Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Chicken on the Fußbahn

Of course, Fußbahn is a word I just made up to replace Autobahn, which means, literally, "way that the cars drive". Yer foot is also dein Fuss.

I like to play Chicken on the Fußbahn because it's too much fun. Sometimes I make the mistake of playing a little too early in the morning before coffee and first words exchanged with people who live outside my home that consist of more than "mmphbrrblpoo" and "mmhmlvyoutoobye". So when I play too early in the day, the first words composed in my head are "idiot" "bozo" and "jackass". Not a good start to the day, even if you don't say em out loud. They're still out there in the universe.

Chicken in the Fußbahn is a good way to pass the time if you're a person of considerable stature, like I am, but I shudder to think what would happen were you only 5'6", or weighed under 180 pounds. Careful out there, I don't want anybody getting hurt. Well some of you. But never mind.

I also don't recommend Fußbahn chicken if you're prone to chickening out, because after you've made a commitment, you have to stick to it. Once you lose your nerve, it could take months before you're back out in the field. No, it's your side of the sidewalk, goddammit, and if they don't want to get out of your way, you're going to bowl em over. No ifs ands or buts about it. Of course, you're probably not really going to bash into them, unless you're having a really bad start to your day. Like, missing two out of the Three S's, for example.

Now, this is the important part. It's all about posture. You've got to straighten yourself up to half an inch above your full height. This is an ancient swami trick called Floating Lotus and it involves an infinitesimal amount of hovering above the ground, but you'll get it in time. Then, you square your shoulders and look your opponent straight in the eye. You're going to think that this all sounds a bit aggressive, but I assure you, if they hadn't been walking toward you on your side of the sidewalk, the game would not have been necessary in the first place. (I do not recommend playing Fußbahn Chicken on the left side of the sidewalk in continental Europe or North America. Playing on the right side in England is an equally bad idea, especially in South London.)

Note! Important! Without the Floating Lotus Square Shoulders To The Sky and Accompanying Thousand-Mile-Stare, you are lost. You will find yourself floundering about on the shoulder of the Fußbahn. This takes practice. But eventually, you will get it.

Give it a try one morning when you're feeling particularly ineffective about your life, when you've just been overlooked for a raise or lost a fight with your partner about how many bananas out of the bunch each is entitled to. You'll feel the power rushing right back into your life. Good luck.

No comments: