The Guardian

Anyone who reads the Guardian – or at least the weekend magazine – may have read Guy Browning’s regular short articles about the weirdest of subjects. I have decided to add a section in here for them now on as they are very interestingly written and just so I can keep them.

Here is this weekend’s.

How to … skip

Guy Browning
Saturday August 26, 2006

Skipping is what you do when you want to jump for joy but need to get from A to B at the same time. Skipping is how knees laugh. Like sidestroke in the swimming pool, you can actually move pretty quickly skipping, but you look a bit of an idiot doing it.

The opposite feeling to skipping is sinking. Interestingly, your heart skips a beat just before you get a sinking feeling. Getting stones to skip over water is intensely satisfying because, for a moment, they skip rather than sink. It must be the ultimate thrill for stones.
Boxers incorporate skipping into their training routine; it works out the trapezius muscles, and also when someone calls you a big girl’s blouse for skipping, you get a practice fight laid on for you.
Skipping is happiness in motion. That’s why you don’t see a lot of it at funerals, unless someone knows that the will is looking exceptionally good for them. It’s also why the father generally accompanies the bride down the aisle – so she doesn’t skip all the way up and trip over her train in an inappropriate and undignified manner.

Animals don’t skip. That’s because skipping doesn’t fulfil any of the functions important to animals: feeding, fighting, fleeing or firkling. When humans skip it’s highly unlikely they’re doing any of the above, either.

The triple jump is basically a hop, skip and a jump, but they changed the name because skipping didn’t sound much like an Olympic sport (pretty rich when they’ve got beach volleyball). Falling in love is like the triple jump: the even pace of life is suddenly disrupted by a sudden upward movement; you then skip with happiness, before leaping into the relationship sandpit.

When you look at your life, it’s instructive to see what internal gait you favour: are you a trudger, leaper, dancer, dragger, loper, sprinter or plodder? Skippers are the most blessed in life. It’s what God would do if he wasn’t obliged to be everywhere at once.

People love skipping. If it said skip the rest of this, you probably would.

Skipping over things is one of life’s great pleasures. There is no rule that says you have to start at the beginning and work your way through to the end. And if there was a rule that said that, you could skip it.


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