Friday, August 06, 2004

Don’t get up

Why bother moving anymore? Motion, discovered by Newton in the 1600’s, has become outmoded in a few quick centuries. Maybe Newton’s First Law, ‘an object in motion tends to stay in motion’, should be repealed? I still need Newton’s Third Law, ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction’, however. That’s the only thing keeping my ass from falling through the sofa.

I think my motionless day is similar to any other tech worker’s. I get up, get the paper, sit down, and read awhile. I get in my car, which I’m careful to park inside the house to avoid that long walk outside, and drive to work. While the car itself is traveling at great speeds, I’m just sitting there, not really moving too much. I used to reach for the radio controls, but then car makers put them on the steering wheel. I used to curl my cell phone, but now its-hands free, so I don’t dare touch it. I heard people used to have cars with clutches, which sounds like a good leg workout, but alas I have an automatic.

When I get to work I take the elevator to the second floor and plop down in front of the computer in my cube. On breaks, I sometimes pace the diagonal, 11.31 feet. I used to walk to meetings, but we have NetMeetings now, or video conferences. I always wonder about video conferences—does it really help communication to watch the remote people slouch-gazing at a spot two feet right of everyone in the room? Anyway, if I get hungry I got my mini-fridge right there. After awhile I’m sitting my way back home again.

I normally take care of dinner, walking to the door to pay the delivery guy. The delivery guy’s whole job is about moving…so we don’t have too. For entertainment there’s self-programmed TiVo, maybe a (FedEx’d) DVD, or surfing the Internet. I used to take a breathless walk upstairs to get on the computer, but a wireless router and laptop solved that nicely. To recover from sitting around so much I lay in bed sleeping for eight hours at a time.

On the weekends I play a little golf for exercise. Golf consists of riding around in an electric car and swinging a 4-ounce club 25 times an hour for four straight hours. It’s exhausting, but my body is a temple and if you’re going to have a temple make it a big one.

What did people used to do that required movement? I have fond muscle memories from those bygone years, so I wrote a wistful little poem…

Ode to Motions Lost

We used to walk to the store
—now we walk to the door.
Cut some wood, start a fire,
—we got temperature control, just turn it higher.
Maw, intruders! Fetch the gun
—calm down; just push the panic button.
Kids, go outside and play!
—Mom, we *are* playing...GTA.
Walk to school?
—Hey! We’re home-schooled, fool.
Run around the track
—are you crazy? I’ll have a heart attack.
Have a breakdown with your car?
—don’t sweat the jack, call OnStar
Run through the airport to catch a plane,
—now every airport has its own train.
Hike up a mountain, just because its there?
—we’d rather bungee and let gravity give us a scare.
Want to find a bride or groom?
—go hang out for awhile in a chat room.
Take a trip or visit home?
—no need, just send pics direct to my cell phone
Turn off the lights before taking a napper?
—don’t get up, I’ve got the clapper
Go to the hospital when you ache or break?
—how d’ya feel anything when you never move, Half-Baked?