Monday, May 16, 2011

Don't be such a planker!

Stuff reports:

It was a harmless craze just four days ago.

Australian talkshow host Kerri-Anne Kennerley opened her show lying balanced, face-down, on the back of a couch. Karl Stefanovic was lying flat on the Today show desk in front of the cameras.

But early yesterday morning, the ''planking'' fad sweeping social networking sites proved fatal. Acton Beale, 20, was positioning himself on a balcony railing seven storeys up in Brisbane when he lost his footing and plunged to his death in the car park below.

The Queensland Deputy Police Commissioner, Ross Barnett, said his worst fears had been realised.

''In some circumstances it can be fairly harmless,'' he said. ''But once you start taking it up seven storeys, or on top of a set of traffic lights, or on a set of railway lines, or on a bridge, it's putting a person in significant danger,'' he said.

''Planking'' involves a person lying straight, face down, with their arms by their sides and legs held steady, ideally without any facial expression.

But the act is driven by capturing it on camera and posting the image on social networking sites. One group dedicated to ''planking'' on Facebook states its mission: ''To capture the perfect Plank. Always pushing the boundaries of human limits.''

The site carries photos of ''planking'' atop public phone boxes, on the sides of power poles, on parking meters, fridges, taxis, bins, the corners of high roofs, scaffolding and safety railings on mountain peaks.

We'd never heard of "planking" until today. But "planking" on a balcony rail seven floors up sounds like complete and utter stupidity to us.

And despite Mr Beale's deeath, it seems that there are a few plankers still out there - read on:

Within hours of Mr Beale's death, some ''plankers'' were encouraging others to take similar risks. Others were redefining planking as an ''extreme sport''.

Extreme? Yes. Sport? No. Extremely stupid? No doubt at all. Does anyone feel a Darwin Award coming on?


Tinman said...


Someone can't spell.

Inventory2 said...

Indeed Tinman; the similarity is very apt.

homepaddock said...

RivettingKate Taylor thinks so too:

homepaddock said...

Whoops the link cut off the word play - she headlined her post plonkers not plankers.

Plinkerbell said...

Someone's been killed as a result of a game played by youths?
Crank out the old kill-joys and decry this reckless activity - youths must not do such things, unless we say so!

Chris B said...

It is interesting that this was shown on TV News.
I wonder how many kids here will now try and fail as this person did.