I had another post written. Actually, it was up for about ten minutes before I thought better of it, so I apologize to anyone who may have caught it. It was just a downer. I may run it some other time, though. We’ll see. I generally have an idea of what to write about by the time I get into work in the morning, and that already-written post had my mind monopolized for a good chunk of the day. As such, I’m now resorting to my list, only two items long, of ideas for posts when I’m out of ideas. Some of you will be vaguely familiar with the following concept as you may have heard it described by me; to the rest of you, allow me to introduce you to…Tabling!
You may recall, from yesterday’s post, an activity I referred to as "bouldering." Bouldering is a condensed form of rock climbing on, you guessed it, boulders. Because they’re shorter, you can focus on more difficult or gymnastic movement unencumbered by ropes and hardware. Tabling, then, is what you do when you don’t have a boulder to use. As far as I know, it originated, like many climbing innovations, in the Yosemite Valley. It came to me two years ago through a friend and fellow park ranger in Grand Teton who had worked in Yosemite previously. I swear to you it is a surefire way to liven-up any party. As a matter of fact, you should base an entire party solely around tabling. Helmets may be a good idea.
All you need to table is a sturdy, rectangular, four-legged table, serious determination, and a tolerance for minor pain. Shoes are optional, but I recommend them. Your heels will thank you. The basic "problem," as we call it, is this: lying facedown on the table lengthwise, you must go headfirst over one end, travel the length of the underside of the table, come back out the other end and back on to the top without touching the floor. It’s hard to do but it’s a hoot to watch, I promise. Alcohol makes it even funnier. More advanced tablers can try it backwards and the truly top-notch table jockey can go for the infamous table traverse.
My second season in Grand Teton, we held a tabling party in my cabin and it was a huge hit. You would not believe how obsessed people became with getting it. Once they saw it could be done, there was no stopping them. At least, that is, until we had broken two tables (mine and my neighbor's). Even then, though, we just used other people's tables at later parties. Seriously, you've got to try it. It's freakin' awesome.
The dismount: Turning the lip as you go down is the hardest part.
Proper under-table technique. Notice the importance of the heels.Getting back up on top can be tricky. Note the feet-first attempt.Spotting is important on both the dismount and the re-mount. Carpet makes for safer landings in the event of the inevitable crash.Ahh, sweet success. Note the mysterious hand ensuring the table stays upright for the top-out. All-time great, and bizarre, party. And if you think tabling is weird, you should have seen us cabining.