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Monday, October 1, 2007

Walk Like Groucho Day


This is being posted a few hours early, unless you're a few time zones east of here in the middle of the Atlantic. October 2nd is the birthday of Groucho Marx, born Julius Henry Marx in 1890. In celebration, I propose a national Walk Like Groucho Day, to be held on this date annually. Everybody walks like Groucho, or we line 'em up against the wall and Pop goes the weasel!

How do you walk like Groucho? You just squat and scuttle, taking long strides, not as extreme as a duck-walk and not as athletic as a Silly Walk. If you can wear a tail coat that flaps behind you so much the better. I've included this chart which illustrates Newton's 2nd Law of Motion (Force = Mass x acceleration), and shows ground reaction forces measured in various strides and different types of footwear. Please note the looping blue line labeled "Groucho". I'm sure this'll help you a whole lot. The chart was taken from Dr. Chris Kirtley's site Clinical Gait Analysis http://www.univie.ac.at/cga/. (You can't propose a day of national celebration without some kind of scientific & academic support.)

So quick everybody! Squat 'n' Scuttle!

UPDATE:


It's also Wash Post Genius Gene Weingarten's birthday! I detect a theme, and it may not be in the way they walk.

4 comments:

Jarrett said...

I got the squat mastered, it's the scuttle that's trippin' me up.

markheath said...

I'm squatting as I type. Then again, that's how I always sit in my chair. The method-acting approach to drawing frogs.

thanks for providing the graph. I was squatting on the fence about this, but the graph won me over.

Josh said...

So is the Clinical Gait Analysis site under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Silly Walks? (or whatever the US equivalent bureau is)?

richardcthompson said...

It should be, but I think it's attached to the University of Vienna (either in Austria or Viginia).

There's a character on a cartoon my daughters watch named Petunia Squatenchowder. Cracks me up every time I hear the name.