Introduction: How to Walk Into a Wall
Anyone can successfully walk into a wall, and you don't have be Justin Bieber to do it - with panache.
Look around these days and you're bound to see that most people have their faces buried in their phones and are not paying attention to what's going on around them. What a perfect ongoing opportunity for a "gag" (old slang for a prank or stunt), and you needn't know how to pronounce schadenfreude to grasp how much humans enjoy watching other humans go BONK! Just type the word "fail" into a YouTube search and prepare to giggle with sadistic glee, alongside millions of fellow viewers.
In this culture of cool, yes, you're aiming to be that guy - the one everyone snickers at - yet know that through laughing at you other people are subconsciously laughing at themselves as well. Laughter really is medicine for the soul, and boy do we all need it.
So let's get to it. Here's how:
Step 1: Pick a Practice Wall
You'll want to find a forgiving practice wall to develop your timing and form. Hollow (drywall/plaster/sheetrock) walls are far better than solid (brick/concrete) walls for several reasons: because of the wood/aluminum frame they're anchored upon, they flex slightly, thereby lessening the trauma inflicted upon whichever body part you're slamming into them, and their hollow construction makes them amplify impact like a drum, thereby broadcasting the sound of your collision to more ears at a greater distance. More ears equals more eyes equals more shared pleasure amongst bystanders at your apparent misfortune.
Framed glass doors are simply the best (as long as it's safety glass), especially in super bougy brand stores on a Saturday afternoon at the mawl. You get twice the audience (it's see through, so perfect your timing and form), great noise amplification and wall movement (via hinges). All of this combines to create a fabulous anti-luxe spectacle du jour for passersby and salespeople alike.
Back to practice: find someplace with privacy so you don't drive people crazy with the crashing sounds, and also so someone doesn't call the psych ward to come pick you up after witnessing your ongoing efforts. If that does happen, take advantage of the padded walls to perfect your newfound craft. Blame it on your meds.
A few other tips:
- make a fist and pound lightly on the wall to get a sense of how forgiving it is (or isn't);
- a carpeted floor affords you something soft to fall back upon in case you become overzealous/dizzy;
- wearing shoes while you practice will help avoid broken toes.
Step 2: Understand the Illusion
With this gag you most definitely are walking into the wall, but it's not your face that's taking the hit - rather, it's your foot, hand and/or chest. Your face turns to the side at the last moment, to avoid direct impact. The illusion is formed in unsuspecting peoples' minds when their brain combines the sudden sound of a collision with the subsequent sight of you recoiling head-first from the wall and rubbing your noggin in supposed pain.
Step 3: Wall-slamming Techniques
NB: in all the below approaches, be sure to puff your chest out and quickly turn your head to one side as your body nears the wall. This way your chest will take the impact and you'll save your nose & grill. If you have implants - pop! - or do not want to sully your attire, simply position the palm of one hand facing the wall at about the height and location of your solar plexus to stop your forward motion and help you "bounce" off the wall. After impact, quickly push yourself away (with your wrist, not your whole arm) and straighten your head out again as you recoil head-first away from the wall to simulate the effect of cranial impact. Practice this at quarter- then half-speed to condition the reflex and gain confidence. From that point on, it's all about timing.
Wall (hand) Slap
This is the most basic technique and does not require your chest to hit the wall. As you approach and bounce off the wall (see above), use your free hand to slap the wall down by your thigh, so a) people don't see the slap and b) you can bring your slapping hand all the way up to your face in reaction afterward. This helps sell the gag.
Time your steps so that you can kick the wall with one of your feet as your chest/hand touches the wall. If you have trouble with this timing, begin with one foot flush against the wall and the other foot a stride away, then walk backwards away from the wall a few steps and have at it. Soon, you'll develop a sense of spatial coordination that'll help you gauge distance and timing. The foot kick is especially useful if you're carrying a piping hot tuna casserole or busy on the phone (or both!). If you have a hand free, combine this with a wall slap to up the intensity.
Puff out your chest like a proud turkey and turn your head to the side just before the moment of impact. Grunt loudly when you bounce to add emphasis. Once you've got this technique down, try maintaining eye contact with someone to your side as you wave bye to them while walking into the wall using your peripheral vision for timing. Don't forget to slow things down while you work on timing. Add a wall slap with your non-waving hand and a wall kick if you really wanna make people spit their teeth out laughing.
Practice makes perfect. Have fun and send me videos so I can post them here. Kersplatt!!!
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