NIGHT ON THE TILES

LET IT SLIDE: INFORMER SLIPS INTO SOME­THING MORE COM­FORT­ABLE TO CEL­E­BRATE THE SHEER STUPENDOUSNESS OF SKID­DING

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Gold Coast Eye - - EYE | INFORMER - WORDS: MICHAEL JACOBSON

As­ce­nario to set the scene: Informer is 56, my son is 26 and we are wear­ing socks. All of which in­forms Informer’s ob­ser­va­tion that as much as we hu­mans may think our­selves su­pe­rior, it ain’t nec­es­sar­ily so.

For starters, there are qual­i­ties that unite all species and for which su­pe­ri­or­ity has no mean­ing, such as the need to eat, drink, sleep and re­pro­duce. How­ever, if one thing un­doubt­edly sep­a­rates hu­mans from the pack, it is that which ex­plains the introduction to to­day’s rec­tan­gle. I re­fer, of course, to our need to skid.

This week Mrs Informer pol­ished the tiles. No, that’s not a eu­phemism for any­thing un­savoury, but it does ex­plain why Informer and son spent an hour re­peat­edly push­ing off the front door and tear­ing down the hall­way, in our socks, in search of max­i­mum mo­men­tum for op­ti­mum skid­ding.

One of my ef­forts was so im­pres­sive that as I glided past the spare bed­room I con­fess to un­leash­ing the skid­ders’ time-hon­oured cry: “Wheeeee!” The hu­man propen­sity for skid­ding struck as I was scrolling through Facebook, which lately has been filled with snaps of mates on ski trips. They’re in New Zealand, the Aus­tralian Alps and else­where, all go­ing down­hill fast and lov­ing it. Informer never took to ski­ing, but if you add Pamela An­der­son – a dou­ble D, in other words – then ski­ing be­comes skid­ding and im­me­di­ately I’m a hap­pier chap­pie.

We hu­mans will do any­thing to in­clude skid­ding in our lives and I reckon we should cel­e­brate the fact. As The Who have so of­ten af­firmed: the skids are all right.

I played footy as a boy – proper AFL footy, not soccer, rugby league or the one the Wal­la­bies are nearly al­ways use­less at – and it was al­ways best on wet days when you skid­ded from one end of the field to the other.

That’s why rugby league play­ers dive across the try-line and why soccer play­ers fall to their knees af­ter scor­ing a goal. It’s for the un­bri­dled joy of skid­ding. In mo­tor­sport too, driv­ers risk life and limb not for any­thing so dull as se­ries points, cham­pagne show­ers or stupidly huge tro­phies. They do so for the thrill of post-race dough­nuts and wheel­ies that are, quite clearly, prime ex­am­ples of the hu­man-ma­chine skid­ding nexus. Ice skat­ing and ice danc­ing epit­o­mise artis­tic skid­ding. The most mem­o­rable demon­stra­tion of this was Torvill and Dean’s take on Ravel’s Bolero, the cli­max of which had D fling­ing T across the I in a ma­noeu­vre that is breath­tak­ingly dra­matic, yet still a skid.

Fur­ther­more, you’d hardly be sur­prised if, be­hind Torvill’s stoic ex­pres­sion as she swished to­wards the rink half­way line, she too ex­pressed her ela­tion via a heart­felt though nec­es­sar­ily whis­pered: “Wheeeee!”

Skid­ding is ev­ery­where. Clowns slip­ping on banana peels is skid­ding for laughs. Surf­ing is wet skid­ding, as are wa­ter­ski­ing and those back­yard wa­ter­slides that chil­dren love. They should call those things kid­die-skid­dies.

We have slip lanes, slide rules and glide paths. We wear slips and slip­pers. All are man­u­fac­tured rep­re­sen­ta­tions of our in­nate need to skid.

Michael Jack­son’s moon­walk, Tom Cruise’s en­try in Risky Busi­ness, the luge, the Idi­tarod, skip­ping stones across a pond, slid­ing down ban­is­ters or Informer and son on newly pol­ished tiles – proof abounds that hu­mans not only do skid, but must skid.

Ironic, isn’t it? You can’t ig­nore the facts, even when you’ve got to be skid­ding.

“AS THE WHO HAVE SO OF­TEN AF­FIRMED: THE SKIDS ARE ALL RIGHT.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.