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The Weather Up There

Greg o' Isenfir mentioned that I walked on stilts at 12th Night.

It's true. And I had such a good time that I thought I would relive
the experience here.

I crashed at Dafydd's that Friday. After the obligatory nickel tour of
Dafydd's latest projects and toys, things settled down and folks got
back to work on spiffola for the next day. I noted an odd wooden thingus
lying neglected in a corner and so I tried to put my keen and well-honed
intellect to the task of figuring out what the hell it was. 

The thing seemed utterly non-functional to me. I asked Dafydd what the
deal was and he said it was a vise. Umm, well, okay. It DID look kind of
like a cabinetmaker's clamp; but the straps were all wrong. I asked D.
to explain how it worked and he said it was a messed up prototype. If this
thing really was a clamp, it was fundamentally wrong in a really big way.
I am well familiar with Dafydd's work. The idea that Dafydd could screw
up something this simple in so basic a way skittered around in my brain and
ultimately bounced back out to lie on the floor, forgotten. I had other
things on my mind.

The next day, Dafydd presented me with the thingus, one piece in each hand.
As soon as it was _two_ thingi instead of _one_ thingus, it was instantly
recognizable as a pair of strap-on stilts! I gave some sort of startled
eeep of delight and snatched up the death-defying keentoy.

"Quick! I need to try them on before Nicole catches me!" Probably an
unfair appraisal of the situation; but Grace Hopper taught me that
"Please forgive me" is better than "May I please" in some cases. This s
seemed like just such a case.

Shawn helped me out by strapping me into the foolkillers and spotting 
for me outdoors while I learned how to walk. Then we took our show on the
road and I walked through the hall. Unrehearsed, I bowed and took off my
hat for the Crown. Panic set in as soon as I had my hat in my hand. It 
turned out that not being able to flail my arms around madly was bad for
my longterm health. But I got the hat back onto my head and even managed 
to stay vertical without skittering too much. Then Her Nibs said "kneel".

Hrrrm. The situation seemed to call for a snappy comeback; but I was 
using every spare brain cell just to stand.

Dafydd, who is perforce wise in the ways of people using unfamiliar
muscle groups, knew I was out of gojuice about 5 steps before I did.
By the time I understood that I would soon me physically unable to 
send commands to my legs and have them be obeyed, Dafydd had set up
a chair on top of a table in my flight path and had a hand outstretched.

Shawn and Dafydd got me out of the damn things. After a few minutes of
rest, I began running around the room, looking for friends to brag to
about my uncanny puissance on stilts. "Didn't fall even once! God, what
a stud!" I was truly pleased with myself.

Tanner and his lady asked to use the stilts. I was delighted to share
my spiffo new toy and spotted for her. It was at that point that I realized
who deserved the credit for my "stunning" success of a half hour previous.
It was Shawn. Spotting is MUCH more mission-critical and in many ways
more stressful, as you are reacting to someone else and responsible for
their safety. I thought back over all those times I had stretched out a hand
for support, unable to look that direction or even speak intelligibly.
Shawn was always there, not saying a word, just busily keeping me alive.

Thanks, Dafydd. And thank you, Shawn.


--------- John Strauss     gc429@cleveland.freenet.edu ---------
University Atlantia #38 is April 8th at Rencester on the William
and Mary Campus. Taking class proposals immediately. Taking bids
for UA #39 on July 1st.  - Henry Best, Chancellor, U of Atlantia