has developed a guide to Bi-Pedal Locomotion (a.ka. “Walking”) so that you can get up, stand up, and take a few tentative steps to somewhere. Anywhere! Just remember not to be discouraged if initially you experience dizziness, shortness of breath, or fall down. Walking isn’t easy, and the skills cannot be acquired overnight.

The Guide to Bi-Pedal Locomotion (a.ka. “Walking”)

Things to remember:

1. Unless you want everyone to laugh uproariously at you, be careful not to drag your knuckles along the ground while you walk.

2. Look purposeful. Adopt an erect, slightly aggressive posture, and maintain a brisk pace.

3. Refrain from climbing trees during your walk. You risk breaking the limbs of fragile young saplings. And in the event that you get stuck, you divert the precious resources of the fire department from cat rescue.

Frequently asked questions about walking.

Q: Is it OK to walk while drunk?

A: Drunk walking, while more difficult than sober walking, is nevertheless a much admired skill and as of publication (April 16, 2007) was not prohibited for our neatly-groomed and educated readers. Be aware, however, that for vagrants, drunk walking will result in imprisonment, a trip to the hospital, or an overnight stay at the homeless shelter. The M.o.M. advises that if you are going to drink and walk, do not vomit upon yourself.

Q: I prefer to read about self-improvement rather than actually improve myself. Is there any chance that I will be able to take up walking?

A: Reading about walking, while not as effective as walking itself, does nevertheless require literacy, and so you win a few points in our books. Keep it up!

Q: What happens if I’m walking during the night and somebody removes a manhole cover and I happen to fall in because I didn’t see the gaping hole?

A: You will become crippled or dead.

Q: Is it fair to say, then, that walking is pretty dangerous?

A: Risk-averse readers are encouraged to order the Guardian Bunker, which has been built to withstand hurricanes, tornadoes, flooding, bombing, and the second coming of Christ. At a cost of only $76,000, this handy cement contraption, reinforced with rebar, will offer protection for you and your family for many years to come. All you need is a decade’s worth of non-perishable food and an emergency generator to power the ventilation system and terrorism-detection radar. Huzzah!

Q: Can people of any religion walk?

A: Yes, they can. Astute readers might already know about the Muslims’ annual pilgrimmage to Mecca, the Jews’ flight out of Egypt, not to mention Jesus’ wandering all over Israel in search of fish.

Q: Would you like to go for a walk with me?

A: What a delightful idea! Let's ensure we pack some cheese in case we get hungry along the way.