Classic Adams

“You must learn how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. Pick a nice day and try it. The first part is easy. All it requires is the ability to throw yourself forward with all your weight and the willingness not to mind that it’s going to hurt. That is, it’s going to hurt if you fail to miss the ground. If you are really trying properly, the likelihood is that you will fail to miss the ground fairly hard.

One problem is that you have to miss the ground accidentally. It’s no good deliberately intending to miss the ground because you won’t. You have to have your attention suddenly distracted by something else then you’re halfway there, so that you are no longer thinking about falling, or about the ground, or about how much it’s going to hurt if you fail to miss it.

It is notoriously difficult to prise your attention away from these three things during the split second you have at your disposal. Hence most people’s failure, and their eventual disillusionment with this exhilarating and spectacular sport. It is just pure banta.

If, however, you are lucky enough to have your attention momentarily distracted at the crucial moment by, say, a gorgeous pair of legs (tentacles, pseudopodia, according to phyllum and/or personal inclination), or a bomb going off in your vicinity, or by suddenly spotting an extremely rare species of beetle crawling along a nearby twig, then in your astonishment you will miss the ground completely and remain bobbing just a few inches above the ground in what might seem to be a slightly foolish manner.

This is the moment for superb and delicate concentration.

Bob and float. Float and bob.

Ignore all considerations of your own weight and simply let yourself waft higher.

Do not listen to what anybody says to you at this point because they are unlikely to say anything helpful.

They are most likely to say something along the lines of “Good God, man, you can’t possibly be flying!” It is vitally important not to believe them or they will suddenly be right.

Waft higher and higher. Try a few swoops, gentle ones at first, then drift above the treetops, breathing regularily.

DO NOT WAVE AT ANYBODY.”

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