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by Harry
Rated: E · Column · Opinion · #896999
Items in Harry's Harbour are opinions on just about everything, most of them humorous.

Walking interests me. Everywhere you go you'll see people walking. Tall people, short people, men people, women people, thin people, opposite-of-thin people. Walking. Walking across streets, walking on sidewalks, walking into stores and restaurants and banks and so on. It seems to me, people who want to get from where they are to where they want to go, will walk. If it's not too far.

Kids aren't included here. They'll hop, or skip, or jump or slide or skateboard or use any number of ways to get from here to there--usually in a very roundabout way. Adults used to do that, too. Somewhere along the line of life we switched to just plain walking. Most of us, anyway. Too bad. I like skipping, a lot. I used to hop a lot as well. Dad called it a sort of hippity- hop. I still do that when I know no one is looking. It may be because my left leg is a little bit shorter than my right. Or, maybe my right leg is a little longer than my left. After I hippity-hopped my way to a touchdown one time in a High School football game, a guy asked me how I had hurt my leg. I made up something. It wasn't a lie, I just didn't feel like explaining the whole thing.

Today, I would probably get arrested if I tried skipping (to say nothing about hippity-hopping). No matter what physical condition I may possess, my gray hair would give me away to the authorities.

I wouldn't skip too far. Couldn't is probably a better word. But, I still think it would be fun. Once in a while, anyway. It's not allowed, though.

Seems to me we lose a lot of fun things as we grow older. It's not that we can't do a lot of the fun thngs, it's just not allowed. It's not really illegal. It's just not acceptable behavior. Who makes those rules is unknown. To me, anyway. They just seem to be imbedded in our psyche through some mysterious process.

It's not that I mind walking. I do a lot of walking. It's just that we have devised so many acceptable vehicular devices from bikes to cars to buses to trains--all the way up to those capsules perched atop giant rockets--why haven't we concocted something to replace walking?

No one seems to mind too much, I guess. We do have escalators and elevators and T-Bars and J-Bars and golf carts, and even putt-putts for moving around in large stores if you're one of those people who has been advised by your physician not to be on your two feet too long because of some viable medical condition. There just isn't any mode of transportation to replace everyday walking.

Maybe there are too many stairs, or curbs, or doorways to make it a practicable (meaning profitable) project. Could be it would be just too unhealthy. Still, I wonder about walking.

We're so excited about teaching our children to walk we can hardly wait for that first step. We photograph it, videotape it, film it, disk it, and keep a record of it in every way we are able. We even tell everyone who will listen about that "first" step. Our darlin' is walking! Walk tall. Walk straight. Chin up. Chest out.

In the military we did all that walking to keep in shape and learn discipline. They called it "marching". I think we walked and walked and walked just to be doing something until there was something else to do. All of the companies of men couldn't eat lunch at the same time, for example. Some ate. Others marched.

Anyway, there isn't much of an alternative to walking that I know of today for us ordinary people. It still interests me, though.

I guess I'll just go for my afternoon walk, now.

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