Wednesday, May 3, 2023

Face Plant

Face Plant

(1) A result of inadequate trail hygiene. Contrary to what you might think, the most extreme face gardens do not show up on those with the most snout foliage. In fact most of those are little leaguers since it takes just about zero talent at all to accumulate soil, decaying organics, mineral elements, and bits of moss, twigs, and insects in the male beard.

Bearded females, of course, get extra points. Think about it.

The truly dramatic and most staggeringly accomplished thru-hiking gardeners are clean-shaven. How someone can manage to both shave and yet hold onto enough plant food to even sprout a thin layer of vegetation is a matter of brilliant, hard-won skill and closely-guarded knowledge, inherited only down long generations of inbreeding, after acquisition via the most painful means involving the most intricately arcane yet subtle permutations of slovenliness. And the learned part of this skill is in two entirely antagonistic and antithetical realms, face-scraping and horticulture.

Which makes it all the more remarkable that it is possible at all to carry a crop of snow peas to maturity, on one's face, while hiking, while remaining otherwise relatively clean (no, not in town terms — have to be clear about that).

Come to think of it, the most remarkable cases actually are among women, so I guess they get double-extra points all round. Clever critters, as usual, those gals.

(2) A face-first tumble. Takes no talent at all, even if done from atop a bicycle. Though that kind is quite a bit of fun to watch happening in front of you while you are having lunch along the trail.

(3) The act of landing face first, an acquired taste. And soon to be an Olympic exhibition sport, with three divisions, six weight classes, in both team and solo forms.

Try one of these (but only after proper instruction, please): Argentine face plant, arm triangle face plant, chickenwing face plant, diving face plant, double underhook face plant, electric chair face plant, full nelson face plant, full nelson wheelbarrow face plant, kneeling face plant, lifting double face plant, push up face plant, reverse chokeslam face plant, shoulder face plant, sitout face plant, spinning face plant, underhook face plant, and wheelbarrow face plant.

Granted, most of these are not used in backpacking, where face planting is considered gratuitously strenuous. Walking around in dirty underwear with a growling stomach while smelling like an unburied corpse and fleeing from swirling dark clouds of ravenous flies is pretty much enough for most backpackers, most days. Though they do enjoy watching those bicyclists who recently came screaming down the trail as they demonstrate the proper way to execute a rock crusher face plant, which, to be done right, requires a loud thwack and a full-on floral tomato splat. Go for it, boys, please.


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