Friday, 10 June 2011

Hup-Miller Syndrome

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Do you say ‘Hup!’ every time you lift something?
Ever since last summer I’ve found myself saying ‘Hup’ every time I lift something. I caught it from a an erstwhile friend of mine whilst running a canoe touring holiday in the south of France. We reach down to lift a canoe and he says ‘Hup!’. He bends down to pick up the cooler and says ‘Hup!’.

Now I do the same. Is this merely a tic? Can tics really be contagious?

This started two years ago when we worked together and then visited the Tour de France in the Vosges afterwards. It was exacerbated by working together again last summer. It’s possible that we will work together again this summer and all my efforts to rid myself of this debilitating habit will be in vain. I’m considering contacting the boss and insisting that I can’t work with this fellow unless I can be assured that he has taken some remedial steps to eradicate this deplorable habit. But how could I be sure?

I’m not even convinced that he’s that aware that his ‘Hup!’ tic is contagious and is capable of contaminating all his relationships. I imagine that a growing circle of his friends are gradually spreading the syndrome to all and sundry. It’s perhaps just as well that the syndrome  exists only in the spoken form otherwise it would spread through his excessive use of social network medias. Imagine the consequences then.

Is it worth losing a friend over? I’m trying to curb the number of times I say ‘Hup’ but fear that when we meet up again, I shall revert to saying ‘Hup!’ at every appropriate opportunity. Appropriate?

Should I instead make the effort to try and cure my friend by attempting to curb his use of ‘Hup!’? I have a suspicion that he is also slightly embarrassed  by it and would welcome an effort to put it to bed.

Any suggestions for a cure are welcome.

The problem is that it often amuses us, when doing fairly mundane tasks, and helps synchronise our lifting. It also tends to amuse our spectators too though I’ve heard no evidence that the tic has spread to them.

I’ve tried to look at the source of the ‘Hup!’ problem and have come up with two possible explanations: a) ‘Hup’ is used in the Dutch language to mean ‘go’ and b) ‘Hup, 1, 2,3’ is used as the beat for a Military 4/4 cadence.

Paul is definitely of Dutch descent, and has been known to wear clogs, and has done no Military training. His disreputable unkempt appearance and beatnik hair are a testament to both of these facts.

In the interests of preventing the further spread of this lamentable condition I would urge you to stay away from the company of Paul Miller, particularly if you are to assist him in any labour intensive work that includes lifting. In particular avoid visiting Battenkill Canoe when he happens to be working there. Fortunately that’s not too often these days. He can be found (don’t!) somewhere in the nethermost regions of New York State, and can sometime be spotted in Holland or France. You’ve been warned.