Wouldn’t you love an uncle who could walk up and down both sides of a straight ladder, especially the part about walking down the other side facing away from the ladder, kicking the steps behind him? That sounds like a Jacques Tati kind of uncle.
‘Hosmer says that a man told him that he had seen my uncle Charles take a twelve-foot ladder, set it up straight, and then run up and down the other side, kicking it from behind him as he went down.’ 11 March 1859
Source: Henry David Thoreau, The Journal 1837-1861, Damion Searls (ed.), preface by John R. Stilgoe (New York: New York Review Books, 2009), p. 548
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