Saturday, August 30, 2008

Lad 1 and the Quest for Fame

Remember that crazy Madagascar chase sequence in Casino Royale? You know the one – with the crane-hopping, table-vaulting, and acrobatic display of the fleeing bomb-maker?

You don’t?

Said bomb-maker is played by none other than Sébastien Foucan – an ambassador of “Free running” (a physical art often confused with Parkour – which, while similar, has a different founding philosophy).

I discovered this was very “hip” amongst a small body of my students when one of my Media Studies students begged the sharing of this video:

Whether ones motives are artistic, to impress, to exercise, or stay alive, my recent observations of free-running-hopefuls-in-training are equally entertaining.

That’s right, I recently saw some locals vaulting over picnic tables and brick walls at the school where I teach. Vaulting not once; not twice; but over and over. The first occasion there was a pair of lads (Lad 1 and Lad 2) vaulting a picnic table in turns, applauding one another’s efforts – that was, until my colleague, Matt, sauntered out in all of his Samoan brawn to inform the boys their stunts were not appreciated on the school’s equipment. The second time (last week) Lad 1 came back Hans Solo and proceeded to up-and-over the brick fence outside my classroom for 30 minutes. Authoritative, ex-prison-warden-Matt was not witness to this, and therefore I was permitted time to reflect on Lad 1’s motives.

These are my favourite hypotheses on “Lad 1’s motives”:

  • Lad 1 is preparing to be a gymnast at the London 2012 Olympics…now if only they’ll approve brick-wall-jumping as an event;
  • Lad 1 was once chased by an elder brother, pinned down, and forced to tightly close his eyes in the hope of keeping the saliva suspended from his brother’s mouth from falling therein. Lad 1 will never be caught in a chase again;
  • Lad 1’s girlfriend thinks Sébastien Foucan has nice calves;
  • Lad 1 has a blog titled “Urban Beauty” and that day’s post on modern art was titled, “Study in Brick”. (Do you think he’d link to me?); and
  • Lad 1 believes the word “intermediate” on the school’s sign is a statement of what level local free-runners have attained and therefore where they should congregate accordingly; like a club. He has heard the next 007 movie will be made in Dunedin and he is hoping he will be spotted and cast to play a terrorist that can jump things and perhaps then his big brother will finally respect him and his girlfriend will be quiet about other men and their muscle mass.
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