This is an occasional column by one of the authors of The Underminer, Or, The Best Friend Who Casually Destroys Your Life. The Underminer encourages you to slow down!
Excuse me, pardon me—
Whoa whoa, slow down Seenyor Speedy! It's me! Me! Your close close close friend!
Jeez are you in a hurry or what? I'm here on the corner just handing out funny, mock 'speeding tickets' to people who are in a rush, like you. Here you go! "One ticket for being insane and unattached to your surroundings, 60 dollars." Ha ha! Isn't that cute?
You see, among my many career paths as a chocolatier, weaver, singer-songwriter and spokesperson for Ducati, I am the new Goodwill Ambassador of the Slow Movement.
If you haven't heard about the Slow Movement—Slow Food, Slow Design, Slow Cities—then that's probably because you have been so stressed and unaware that you haven't stopped to read the newspaper!
It's all about slowing down, and how practicing patience is actually better for the environment and for your own health. As you know, I have always been harping on you and others to just take time to breathe and relax and enjoy life. Studies have shown that slower, more mindful people have higher IQs, live longer and are better looking!
Ugh. And you are eating while you are walking too! Wow. Looks like I need to administer another ticket to you! "One ticket for eating and walking at the same time! 150 dollars." Teehee!
What is that? Is that sushi? Did you just eat a tuna roll?
Hello! Mercury, Ground Zero! Why don't you just munch on a thermometer!? Sheesh!
You know, instead of cramming that toxic fish down your gullet, why not spend some time in the morning and lovingly peel some carrots, apples and cilantro into a healthy slaw?
So tell me where you are off to in such a rush, you crazy New Yorker! Are you late to your job at Yahoo?
Oh. Well I'm sorry to hear that.
Well...um...now...now you will have MORE time to do what you want, and appreciate the beauty surrounding you. There's a really great aspect of the Slow Movement that would really appeal to you.
It's called Slow Unemployed.
Instead of stressing yourself out and checking Monster.com and Mediabistro and then dashing around the city, try this: simply sit with a cup of chamomile tea in your apartment, read the Want Ads in the newspaper, and circle them with a big red pencil, just like they did back in the 80's before there were fax machines! Your jobless, low-income heart rate will slow in a matter of minutes, and if you recycle the paper, you lessen your carbon footprint!
It's funny because this is similar advice to what I am telling my more, um...globally ambitious friends... when I was at Davos last week. While there, as a keynote speaker, I imparted the wisdoms of Slow Wealth. I taught them how to knit, make windmills, meditate, and have a nurturing sense of patience while they slash jobs and cut back on benefits for their employees.
But I have to tell you, more than anything else I am really inspired by my work in the Slow Fame movement. I have been to Hollywood five times this year to help celebrities and household names cultivate their notoriety at a relaxing, healthy pace, so as to avoid the curse gaining success too fast and self-immolating like Britney.
On of the tenets of the Slow Fame movement is "Do one thing and shine in your achievement." For instance, I'm working closely with Shia LaBeouf and Ellen Page to build their careers with a sense of mindfulness. I encourage them to just make films and not release terrible dance-pop albums or fashion lines.
I am also consulting for many other marquee names, helping them slow their frenetic pace. I have encouraged Natalie Portman to throw out her blackberry and cut her own hair! Jessica Alba is personally answering fan mail parchment paper, with a quill! And when on tour, Dr. Phil encourages hookers to simply take a brisk walk to his hotel room!
Oh. Wait. You weren't supposed to know about that one.
Anyway. It's really really gratifying work to see these people get their lives into a healthy slow pace. For a fee of 12,000 an hour.
Back to you. I'm worried. I see how living a fast life has made you cranky, tired, and slackened your skin. Why don't we stand here for a second and breathe. Ready? In....out....in...out....
See how much more relaxed you are? Now you can go apply for hosting positions at mid-range restaurants with a sense of purpose and universality.
Be well, my friend. And S-L-O-W D-O-W-N! That's an order.
Savor the moment, bye.