A LITTLE PERSPECTIVE – You just can’t win

Consideration of various means to public draw attention to your cause.

You just can’t win when you are Canadian. In the winter we spend months indoors trying to survive the big deep freeze. Cabin fever makes us do things that sometimes border on the bizarre.

All of a sudden we get this urge to be outside—go for a walk maybe. The next thing you know you’re on a leisurely stroll clear across the country; or maybe you are on a bicycle with the other side of the continent as your destination. Cabin fever can have lingering effects like that.

And there’s no relief to be had by scratching the itch by taking such a long hike either because you begin finding out things such as the fact that Anarchist Mountain is a pretty long uphill grade.

There’s the hot sun beating down on you as you walk along the asphalt too. That’ll fry your brains and counteract any benefit you were getting from the fresh air anyhow.

Fresh air—if you can find it—that is. Pity the poor vagabond who has to put up with poorly maintained diesel trucks (cough- cough).

Going West down the Anarchist would probably be fun though. But you better stay focused!

If I were going to do one of those walks to gain attention to a cause I’d just do circles in someplace flat like Saskatchewan.

That or maybe a sit-in of some sort. But someone pointed out I wouldn’t generate much attention for the cause just sitting around the house.

I might be able to go online with a webcam – but that probably wouldn’t get too many people returning day after day to check on my progress. My mother might check in once in a while, but other than that I’d be out of luck.

One thing I could try is flagpole sitting. This is something I’ve never personally seen done, but I’ve seen pictures.

It was a fad in the early 20th century. You’d mount a little platform on top of a flagpole and just settle in for days at a time.

I was surprised to learn that the fad was begun by a fellow named Alvin “Shipwreck” Kelly, who —according to Wikipedia—sat on a flagpole, either on a dare by a friend, or as a publicity stunt. Shipwreck’s initial 1924 sit lasted 13 hours and 13 minutes. It soon became a fad with other contestants setting records of 12, 17 and 21 days.

In 1929, Shipwreck decided to reclaim the title. He sat on a flagpole for 49 days in Atlantic City, New Jersey, setting a new record.

The following year, 1930, his record was broken by Bill Penfield in Strawberry Point, Iowa who sat on a flag pole for 51 days and 20 hours, until a thunderstorm forced him down.

From 1933 to 1963 Richard “Dixie” Blandy claimed various records as champion at 77, 78 and 125 days until he died in 1974 when his pole was snapped in half at the Dixie Square Mall. At least they named the mall after him.

For the most part, pole sitting died out after 1929, with the onset of the Depression.

More recently H. David Werder sat on a pole for 439 days, 11 hours, and 6 minutes from November 1982 to 21 January 1984 to protest against the price of gasoline. Thanks Dave, but sitting on your easy chair in the front room would have accomplished as much and would have been, for want of a better word—easier.


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