I am in the fortunate position of living close enough to my place of work that I’m easily able to walk there. In fact, three of the places where I’m usually based are within a twenty minute walk of my home, and about the same distance from each other; for journeys further afield, the railway station is – you guessed it – about the the same. All of which is great for the environment, saves me a fortune in fuel, and is probably very good for my health – although sometimes I wonder about that last point! The downside is that I can often find myself travelling between locations a few times a day, and it’s surprising just how much walking that can involve.
What’s worse is that I live on the bank of a river, and most of the places I have to walk to are on the other side: Why is this a problem? It’s a problem because in order to cross over the river, I first have to walk to a bridge, which because of the perverse nature of the locality I’m in, can mean that my journey time is doubled, and having reached the opposite side, I frequently have to walk back, effectively to the point I started, albeit on the opposing bank. There is something terribly depressing about walking solidly for a good ten minutes, only to end up pretty much back where you started from.
Throw in a spot of rain, arrogant cyclists who think the pavement is their own personal velodrome, and a tight deadline and you sometimes wonder whether it’s worth the effort. It’s at times like these that I really wish I had that luxury we all take for granted in SL – the ability to teleport.
If getting from A to B was simply a matter of selecting a landmark on your phone imagine how much easier things would be. No more tiresome mucking around with Google Maps, waiting around on stations for trains that never arrive, or being sent off the beaten track by an errant satnav. Imagine the time and money that could be saved, the stress that could be avoided and the ease with which we could go about our business?
Then there’s the fun side of TP too: I’ve thought how much more interesting the daily tramp to work would be if I could double-click TP to points of interest along the way… A crowd gathered in the distance, or something interesting occurring off my usual route; ‘ping’, and I’d be there, checking out what’s going down. Or maybe I might take a more circuitous route than regular pathways permit: When you can just point and click, why not flit from rooftop to rooftop, popping in and out of places that would normally be out of reach, or simply just follow the sunshine – no more walking in the shadows!
Sounds great, doesn’t it – and it would be, provided I could keep it all to myself! It imply wouldn’t work if everyone else was also doing it. Also, many of the things we might conveniently drum up as a excuses for lateness or avoiding appointments we’d rather not go to, would become unusable. Gone will be the days of “I was stuck in traffic”, “There was a signal failure at Swindon”, or, “I’m sorry, I won’t be able to make it – there’s simply aren’t any trains at sensible times”. Similarly, many of the ‘reasons’ we manufacture for being late, just won’t wash any more – no longer will we be able to blame the bus running late, when in reality we slept through the alarm clock – the only real explanations for not turning up somewhere we’re supposed to be, at the time we’re suppose to be there, will either involve us being in hospital, or will be attributable to TP failure, (always a good standby excuse!)
And therein lies another problem: What if things should go horribly wrong? In SL, the worst that can happen from a failed TP is that you turn up without your hair and wearing half a shoe – the sign of a good night out, in many circles – or, if things really do go pear-shaped, you’ll be logged out, (but still able to read your chat – an observation that is patently untrue and little use anyway!). Arriving somewhere in RL with no hair and half a shoe could be acutely embarrassing; as for being logged out of RL just because your journey glitched; it really doesn’t bear thinking about! It’s enough to put you off TPs entirely.
Coming to think of it, maybe aching feet is a small price to pay, when the alternative could possibly put you out of the picture for good!
Sugar Plum Fairy came and hit the streets
Lookin’ for soul food and a place to eat
Went to the Apollo
You should have seen him go, go, go
They said, hey Sugar, take a walk on the wild side
Lou Reed – Walk On The Wild Side