Hay’s Daze: Not far enough from the maddening crowd

  • May. 6, 2017 12:30 a.m.

So, yours truly, the better half and the two rotten kids just got back from a few days where it was much warmer, much much more crowded, and in spite of bouncing around within masses of humanity, much happier.

But I must admit a handful of days in blissful sun-soaked greenery can get old fast when you are bumping into people, being pummeled by elbows, shoulders and hips and being constantly attacked by rampant baby strollers. And believe me, there’s nothing quite like several hundred direct hits to your tibia or possibly fibula every single day to make your eyes water.

When faced with a solid mob of people, Stroller Sadists just seem to rear back and plow (and I mean, literally, plow) their kidlet carriers — which are built like front end loaders and overflowing with one to four screaming children, directly into the masses – leaving a trail of bruised appendages in their wake.

So I was limping and thinking that when kids get to be a certain age, they should be required to push the mom or dad in a nice comfy stroller. In fact, I said right out loud to no one in particular: “I wish I was being pushed in a giant stroller right now.” Also, I thought some more and started to wonder where the world’s largest crowds might have been, and if those crowds were also attacked by stroller strikers. So when I got home, after attending to various snotgoblin stroller scrapes, bruises and other crowd-related contusions I looked it up. And, surprisingly, I found many important humongous crowd records that I’m pretty sure everyone would like to know about. For example:

l The largest gathering of people dressed as penguins. According to Guinness World Records the record for penguin dressing is 624, achieved in England (of course) in November 2015. I couldn’t find a list for the largest number of penguins dressed as people, however.

l The largest human mattress dominoes. Who knew? But yes, there is such a thing as a whole bunch of people standing in a row, each with a single sized mattress upright on their backs, and then they fall over backwards knocking the next person over and so on down the row. You know, like dominoes. You’re probably dying to know that the record for human mattress dominoes is 2,016 toppling tumblers set in China last July. There is (of course) a video, and frankly, it doesn’t look like much fun.

l Most people washing their feet. Once again in China, either because there are quite a lot of people there or there are just a lot of bored people there, this record was set in 2014. 10,289 people got together to simultaneous wash each other’s feet. Ewww… I’m guessing it was sponsored by Dr. Scholl’s Athlete’s Foot and Fungus Cream.

l World record set in Toronto for largest crowd dressed as Einstein. Once again, firmly residing in the “why??” column, just last week 404 people wearing white wigs and moustaches beat the previous record of 305 by dressing up like relativity genius Albert Einstein. Previous record?? At least Canadians don’t usually dress up as penguins. (Well, maybe in Toronto.)

So it turns out the some people actually like to create crowds — apparently to do weird things and dress up funny. I only wish the Guinness people could have been there with us last week. We would have set a record for the most number of munchkin stroller injuries. Oh, and also — the most number of people in one place wearing mouse ears. We would have nailed that one.

Harley Hay is a Red Deer writer and filmmaker.

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