My mother must be some kind of a genius. She’s too weird not to be. While most people deal with the inherent boredom of work by playing solitaire or checking Facebook for the nine-millionth time on the offhand chance that one of their three interesting friends has said something interesting, when my mother gets bored, she starts cults. I think she may be up to six or seven, conservatively estimated. I mean I’ll grant you that a couple of confused individuals does not a cult make, but a mid-sized carpool? I’ll count that.
At the second to last job she had before stalking me north, my mother managed to convince a startling number of people in her office that moving more slowly would add years to their lives. Years. Specifically, up to TEN years. Simply by moving a little slower in everything you did. Because sudden moves are the new silent killer.
And also because Tai Chi. I’m pretty sure that was her only evidence. As we’ve learned from the internet and dubious science, you really only need one vaguely related example (or b-list celebrity) to convince loads of people something is possible. I’ve been swept up in mom’s alternate reality before, so I know how it works. She opens with, “I read somewhere that…” when, in fact, the only place she read her current insane idea was on the backs of her eyelids in a cubicle induced fever dream.
Or maybe she did read an article about Tai Chi. Or the title of an article, on a Readers Digest in a checkout aisle. This article caught her eye because her neighborhood was 95% Asian immigrants and you’d occasionally see a street gang of ancient women in full face visors doing a slow motion dance-walk down the sidewalk, one of them usually pushing a grand-baby in a stroller.
If they were there at the same time as the world’s most depressing Russian ice-cream truck (the one that played dark classical music instead of chirpy camp songs), it was performance art of the highest level. We could have made a seriously avant-garde music video if only we could have coordinated the impulse to do so with the actual event. David Lynch may have directed our neighborhood for a bit.
So mother suggested, in one of her whimsical moments, that old age and slow movement were linked. She was getting coffee or something and there were a few interested ears around and some poor fool said, “Wow, REALLY?” Naturally, mother had to elaborate.
I’m pretty sure this is how most fads get rolling. Kale, gluten, not protecting your children from measles, sucking on coconut oil, Jonestown, etc.
And that’s how my mother “accidentally” started the cult of slow-walkers that essentially crippled productivity at the county office of education for a good month and a half.
Picture this: you walk into a county bureaucratic office building, where people in general specialize in not getting shit done, and find that a majority of the people in there are moving unnaturally slow. Oh, and you’re not at a DMV, just so everyone is clear. The people speak at a normal rate, but every movement is intentionally slower than natural, as though everyone is wading through thin mud.
Mom kept encouraging her new, slow disciples…until she got yelled at by a science teacher.
Stupid scientists ruining everything with their “facts.” Psh. Give me ten minutes and I could have a whole website dedicated to proving mom right about this. It’s all about the molecules. You gotta limit molecule stress – It’s simple common sense, people.