Thusly I am the product of many, many years of mutants fucking other mutants occasionally pausing to kill something. I am perfectly evolved for the world, I can eat total crap and not get ill, my attention span is minute so I don't have to think about the distressing degeneration of the world for more than 37 seconds, I can effortlessly spew management-speak from my face-hole to earn money, I'm sex obsessed without being any good at that commitment nonsense. I am modern man. Oh I'll soon be replaced by some child with a USB port instead of an anus who speaks only in lol-speak and binary but for now I'm basically ideal.
Ideal, you see, because in the modern word you no longer have to climb anything.
On Saturday niknar took me, badusernametag and lydiamorgan to the local climbing centre. Once there I discovered that I am simply not evolved for climbing. The Chapman clan left that behind some millennium ago. We are evolved for sitting, for eating, for talking bullshit. We are not meant for clambering, for swinging, for leaping- for any movement at all really. If it wasn't for the Darlek stairs problem we'd have developed wheels some time ago.
This is not the case with Nik. He is clearly part-man, part spider-monkey. Walls which looked to me (and any sane human) totally unclimable were as nothing to him. He bounded up them apparently unfettered by gravity as I looked on in a combination of shock, awe and mild arousal.
"This one's not too bad!" He cheerfully declared having apparently turned the camera sideways and walked up the wall like 60s Batman.
"Mmmm." I responded non-commitally.
"Here, just start with this one and follow the rocks of the same colours. I'll talk you through it."
"Mmmm." I repeated eyeing the wall as a fat girl eyes scales.
"Look, hand here, foot here and go." he insisted, ignoring my cunning "Mmmm" defence.
So up I went. Slowly but up. Looking back now Nik had chosen a laughable easy starting wall but it certainly didn't seem so at the time. As I went up inch by painful inch I made a fatal error. When I was nearly at the top I looked down. Foolish.
Normally I have no problem with heights. And it wasn't even that high. There were crash mats. I was totally safe. However you try telling your body that when your clinging to a wall by your fingernails. Clearly to fall was to DIE. Responding to evolutionary cues adrenaline flooded my system. "YOU ARE IN DANGER!" my body screamed "KILL, FLEE, ACT!" Such an adrenal rush is useful when faced with a enraged puma, not so useful when you need to stay still and move in a controlled manner. I started to twitch. My leg started to shake.
"You have Elvis leg!" Nik called up to me.
Vowing to later kill and eat Nik I clung to my wall. Only the sure-fire knowledge that Toby would tease me until forever kept me from weeping and demanding help. I started to sweat. The sweat was not helping my wall holding. I had to do this. I had to. Toby had done a wall, admittedly just by reaching to the top and pulling himself up as the bastard is sixteen feet tall, but he had done one. And Nik and Lydia were proper climbers. I had to do it. I just had to. Sheer force of potential social embarrassment drove me on. I reached arm up, to Niks encouraging yells, attempting to ignore that fact that said arm was twitching like an epileptic at a disco. I grabbed and pulled and rose. Finally, finally I reached the top. The relief was tremendous. Then I realised I had to get down...
But, after this less that auspicious start, things got much better. Nik is a fine and almost superhumanly patient teacher (as well as actually being Spider-Man), healthy competition between Toby, Lydia and I kept us going where otherwise we might have given up- It was awesome! Of course now my fingers and toes are in abject agony as I type this but that's the price you pay.
Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to find some radioactive spiders to help me overcome my evolutionary shortcomings.
That blasted wall-crawler