My friend at Egads! and I decided to write blogs with the same title tonight and see what happens. This could be an exercise in synonyms for “splat.” Here’s mine:
My college boyfriend lived on the seventh and top floor of our dorm, at the very end of the hall. The window at the end of the hall was easy to open, and there was no screen.
Seven stories below was the dirty blacktop behind our dining hall and its dumpsters. And sometimes, bananas from the dining hall would splatter with the force of seven stories of acceleration on that blacktop beneath the boys’ window.
(For the record, I believe a cantaloupe was flung out the window once, by whom I don’t recall, but much to everyone’s dismay, it was not promptly hosed away by the poor staff of our residence hall. It sat shattered and rotting for days. But at least no one was injured.)
Why did they do it? Part curiosity, part entertainment. It’s true that cats usually carry the curiosity capital in our lexicon, but I suppose college students and humans in general cash in at a close second to our feline friends.
There are, of course, more sophisticated versions of human curiosity that don’t involve hoisting produce out a window to see what happens. Meditation, for example: we sit on cushions, look at our minds and see what happens. Sometimes it’s just as thrilling as the thwack of a melon hitting the pavement from high above. But usually, it’s more like stepping on an obliterated three-day-old banana peel.
That’s where the entertainment factor comes in. After an all-day zazen back in my Zen days, I got so bored with myself I couldn’t take it anymore. I was just so sick of being in my head. I am so boring, oy! As I sat frozen on that cushion waiting for the bell, I would have given anything to drop something off the top of a tall building and watch it go splat with that satisfying twack and giggle to myself in the mindless joy of simple entertainment.
Fortunately, my curiosity about the human mind was renewed later, and I returned to the cushion to see what would happen. But sometimes it’s too much. Sometimes humans need a break to see something ridiculous, like what a curious cat will do with a paper bag for hours on end, or what would happen if you threw a Twinkie off a building.
For those not curious enough to watch the video, I’ll tell you — it’s not much. But it brought the videographers child-like, temporary joy.