Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Long Walk

Have you read this book?

You should.

For a long time, it was my favorite Stephen King Book. It was subsequently replaced by, in no particular order, The Shining, Lisey's Story, Duma Key and The Dead Zone. But it remains in the top five.

In case you're not familiar, the premise is that in an alternate history/future of the USA the national sport is an annual event called The Long Walk. 100 people just walk and walk and walk until there's only one left. The catch is that if you slow down below 4 mph, you get 3 warnings and then you're shot. I guess I could have just linked to the Wikipedia page. Fine. But don't read it if you haven't already read the book. It kind of spoils it for you.

Have you ever walked at 4 mph? It's not THAT fast. But it's fast enough that if you had to do it for more than a few hours, you'd get really tired. I wouldn't make it past the first day of The Long Walk.

Seriously, give it a try. Get a on a treadmill, set it for four miles per hour and see how it goes. Obviously you'll be bored. But boredom wouldn't be a factor in the real deal since the threat of death would be imminent. We have a "walking station" at my office (it's a treadmill attached to a desk with a phone and computer and it only goes up to 2 mph) and I've been on it for three hours and I'm fucking tired. I'm not kidding. Like, I'm not out of breath or about to collapse or anything but I've already taken 2 ten minute bathroom breaks and I'm going half the speed of a long walker. No sleep. No stopping to poop. No quick breaks for Subway sandwiches. You just have to keep walking. It kind of sounds like hell.


Not quite like hell.

In hell, you're on The Long Walk and you're wearing headphones that play this nonstop:

And there's nothing to eat other than Subway.

And Jimmy Buffett is there urging you on. With a whip. While he's standing on the half-track that's escorting you.

And you can get erections. But no orgasm. EVER. Not that it would matter because you're walking constantly and therefore can't have sex.

And Christopher Walken is there but he's not allowed to talk or make amusing facial expressions. He's Walken, but reincarnated as your accountant.


  1. Christopher Walkin'April 28, 2010 at 12:01 PM

    reminds me -of- one of king's short stories.
    it's called...the jaunt.

  2. On the topic of endurance contests, are you really stopping in 24 more posts?

    Because what I want is for you to write Flyers Goal Scored By and put my name on the top.

    Good thing is, we may in trident gum. Or stride. Some gum, we pay in that.

  3. pay*, mother fucker I hate typos!