You mess with Harpo Marx, you get the horns.

Friday, April 20, 2007

The Tubular Possibilities

After Wednesday's post, I began to wonder if there weren't other loonies... ahem, I mean daredevil stuntmen looking to brave the abyssal depths of the Underground in the search for new sport. I then consulted our regular solicitor F. Johnny Lee and explained that there might be a market for this sort of thing. He replied, "What, getting killed by a train while rollerblading?" I replied, "I hadn't thought of that one, and jotted it down in my notebook." He replied by swatting me on the back of my head with his leather bound legal pad. I responded by threatening to take him off retainer once my novel sold. This made him laugh for nearly twenty minutes, tears of mirth pouring down his face. He then patted me on the back and charged me for 20 billable minutes of legal advice.

I've always said I got into this blog to make people laugh, but I think he took it just a bit too far.

Anyway, there are many other possibilities for sport in the Tube, but I must first point out that anyone stupid enough to try the following observations (as opposed to suggestions... F. Johnny Lee says that "observations" is a neutral word, whereas "suggestions" is a word used by people who liked to be sued and/or probed with rubber gloves. I think he was speaking metaphorically.) ...where was I, ah yes! Anyone stupid enough to try the following observations is acting on their own responsibility. The Dictionary for Unfortunate Ideas is not responsible for those people being mental and/or perverts (We cover all the bases here).

So, if someone was mental enough to go on a suicidal binge into the Underground looking for sport, these are the likely alternatives they'd look into:

  • Hang gliding between the Victoria and District lines
  • Intracarriage Rugby (full Union during rush hour, but only Sevens in the late evening)
  • Escalator bowls
  • Lift tennis
  • Busker tipping
  • Loo hockey
  • Travelcard turnstile show jumping
  • Stairwell bobsledding (but only when the lifts are running)
  • Platform cricket (you can only hit for six when there isn't a train in the station)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Tube Escalator Skiing or The Lives of Bored Idiots

With the awful news from Blacksburg, Virginia yesterday, along with the regular bad news drumbeat from Iraq, this hasn't been a week for high comedy. Still, everyone needs a break from the seriousness of the world sometimes (I've been taking the advice of Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie lately and reading Wodehouse) and so I mention this in passing: Apparently, someone has figured out how to ski down the escalator of the Angel Tube Station in London.

For those familiar with the history of British skiers (See Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards), it would seem that skiing anyplace in Britian, much less down the longest escalator in Europe, would be a hazardous hobby on the order of juggling chain-saws after giving someone a vigourous olive oil rubdown. Nonetheless, someone has done it and in the public interest I feel compelled to point out the potential hazards and (no pun intended) downfalls of such sport, lest it catch on during some rush-hour.

The Hazards and Downfalls of Tube Escalator Skiing

by Earl Fando (non-skier)

  • Really obliterates the finish on your ski wax
  • Incessant mocking by local buskers when you fall. The worst of the lot are the ones who know the American Wide World of Sports theme music and play it, loudly proclaiming "The Agony of Defeat" in a weak Jim McKay impression.
  • Escalator entrances make for poor starting gates
  • No room to slalom
  • Getting sucked under the escalator if your skis catch at the bottom
  • Collisions with drunken pub trawlers from the Angel Pub or bag-laden fruits and veggies shoppers from the Chapel Market
  • Constables favour ski jumpers over regular skiers because they're more exciting
  • Helmet and goggles make it difficult to read warning labels and public notices
  • "Minding the Gap" on Tube stops where the escalators end precariously close to the tracks
  • Over-agressive fish and chips vendors
  • Ski-poles get caught in the grooves on the steps
  • Difficult to carry ski equipment and use the Travelcard at the same time
  • The miserably long lines to get to the top of "the slopes"
(Hat tip: London Underground Tube Diary, a recent Blogger Blog of note, you lucky bastards.)

Update: According to a BBC article, the skier in the video was a Norwegian, which explains how he managed to stay on his feet.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Speaking of working out...

...many of you may have wondered what my old workout routine was before taking up the rigourous regimen described in my previous post. I haven't a great deal of time to detail it, but I think I can provide a synopsis below.

  • Arrive home
  • Enjoy a large meal consisting of meats, preferably bacon and sausage, with some lean beef and starches included.
  • Pudding
  • Sit in front of computer screen thinking up silly crap to amuse myself and the four saints who regularly visit our site
  • Send e-mail to Stew and Nuffy begging them to post more regularly (at least once a month)
  • Second pudding
  • Sleep

Many people will callously remark that this is the workout of a bloke with the physique of the later Elvis. Others will joke that this is the workout of a man destined to actually become a pudding. I should point out that with my current rippling physique, I could crush those cynics like a soggy Blancmange.

However, there was some rigour to my original workout. I never took tea in those days, as I could never stand those ruddy cucumber sandwiches.