Planking has of recent acquired notoriety since people started planking themselves to death. (No, it’s not as the phrase may suggest, being hit over the head with a plank of wood, instead planking means lying belly down with your arms at your side like a plank of wood and having your picture taken in that position.) Certain “adventurous” plankers (or should they be called wankers?) are the cause of the current brouhaha. These people, not content planking on park benches and camel humps, started planking on police cars and 7 storey balconies – sad tale, RIP)
And since notorious is what notorious does (if it seems unreasonable that notoriety breeds popularity, one only need consider notorious B.I.G.), the Planking phenomenon has more or less reached critical mass.
Even a PM has waded in, hmm, that’s until the picture showing the PM planking “in fun” at home (just to show the uninitiated friends and family how it’s done safely) gets leaked unto the Internet (Mr. Assange, heads up!)
I am surprised there have been no alternative play on the word itself, because some of the pictures I have seen on the Internet definitely brings to ones lips expressions such as “no, that’s not possible” and “it must be reinforced” and if you are a man, and you are that reinforced, don’t expect any love from the ladies, they would be too scared to touch you with a 6foot pole. Which brings us to my proposal for a safer alternative to planking called “Poling” – please note that planking is not going anywhere anytime soon (what with students getting suspended for it, and some places banning it, get ready for several new waves of planking – it’s a movement on its own now)
Poling (someone has suggested pillaring, but I think it doesn’t quite roll off the tongue) is defined as standing (yes standing) straight with your hands by your side like a pole and having your picture taken. The creativity comes from your location when poling of course. People have been poling forever (so it won’t be easy to ban) – who hasn’t seen a picture of a friend or relative poling next to one of the guards at Buckingham palace? Or sidling sideways at the last moment into some celebrity picture?
So poling is all about location, location, location.
Here are some suggestions to kick-start your foray into Poling:
– you can pole next to a pole in the middle of nowhere
– you can pole next to a lions cage at the zoo (not inside the cage next to the lion)
– you can pole next to anyone that is not aware of your presence
– you can pole at the bus station (be considerate and don’t hold up the line)
– you can pole next to the Eiffel tower (if you look too small in the picture, do it next to a small-sized replica)
– you can pole in front of your TV while that premier league championship is on (note: “your TV”, not in front of the TV at your local watering hole)
Of course poling is not safe from stupidity – I am sure given a little time, people will start poling on trams; on railway lines (and getting their feet stuck with an oncoming train in the picture); experimenting with reverse-poling (standing on ones head).
To make things even more interesting, let me introduce a poling variation called “back-poling”. Back-poling is standing (the “poler”) with back next to an unwitting participant (the “polee”), with the poler looking in the same direction as the polee. The trick is to do it quickly without actual physical contact and the best pictures are those with the polee having some sort of startled look while the poler keeps a straight face. The only danger is the possibility that the polee will be one of those jumpy fellows who proceed to jump, then push the poler into the path of an oncoming vehicle or off some raised platform.
In which case, we simply attribute the accident to another planking gone wrong. After all, the dog already has a bad name – an extra alias won’t make much of a difference.
Have (safe) fun Poling!