The Electrician and I are in Banff, where the sun finally shone on us after days and days of rain. We walked to a great Irish pub a couple blocks from the hotel for a late dinner, and it was drizzling vigorously when we came back out to the street. I think the storm clouds have our number; they find us wherever we go, and I’m getting sick of it.
Anyway, in the Irish pub, something that actually interested me for once was on the Sports channel, which is the station required to play in all bars by my count. It was the Pro Street Championships of Skateboarding, or something like that, otherwise known as a bunch of skinny guys in really tight pants whose mommas wanted more for them. In all seriousness, though, these guys could do amazing things on their skateboards; I was afraid for someone’s life at least once, and I worried about critical gonad injury in a number of tense moments.
I know squat about skateboarding. From careful observation, I saw these dudes zinging around on their boards with reckless speed and athleticism: I also noticed that they have an aversion to curving the brims on their hats. It took me a few passes to realize how the tricks in these competitions are filmed, because it didn’t strike me at first as strange that the camera keeps up with the athletes and even zooms in on their sneakers in certain moments. Then I noticed another guy skating down the starting ramp at the same time as the contestant on deck: again, I know nothing about skateboarding and thought momentarily there was a race underway.
Apparently, there is a camera man who skates alongside the competitors as they execute the course. This brave soul zips along on a skateboard at the same speed as the professional skateboarders, except he has to hold a camera at shin height while he rolls. This dude is all hunkered over, holding the camera that weighs the same as a two year old child or a well-fed beagle, and still manages to navigate the course without crashing, tripping the competitors, or spontaneously combusting. He is clearly a skateboard genius with the balance of a unicyclist spinning plates.
I fall down on flat ground when I wear flip flops, so I stay away from wheeled things like skateboards and rollerblades as a general life-prolonging habit. Today, I add yet another profession to the growing list of things I could never do for a living. Mr. skateboard competition cameraman, I salute you.
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