Alden Boon

How to Bungy Jump. Literally.

16/01/2017

In 1988, New Zealander Alan John Hackett became the first entrepreneur to set up a commercialised bungy site. Over the years, bungy jumping has become a bucket-list activity, beckoning all to test their courage. If you are a neophyte daredevil, this nifty guide will prepare you for your first jump.

Know what you’re in for

You will be asked to sign a release of liability form. Many people fail to do their due diligence, nonchalantly signing their lives away. One in five hundred thousand bungy jumpers dies in a freak accident: you could be the one.  Ropes snap. Whiplash is very real. A crocodile may decide to forage for food and you are the hunk of meat that goes diving into its mouth. So, know what you are in for — go on YouTube and search for “bungy jump accidents” videos. Steel yourself for what is to come. On that note, be sure to call your insurance agent and sign up for a million-dollar life insurance plan one week before your scheduled jump. If you survive the jump, you can always fall back on the free-look period to cancel your plan.

Starve yourself

What is scarier than stepping off a 200-metre-high platform? Stepping on to the weighing scale. This step reduces you to a mere number: suddenly you’re not a gregarious free spirit who feeds stray cats on the weekends and builds homes for the underprivileged but a potential plaintiff who needs to be fitted to the largest-sized bungee rope. The personnel at the reception — usually young and perky and in shape — will even scrawl the incriminating numbers on your hand for all to see. The ink is of some special government-grade make, and it does not come off easily. So, to avoid the humiliation, go on the torturous Atkins Diet two months before your scheduled jump.

Engage in bondage

To become comfortable with bungy jumping is to become comfortable with letting a stranger — one whom you have only met for seven seconds — feel you up, become privy to your actual weight (not the convenient 10-kg weight-loss lie you tell everyone), strap you into a very tight harness and bind you by the ankles. I mean, even Anastasia had more boundaries. To liberate yourself, you will need to add some kinky play in your intimate life, pronto.

The final moment

With your ankles bound, you have to hop to the precarious edge of the platform. All those years of practising for a sack race have finally paid off. Just be mindful that you are not vying for first place so there is no need to go full throttle and in your enthusiasm fall off the ledge.

Before you now is a vast open space of nothingness. Nothing separates you from the sheer fall: no railings nor safety nets. This is where I have to burst your bubble: a bungy jump is not in reality a jump. You do not actually jump off a platform — leastways it is not advised. You lean forward and let gravity take over. But “bungy lean forward” does not exactly sound marketable, and hence the powers that be have gone with “bungy jump”, leading many to think they are supposed to take a big leap.

No. Remember, your “jump” will be recorded and you want to get off that platform with utmost poise and confidence. Imagine you are Rose on the Titanic’s bow, arms splayed out, wind in your hair (getting your bungy instructor to hug and snog you may however earn you a sexual harassment lawsuit). By now, your legs are like steel bolted to the ground but also wobbly jelly at the same time. You cannot move a single bit. Your life has already flashed before your squinting eyes; you have already exhausted all the curse words you know. There is nothing left to do but lean forward. The trick is to do it when the instructor’s countdown reaches “one”; if not you will never do it, and you will hold everyone else in the queue up. Feel the embarrassment and use it as motivation. At that very tipping point between life and death is where you will find new curse-word combinations.

And forgetting all that you have been told, you will jump, perpetuating a lie that has gone on for decades. But you have done it. The next thing to do is to upload the pictures and videos on Facebook. Because if you are not doing it for the Facebook Likes, what are you doing it for?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alden Boon
Alden Boon is a Quarter-finalist in PAGE International Screenwriting Awards. When he's not busy writing, he pretends he is Gandalf.

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