Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Script for Instructional Video on How to Simulate a Goose Neck in Motion

Everybody loves the goose neck. Don’t we all wish we had one? Don’t our own necks come a poor second to that of Branta Canadensis, the Canada goose?

My name is Gerry Hill. Welcome to my instructional video on how to simulate a goose neck in motion. This you can do in your own kitchen using only everyday tools and appliances.

Lately, sharing a yard with an average of 35 Canada geese every day for two months as the Doris McCarthy Artist-in-Residence here in Toronto, I’ve observed the goose neck in motion as often as I’ve wanted to. More often, if you want to know the truth.

And you do want to know the truth, so here we go.

First, what do I mean by “goose neck in motion.” I’m referring to the action of the goose neck as the creature walks, or waddles (to borrow a word from duck studies) with its head upright. Because of the wide range of goose neck behaviour, I must be specific on this point: what you’re about to learn is how to simulate the goose neck in motion with the head upright and coming straight at you.

Let’s assemble our supplies, all readily available in or near your kitchen. We’ll need a spatula or wooden spoon, a one-litre plastic container that passes for a milk bottle in Ontario, a tea towel, a bathroom towel—not a hand towel or a bath towel but the one in between (colour doesn’t matter—I’ve chosen the musky mustard). A can of beans—Heinz beans with tomato sauce will work (and you can reward yourself with supper afterwards). Finally, we’ll need a vacuum cleaner of the canister type—a Kenmore 835 in this case.

Now, most instructional videos teach you how. I’m going to start with how not. For how not to simulate a goose neck in motion, we’ll use the canister-model vacuum cleaner which was, as we know, the prototype for the body of the goose.

Let’s pretend, then, that the canister is the goose’s body and the hose its neck (I have removed the nozzle for clarity of demonstration). My hand will serve as the head. Watch now as the goose approaches—notice the dynamics in the neck.

You didn’t observe any dynamics, did you. Just the most elemental pull-and-follow. Nothing like what we might see in my yard here in Scarborough.

A more refined approach will take us nearer the real thing. Insert your can of beans into the milk container, using the tea towel to secure the package. Next, fold your towel in half lengthwise and hold it at the ends with the fold at the bottom. Fit the handle of the milk container into the fold.

Here is your goose. The milk container represents the base of the neck—the breastbone area. The towel, of course, is the neck itself, here elongated for purposes of our demonstration. My top hand will represent the head, while my lower hand, hidden from view with the spatula, will provide torque on the neck. My body will stand in for the goose’s body, which I will propel slowly, in a waddling fashion, toward the camera.

What you will see is how the head remains still as the neck absorbs the waddle.


There you have it. The goose neck in motion.

Until next time, so long from Fool's Paradise.

Postscript: Please honk if you'd like me to post the video.