Thursday, May 14, 2009

Look at Me I'm Flying AND I Don't Have Wings!

OK, so here we were, 300 feet off the jungle floor somewhere in the Costa Rican jungle. In an attempt at the mountain man's idea of fun, we and some 15 of our nearest and dearest friends were about to go zip lining.

Ziplining, you ask? Yeh. First you climb 60,000 feet up a mosquito infested trails into the deep brush. But not to worry - the mosquiros really don't alarm you as much as the fire ants zig zgging across open toed water sandals. And the fire ants take a place slightly behind the many venomous types of snakes indigenous to the area that our tour guide was more than happy to share with us on our bus trip to this hot spot of resort must-sees!

Finally, atop what seemed like Mt. Everest, (less the snow, plus the snakes) We get to our zip lining destination! Now, zip lining? It's where you strap on a brightly colored helmet (mine was day-glo orange-not my most flattering color!) and they zip (Hence the ZIP part of zip lining!) you into an ill fitting, non-OSHA approved harness that looked particularly uncomfortable for the boys and well, their boys.

Next, we find all 19 of us PLUS guide PLUS 2 Zipping attendanst (?) all standing on one shaky little 10by10 platform built (again, I'm sure without proper permits!) attached to a large tree. No where did I see a maximium weight allowance sign ala Otis Elevators, and I'm pretty sure, at least on my own portion of this make shift tree stand that we were WAY over our "Maximum Occupancy Not to Exceed" limit!

At this point, our guide, Pablo, (or José or maybe it was Prometheus?) explained that we would each be hoisted upon a VERY THIN cable, linked to clasp that looked remarakably like an old key chain I once had. A key chain, mind you, that had broken under the weight of about six keys.

That teensy weensy clasp would, once attached to a similar, equally flimsy looking hook attached to my midsection would be all that would carry me six hundred feet from the current tree stand to a second one in the distance.

Random mysuestories fact- I am not a big fan of heights. Never have been, never will be. At 5'3" (OK 5'2.5") tall, four inch heels is pretty much my reach for the sky limits. I don't do roller coasters, I don't care for the assembled in twenty minutes bumpy slide at every single carnival and street fair....and I don't do swinging from fishing line 300 feet up in the air. Until now.

I let mountain man and a few others go ahead of me. Let's face it. He's a little bigger than I am, and quite frankly, I was willing to sacrifice him in an attempt to test the strength of that wire. Yep, I am a sweetheart like that!

Then I started to think that maybe I should have gone first, 'cause now that wire had maybe, just maybe, given it's last safe ride before starting to fray, and was now eageraly waiting to catapult it's next victim hurtling to the ground.....Great. This was just getting better all the time!

In a panic, I cut in front of the rest of our eagerly awaiting band of friends who seemed unfazed that this could be the last ride of Wyatt Earp and his Immortals. I didn't need anyone else weakening that line before I got on it, damnit!!!

Hoisted up by a hunky, muscled man of about sixteen a park employee, and attached to the fragile line that stood between me and 300 feet of painful forestry just waiting to break my ever loving neck, I was sailed off into the distance.....600 feet through the forest canopy and I almost breathed a sigh of relief...Until I saw the even smaller tree stand I was fast approaching that was attached to a large tree with...was that a mattress I saw wrapped around the trunk? A dirty, weather beaten mattress? With some kind of splotches on it? OHMYMOTHERLOVINGGOD are those BLOOD STAINS on that mattress that I am hurtling towards at 40 miles an hour?

My surge toward the Mattress of Death (How's that for a slasher/p0rn flick title?) -and my accompanying new found religious chant (PleaseGoddon'tletmef**kingdieuphere!PleaseGod,I'llbeakindermoregentlermysuestories!Iwillturnmyblogintoabornagainnotsmashingintotreetributetomy...OHJESUS


All of which was gently ended by my wildly spinning, madly cursing body being abruptly snatched out of the air by hunky tree boy life saving assistant number two.

And how was I greeted by the man I picked above all others to share in the destiny/torture that is my life? "Why, mysuestories," the mountain man started,"Did you notice all those cute little howler mokeys at eye level in the trees? You know, the ones with the razor sharp teeth that Pablo/José/Charleston told us ALL about on the way here? Wasn't that a sight to treasure forever?"

Not nearly as wonderous as the thought of gnashing through HIS beautiful neck with MY razor sharp teeth!!!

Repeat above FOUR MORE TIMES, and mysuestories first (AND LAST) adventures in zip lining above anything higher than five inch stiletto heels are effectively over.

Needless to say, my then eleven year old fruit of my loins, had a bit of a different experience:

From George of the Jungle

He laughed all the way!

Traitor! And yeh, he DID see the cute little howler monkeys.

Oh, and those brightly colored day-glo helmets? I asked Pablo/José/The Grim Reaper about the thin bicycle helmet type headgear. Wouldn't something more more motorcycle worthy be better to protect the unknowing heads of stupid tourists like myself?

To which he replied:

"Those helmets are not so much for protection. After all it is a very long way down. The brightly colored helmets are so we can find you if you fall." And some how, I didn't get the feeling that getting the local EMS team into that inaccessible jungle to perform life saving tactics was part of the plan.

Ooookay....Thanks for that little tidbit!

Mountain man? Might this last little adventure of yours have anything to do with that life insurance discussion we had right before we headed out into the jungles? Well, if you think I am signing up for any double indemnity accidental falling to the ground at high rates of speed while wearing a clashing crash helmet clause ...Well you can just go hug a blood stained mattress at sixty miles an hour!!!!!!!

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