I understand, from Wikipedia, that the first modern bungee jump took place in 1979. However, that is all I understand. Apparently this type of activity goes back as far as the Aztec civilisation. Fair enough if you need to prove your manhood in private but I can only imagine the type of conversation that took place when it was decided that this would be a good way to make a living and go commercial.
'Jeez, I'm tired of rounding up these friggin jumbucks all day long. Gotta be more to life ain't there?'
'I was thinking the same mate. In fact I've been giving it a lotta thought. Got this idea see.'
'Yeah, what's that then mate?'
'Hang on a sec, sport, your round ain't it.'
Two more beers were set down on the table.
'So spill it then. What's the big idea?'
'Simple really. All them tourists that come out here. All looking for some sort of excitement. When they've done sittin round sunbakin in their togs and sunnies all day, they wanna give somethin else a crack.'
'Yeah? Like what exactly mate?'
'Somethin excitin...somethin that gets the pulse tickin.'
'Like I said...like what mate?'
'Well I had this idea see. Might make a bit of cash. Bit like parachuting...but without the chute.'
'Without a chute? You reckon that's a goer mate? You sure about that?'
'Ang on sport, see, the jumper has his ankle tied and -'
'Hold up. You think you gonna get some guy to pay you to jump out an airplane, just tied up by his foot?'
'Not an airplane ya drongo -'
'You said it was like parachuting mate.'
'Drink up mate and listen. Nah, not an airplane. The jumps's done on dry land.'
'Let me get this right. Some bloke is gonna pay for you to tie up his foot and then he jumps up an down? How's that gonna make any dosh?'
'Mate, listen to what I'm tellin you. Nobody's jumping up and down. They jump right off the end of a cliff with an elastic strap attached to an ankle -'
A splurt of beer shot across the table.
'Jeez cobber. Yer chokin me here. Jumping off a cliff with just a friggin bit of bungy strapped round an ankle. You ain't the full quid mate if you think people are gonna give you money so they can commit hari kari.'
'They ain't committin hari kari mate. They'd be tied to the jump point with the elastic so all they do is bounce.'
'Bounce? What, bounce of the friggin floor? All you need is a couple of them tourists to come a cropper an cark it and you're in the shit mate.'
'Nobody comes a cropper. You measure up the bungy band so it's shorter than the drop. You get it? They dive off and it stops them well before they eat the dirt. That's the excitement mate. They know they ain't comin a cropper but they can't be sure. They'll be queuing up. Trust me. The moolah will be rollin in.'
'And how long is this bit of elastic gonna be?'
'As long as it needs to be. If the cliff is a two hundred and fifty footer it's gotta be...err...shorter than that.'
'Two hundred and fifty foot? You defo aren't the full quid mate. I though you was talking ten or fifteen feet.'
'Fifteen feet? How many cliffs you seen that high then?'
'None mate...but all the same. Two hundred and fifty...and how d'you know it works? You tried it?'
'Nah, mate, I ain't. But, it's gotta. Get the elastic right...right length, right strength...weigh the punter that's gonna jump and it stands out like the dog's balls. It'll work.'
'So let me get this straight. The first bloke that tries it, that pays his quid, is gonna be the first bloke that ever jumps. Mate, if it was me I'd wanna know that somebody'd tested it first before I started slinging myself off a cliff face.'
'So, who we gonna get to test it?'
'S'gotta be you really cobber. Your idea an all that.'
'Nah, I'm the brains behind it. I can't risk it...err.. not that there is a risk but you know what I mean. You'd give it a burl wouldn't yer mate? You know, if I got you in as a partner an all?'
'Don't look at me. Do I look like a fruit loop?'
'There must be somebody who'd be up for it.'
A screech of tyres and a cloud of dust in the car park turned both their heads. A battered truck pulled to a halt outside the bar. From the driver's seat a large lady with glowing cheeks burned red from the sun, stepped out and paused while she wiped the sweat from her brow.
'That's it mate. Shearing Sheila. No harm in asking.'
'Yeah mate...and you she might even let you have her knicker elastic for the bungy.'