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Oct. 19th, 2012

Getting up, and how to do it: this has been the subject of a lot of good-natured ribbing and silly discussion over the years, mostly when we thought you weren't listening. Pay more attention. If you are going to pay attention then we should have a clear idea where the field stands, so that when you do finally join the conversation you won't go off repeating what we have already got perfectly well established.

Obviously not everybody needs to get up. The prominent first group of people who don't need to get up are the giants. Anybody who's standing more than 75 feet tall on a permanent basis, or 60 feet tall with an adjustable rate waistband when the market is soft, hasn't got any need to get any more up. They're already hogging it as is. The ones who've been well-trained by their parents or their etiquette-awareness software will slouch either a little bit (for those 60-85 feet tall) or by up to ten percent of a bit (for those taller or with a nagging cough). The next important group that doesn't need to be any more up is the people who're already up, though not for the obvious reason. It is because of the ongoing shortage of the ``puh'' sound. And finally are the people catastrophically afraid of pedestals or tall stools. Everyone else is fair game, except for the people who'd crack open if they fell over.

The most popular method of getting up, or of getting more up if you want to cheat and increase the general up-ness of people already up, would be the Personapult, also known as the Autotrebuchet (confusing everyone who thought that was those cars Romanian Communists bought when they were in Romania), the Splatapult (not one of the more popular lines), or the Supertrampoline (a name fallen out of favor now that it passes spell-checkers and makes a silly face at them). In any case the system's the same: just get yourself ready, get accelerated up to speed, and before long, you're much higher up. The only problem is if somebody's failed to place the giant catcher's mitt you're supposed to aim at, or if your aim is bad. Air traffic control is mighty sick and tired of people being flung into low orbital space, causing planes to flinch. During the packed air traffic jam of September 2011, four people being flung up in the Chicago-O'Hare area caused a herd of Boeings to panic, setting off a stampede of 757's that reached as far as Lincoln, Nebraska, before the participants realized that whatever they were looking for it probably wasn't out there. We're still sorting out these issues.

It's also none too popular with building owners, at least those who failed to include breakaway roofs and walls and such. It's more popular with builders, naturally, and the source of a studiously affected mock indifference from the breakaway roof industry, which is more interested in wondering why it shouldn't be ``rooves''. There is no answer to this question.

A less popular way of getting up is to be lifted by someone or something. This grows over four points in popularity when it's referred to as being ``hoisted'', however, since ``hoist'' has this wonderful vaguely nautical air and just reeks of adventure and high seas and confusion with ``joist'', which is the past tense of ``juice''. It all sounds quite delicious and who could resist? To be hoisted (or, to use the present subperfect avoirdupois tense, ``to have been hoise'') requires finding something reasonably enough bigger and letting it give you just enough up-ness to meet the immediate need. Again, don't hog it, or you might end up stuck ``up'' and go off looking for ``down'', which makes others think you're just being contrary.

Another method of getting up is sarcasm, but that's just because sarcasm these days is applicable to everything, including greeting cards, hula hoops, relative humidity, and candles, with results that appear similar to the untrained eye.

Any questions should be directed to the Office of Major League Baseball, in care of anyone you think needs a bit of excitement.

Trivia: In his proposal Alexander Hamilton called for the Bank of the United States to be capitalized to $10 million. At the time the three state banks in existence had a combined capitalization of about $2 million. Source: An Empire Of Wealth: The Epic History Of American Economic Power, John Steele Gordon.

Currently Reading: Night of Light, Philip José Farmer.

PS: Why Not Infinitely Many More Rides?, furthering my explorations of how many more rides of Disaster Transport [ profile] bunny_hugger and I might have expected based on the coin-flip scheme for re-riding.


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