I am suspicious of people who walk quickly for no reason. People who are late aren’t so bad, they have a reason; they are late. There’s an agreeable air of bungling desperation to their briskness, distinguishing them from the wretched, reasonless fast-walker. Their flushed cheeks, alarmed countenance, agitated flouncing; things we all do with the requisite stimulus, or like I do every day, because I am late, all the time. I want to cheer late people on, to say “Comrade! I too have been late! Run, run like the wind! Actually, crap! I am late! Wait for meee!”
My ire is for those baffling people who seemingly decide to spend their lives responding to some nebulous half-emergency. My people need me! But, not so fast that it requires running, or any form of pedal-based or motorised transport!
Myself, I’m a head-in-the-clouds ambler. I trundle along gawking, letting the day or night’s delectations wash over me like a golden shower from The Almighty, while my mind runs free in imaginary meadows made of candy floss and rainbows and unicorns bestrode by lonely Amazonian girls with pneumatic boobies. Ambling is a mind-clearer, a creative fillip, a way for your unconscious to shake loose solutions to problems intractable by active thought, bubbling them up from the deep to bob around in the sea of your conscious.
Walking is the best way to go more slowly than any other method that has ever been found
Walking is meant to be slow. Fred is a philosopher, which means he knows lots of stuff. Which is good, because I can point to his quote as if it makes my argument sound, then go and stand in a corner looking superior. I might smoke a pipe and wear a hat. If you aren’t already convinced, ambling looks cooler than all that rushing around. You can’t look cool stomping around like you’ve lost your horse.
Charlie, my fiancée, is not an ambler. If Charlie is late, the sonic boom resonates for miles. You can tell she is coming by the clouds of birds scattering in the distance. I don’t even need to see her coming, I can smell the burning rubber.
We have just returned from a wedding in Malaga. I was an usher, a key piece of information the groom forgot to tell me prior to the wedding. It is my experience that Men should not be involved in the wedding process whatsoever; my brother also failed to tell me I was his best man. I found out from a website, presumably setup by his wife. In both cases, I responded in kind, with total dereliction of duty. In Malaga I was tasked with ushering people around and taking Polaroids of all the couples. I took one. A close up of my face. Charlie wrestled it off me before I could take one of my balls. Then I got slaughtered on Sangria and flirted with the grooms Grandmother.
From Malaga we went to Ibiza for a few days, to a beautiful, serene place called Benirras, in the North. We sunbathed and read, and drank wine, and did yoga (kind of, we were near people who did yoga) and watched sunsets, and all the other relaxing stuff you do on holiday. We met some friends and went to Pacha. A load of hippies came down from the hills and played drums and got stoned and had a beach party. It was bloody great. We returned a picture of serenity, and yet once we’d landed, Charlie reverted to type and began marching around like she was corralling troops. We were half way to the train station when I said, “What’s the rush? Are you responding to an emergency?”
“You walk too slowly,” she said without looking back.
“Yeah, but I’m carrying a suitcase and a bag, and you’re-… where’s your suitcase?”
The look on her face as it dawned that she’d run off without her suitcase was glorious. Cheeks flush with the sting of shame, wide-eyed disbelief. It quickly became less glorious when she explained that I would be the one running back. I sprinted (or as close as I can get these days, a motion which has been described as not entirely dissimilar to an excited duck) into the terminal, a circle of airport staff stood around the bag talking into walkie-talkies and looking very serious indeed. As I approached them I heard the words ‘stand down, stand down’.
“Is this your bag?”
“Ye-,” I gasped between breaths, “yea, I… my girlfre-.. she left it..”
“Good job you got here then, we were going to blow it up.”
So, there you have it. People who walk fast are terrorists.