Super soaker

Record online editor Tara Cuslidge, online content producer Katie Combs and I shadowed Vic Jetson Constantino and Adam Schwyhart around downtown recently. The pair were with the Port City Plankers and practiced the new odd fad of “planking.” The activity involves lying face down like a board on landmarks, buildings or just the ground.

I saw the water feature at Weber Point not too far off and thought it would be a great place to get a shot, but I didn’t want to influence their decision, so I remained mum. But Constantino saw the fountain as well and, as they say, great minds think alike.

It was late morning and the fountain was running through its cycle of vertical spurting of water. Around its perimeter are several concrete spheres, which also serve as nozzles that shoot water at about a 45-dgree angle into the interior of the fountain. Constantino picked out the driest of the orbs to do a “plank” on.

About 6 to 8 feet away, an impish young boy around 4 or 5 years old who had been playing in the fountain was watching us. In a break in the fountain’s cycle, Constantino carefully balanced himself on the concrete ball. As the jets of water restarted, the boy, who had been sitting next to one of the nozzles, angled his foot over it and redirected it toward Constantino. I got partially splashed but was able to backpedal out of the way before getting too wet. However, true to his planking efforts, Constantino stayed still despite a near fire-hose-like assault, only putting down a hand to steady himself. Water was pouring over his closely cropped head, but still he endured. His T-shirt was soaked through to the skin. The boy finally stopped and Constantino was able to finish his plank in peace.

Planking may seem like a frivolous pastime and, like most fads, may simply fade away, but Constantino’s performance under duress showed that if planking does become passé, it won’t be because of the lack of his efforts.

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