Anakana Schofield – Author of Bina, Martin John and Malarky

Crane brain?

Which part of the brain is responsible for insisting one must scale a crane? Is there a polar opposite to fear of heights in the brain? Some part that improves the higher you put your head up into the air?

A new craze for climbing Britain’s highest cranes, taking a picture of yourself and posting it on websites is seizing self-styled ‘urban explorers’.

Example of a man parachuting off one can be found on the reliable video source for much human lunacy youtube.

 I once witnessed a young man ride a small bicycle down the very steep side wall of a set of stairs. I spied him at the top, ready to attempt this urban devilment and felt if he was about to risk his cranium someone ought to bear witness to it, so put down my shopping and settled in. Another man stopped and we debated whether or not he’d do it. Several other mutterers stopped and expelled how stupid he was. Whether or not he was stupid was unlikely to change his mind as he was perched up there on that bicycle and appeared to be a few stages beyond weighing up the risks involved.

Eventually he not only rode down the skinny, mad steep wall but performed this exceptional jump when he took off. The stranger beside me was so overcome at the sight of it, he grabbed my arm and we both shouted in surprise when he got to the bottom that what he’d managed was incredible. Beside us a confused mutterer shrieked he should stop wasting tax payers money.

 Not that I’d be heartily recommend people drive bicycles down walls, but the young fella had as much chance as making it to the bottom as not and yet we were exclusively fixated on the likelihood he might not.

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