Yesterday, OF (Oldest Friend) and I went to Tate Modern to play on the slides. 5 metal and perspex structures, the smallest being the height of one floor and the largest spanning 5 floors.
Think 80' of the steepest flume at the pool or the highest helter skelter at the funfair. Bung in sharp bends, precipitous drops and stomach-churning rolls. Then multiply by 100!
The rules are simple. You have to be at least 1.4 metres tall. You have to lie down, fold your arms over your chest and keep your head raised. There are elbow pads available for the cautious.
'Nah,' I thought, checking out who was pulling on the pads. 'They're just for wussies!'
That was my first mistake, more than evident on the first sharp bend. The second was forgetting to raise my head. The tubes are banded by a series of metal belts and over each is a raised bump. It was like being dragged down stairs by your ankles, your head bouncing on each step. Very very fast. In fact you hear people screaming as they plummet earthwards. Not AAAAAAAAAAGGGHHHH, but AGH, AGH, AGH, AGH, AGH ...
I was spewed out the other end and shot across the mat like Jonah being gobbed from the whale's belly, my legs rubbery, head spinning and elbow throbbing.
So if this sounds like fun and you'd like to go, this is my advice:
* wear the pads
* bring a supply of arnica
* go to the toilet first
Would I do it again? Bring it on!
Oh, and is it art? Well, to quote Rhett Butler (and this is the only time I'm likely to quote a redneck, fully paid up member of the KKK - you didn't know that about Gone With the Wind? Ah well, not this post ...)
'Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn!'
What a riiiiiide ....