You Next Fall
When you stumble, its good to have
friends to pick you up
by Kent Lewis
my share of spills over the years, as Im sure we all have.
Whether it was a stray shoelace, an uneven crack in the pavement
or a ripple in the carpet, Ive managed to put on a show for
friends and strangers alike. None was more entertaining, however,
than my collegiate experience at Bellis Fair Mall in Bellingham,
in college, I had a bit of fetish for falling. I tripped in class,
in the lunchroom and anywhere between the two. Sometimes I stumbled
on purpose, but most of the time, on accident. The pinnacle of my
obsession came about as homework, of sorts. Two of my close friends
were taking a sociology course and were tasked with conducting an
experiment to evaluate unaided response to stimulus in a public
environment (or something to that effect).
My buddies and
I determined the ideal research project would involve taking a spill
at the area mall and record the reaction of passers by. To make
things more interesting, we decided to orchestrate a "fall"
in front of different types of stores to determine if shoppers behaved
differently based on the stores they frequented.
a brown bag with random objects that could only be found in a dorm
room: tennis balls, boxes of macaroni and cheese, text books and
microwave popcorn, we headed out to the mall. Armed with a tape
recorder and notepad, my cohorts located themselves strategically
in front of the Pet Store as I lined up for the approach.
I felt liberated
as I stumbled and crashed to the ground, tossing the grocery bag
of treasures in the process. Tennis balls rolled down the tiled
floors, boxes of macaroni slide noisily and heads turned. One man
nearby was caught on tape whispering loudly to his son, "Have
a nice trip, see you next fall!" A majority of pedestrians
were more helpful, however, and by the time I got up, my bag was
repacked by total strangers.
The second fall
was set for the entrance to Nordstroms. This time, I walked
alongside one of my friends, who purposely acted as if I was a miscreant
when I asked him for help after falling. He just scoffed, and kept
walking. People that picked up spilled items went as far as to comment
that I should choose my friends more carefully. Indeed. My buddies
wrote up their findings and got an A on the project.
those of us that prefer interacting with total strangers outside
of malls, I recommend Daytona Beach, Florida. Beyond the various
entertainment complexes and sunny beaches, Daytona is known for
annual events. Louder than the famous auto race and more dangerous
than spring break festivities, is Bike
Week. Greg Coyle gives us a first hand account of the nations
largest motorcycle convention.
are environmentally-conscious alternatives to traveling via ear-splitting
choppers or gas
guzzling SUVs. On the other hand, sometimes you can't be too
picky, especially when you're broke and globe trotting. Tom Byrnes
recants tless of hitchhiking
across Europe on pocket change and a student ID. In a related
article, Greg Coyle shares accounts of haircuts
he's received from around the world. Who knew Supercuts had such
a strong global presence?
the focus back to our fine nation, its important not to forget
the most prolific explorer duo of our time: Lewis
& Clark. While much of their journey has been retold through
their own journals and thoroughly researched biographies, new information
has recently surfaced that may shed light into the true relationship
between the seemingly inseparable twosome.
the lighter side, weve located interviews from Anvil employees
that offer insightful perspective on the nearly seven-year-old publication.
The details relating to the Las
Vegas trip are particularly interesting and relevant to this
weve got a few lists for you. If youre thinking of traveling
any time soon, you may want to check out our Least
Popular Tourist Destinations and Most
Popular Attractions in Boring, Oregon, before booking. You wont
regret it, unless, of course, you go.