Saturday, December 8, 2012

Walking Experiment #1

Brad asked me what my New Years resolution was going to be. I paused, considered it. "Drink less," I said. "Exercise every day."
"I hate that," he exclaimed. "Why don't people do more of something they like in the new year? Or stop doing something they hate? Like say 'this year I'm not going to wait in any lines.'"

The Instant Gratification Walk can sometimes be the Rigorous Self-Denial Walk. For a day (or more...a year??), avoid waiting in lines, no matter what. This may translate to shopping at "off hours"...odd hours, to patronizing otherwise unappealing or second string establishments. It may require hastily exiting buildings, or dropping out of ongoing activities.

Have you heard "Nights in White Satin" at 2AM at your local grocery store? As you navigated your shopping cart down the empty aisles, stocking up on cans of coconut milk and baby corn? It feels enormous, like an otherworldy opera, and you're the tragic star.

I can not recommend this experiment if your imminent plans require airline travel or voter registration. If your plans involve bus travel, you will likely be doing yourself a favor by avoiding the experience altogether. It may preclude interactions with any and all forms of bureaucracy. But those can probably wait till next year.
And bear in mind, there are always alternatives and there are always loop holes.

(Thanks to an unknown prop maker at Artist Image Resource in Pittsburgh for the photo op)

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