Friday, December 01, 2000

True feats of daring

Much hype in the media recently about some magician fellow in New York City trapping himself in a block of ice for days on end as a test of survival and endurance. New Yorkers could allegedly walk by and watch him freezing in there, and be awestruck. Or more likely amused--confinement in a cake of ice is hardly the height of physical challenge for New Yorkers. You want endurance? Try a long subway ride in a crowded car. You want to live in a block of ice? Try an apartment with a chintzy landlord. You want survival? Try jaywalking.

Or, I’d suggest, try being a parent. I don’t know if this David Blaine has children, but his rather unimaginative notions of what constitutes survival in tight spots indicates not. Therefore, I’d like to help him out by proposing a few more frightening stunts for his next foray into feats:

* One car. One parent. Two kids. One Sesame Street audiotape. (May I suggest the one where Grover sings “There’s a Hole in the Bottom of the Sea”?) One long drive. Can he survive with his sanity intact?

* One pediatrician’s waiting room. Fifteen sick children spraying germs. No ventilation, no air-conditioning, no way out. Can he survive with his immune system intact?

* One set of Chuck E. Cheese tubes, high overhead. Trapped in a cylinder barely big enough to move in. Toddlers to the left. Toddlers to the right. Puddles of unkown origin. Can he escape without injuring small children?

* One small schoolbus-shaped playtent. One determined child who wants you to PLAY. Endless scenarios that make no sense. Extreme heat and discomfort. Cramped muscles. Numbing boredom. Can he endure the ordeal without injuring anyone’s self esteem?

* Many noisy children. One harried mom. One dad who goes off to perform silly stunts and leaves her with all the work. He’s never seen a block of ice like he’s going to see when he gets home. Can he thaw her out, or will he run down to the basement and hide in his old glass coffin?

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