This weekend, I voluntarily pitched myself from a small metal cage, mounted at the head, so to speak, of a massive erection.
It was a singular act of spontaneity. I had not woken up that particular morning with an unexpected yearning to experience the delightful sensation of a gravity-assisted plummet. Nor had I pulled up at the NEC that lunchtime in search of a means to appease a deep-seated craving for the pleasures of high-velocity flesh-concrete fusion. No, by all accounts it was just another day, and I was thinking no further ahead than my sandwich fillings. Smoked ham or stilton? Chutney or pickle?
Fate, however, is inexorable, as a fictional Bernard Cornwell character might slip onto the end of a particularly poignant sentence. That day, it was fate that caused the crumbling remains of the fortune cookie to reveal a biscuity surprise – I had won a bungee jump! As quick as lightning I was fast-tracked through to the signing of a dubiously-vague disclaimer, upon which I left my excited, sweaty mark, and ushered in the direction of the exit with directions floating round my head in a most misdirecting fashion.
And so it was that I found myself with my toes hanging over the edge of the doorway, looking out of a wildly-swinging, wind-buffeted cage and into – well, nothing. There were people far below me, I knew that much. The big green tarpaulin looked decidedly smaller than it had on the ground. And the man with the kitchen-roll had definitely hidden his absorbent proffering from view. I remember looking down on the roof of the NEC. “I’m letting go in three… two…” said the other chap in the cage, who I now noticed was receding upwards at an alarming rate. I had already fallen a hundred feet before I realised, then I was flailing through the air, limbs gyrating, great globules of phlegm spurting at random passers-by.
I wish I had been an observer at this point. As my limp form was lowered gingerly to the ground, occasional spasms showing that I was still in fact one of the living, the crowd became silent. There were no words from any of the onlookers as I shed harness and collected bag and coat. They had just witnessed something rather unpleasant happening to a fellow human being.
“Was it painful?” enquired a girl timidly. I exited the compound, briskly replied and made for the nearest patch of grass.
“…you weren’t supposed to say that…”