I have had several proud moments winning various competitions in my life. Amongst them:
• Pie-eating contest in 4th grade. Harrison School summer camp.
• Twist contest (as in Chubby Checker) in 6th grade. My father’s company picnic.
• Cookie Jar (as in rhythm game) contest in my college Orff class.
• Railroad walk contest (as in balancing while walking on a raised railway) at a men’s group retreat in 1996. (1st place, me—one mile. 2nd place— 200 yards).
And now I have a new one. 0.0 silentwalker.
Yesterday was touring through the city with our five Music Interns and stumbled into a free day at the Exploratorium Science Museum. Amongst dozens of fascinating hands-on (and feet-on) exhibit was a 15-foot gravel path on which you had to walk making the least amount of noise possible (as in stalking prey out in the wild). There was a digital scoreboard showing the amount of noise you were making— most folks between 1.0 and 3.0. the guy who gave up and just walked registered 45.8. There were 12 people ahead of us and for a while the record was .5. Then one woman did a remarkable .1.
I went first in my group and by now the line had expanded to 20. When I came out the other side, I was greeted with enthusiastic applause. My score? 0.0!!!! How proud was I of that? Let’s just say I’m putting it at the top of my Curriculum Vitae.
So my next challenge is to walk silently on a railway while eating pie, dancing the twist and playing the Cookie Jar. Wish me luck.