Kathleen Norton

The Grand Canyon: Paradise for idiots

Posted on: August 15, 2010

There’s been lots of  talk about fences in Arizona.

Hello down there!

And after visiting that state and seeing hundreds of  people lean stupidly over the Grand Canyon without so much as a piece of chicken wire to hold them back, I reached this conclusion:

Arizona, indeed, desperately needs a giant fence – just not where some may think.

We spent all our time there gasping for breath, and it wasn’t due to the gorgeous sunsets over red-streaked rocks that were millions and billions of years old.

We gasped because we were surrounded by idiots, and there were two kinds.

The first kind backed right up to the canyon edge in order to have their pictures taken.

The second kind, holding cameras, said to the first kind: “Back up a little more. Ok, a little more. Now, just a step farther.’’

We wanted to enjoy ourselves. We wanted to relax. But the idiots prevented it.

They dangled, leaned and goofed around while we shuddered, prayed and closed our eyes to the most famous of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World.

One guy straddled two gigantic rocks with a Grand Canyon-size gap between them. His girlfriend urged him to pose like Superman while she tried to snap his picture. A gusty wind blew up just then and caused us all to sway.

Did this bother Superman? Nope. He kept backing up while we turned our heads.

We saw a teenage boy who got so close to the edge that I grabbed my throat and let out a shriek. This roused the kid’s father, who said not a word while the kid inched closer and closer to danger.

In the dad’s defense, I guess I can see how this might happen because I, myself, have raised a couple of teenagers.

And I suppose that if you spent a vacation cooped up with a teenager while he blasted his loud music and you had to yell over the music to tell him to be careful once you got to the Grand Canyon, but then he acted very stupidly anyway and leaned right over the edge, you might have this attitude: “Oh well. I tried.’’

But still.

So when I shrieked, the father sprang into action. “Jake, I told you not to do that! Did you see what you did to this poor lady over here? You scared her to death!’’

I wanted to say: “Hey Buddy, leave me out of this!’’

But it was too late. I was already in it.

The kid, mortified that his father yelled at him in place where his voice could echo forever, gave me a dirty look that said: “Thanks a lot lady!’’

The father, meanwhile, shrugged as if to say, “Kids! What are you gonna do?’’

It took me hours to recover from the scare, and that’s when I knew that it was my duty as an American citizen to write to the federal government and propose a solution to the fighting in Arizona.

Sure, go ahead and give that state a big, ol’ fence, but with this condition:

It can only be used for keeping idiots from falling into the Grand Canyon.


3 Responses to "The Grand Canyon: Paradise for idiots"

Kath — this is most certainly true — I am it was difficult with the girls with you — Michael was young and I had a difficult time letting go of his hand. Hope you are well.
Great article !!

Watch out I think they’re planning a tea party for your front lawn! It might be time to build a fence!
But, now you’re back in NY, take a deep breath.
Thanks for the laughs,

It’s hard to believe we were even there. Wish trip had been longer.

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