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Heights

Posted on January 7th, 2010

Dave!I do not do well with heights, and being too far above the earth bothers me more than it should. Much more. Usually, this isn't much of an issue for people like me, because you just avoid absurdly tall places. If, for example, your frisbee gets stuck on the roof, you don't grab the nearest ladder and charge on up to get it... you instead find the nearest child and pay him $2 to risk death and dismemberment by climbing up that ladder for you. Children are fearless, especially when it comes to money, so this isn't much of a challenge unless their annoying parents are hanging around.

There is one problem with this strategy, however, and that's if you are somebody who travels often.

Because travelers come to a realization very quickly: Most of the Cool Stuff is Tall.

When you arrive home from Paris, let's say, the first thing that people ask is "Ooh! Did you go up the Eiffel Tower??" From then on out, it doesn't matter what you say, because no excuse you offer is good enough...

  • "No, I most certainly did not! I loath tourist traps such as the Eiffel Tower!"
  • "No, unfortunately, the line was too long and I didn't have time."
  • "No, I heard somebody puked on the observation deck, and I was wearing new shoes."
  • "No, David Copperfield made it disappear the day I was there."
  • "No, terrorists had taken over the Eiffel Tower with a nuclear bomb in an elevator. Fortunately, a man in a red cape managed to fly the elevator into space where it exploded and released three super-powered prisoners that were trapped in an alien dimension who then tried to take over the earth (perhaps you read about it in the papers)... and they then closed the tower for repairs, darn-it anyway!" *

Any attempt to disguise the fact that you're a big baby when it comes to tall places will ultimately be rejected with something like "How could you go to Paris and not go up the Eiffel Tower? Are you stupid?" Which is why I ultimately face my fears of plummeting to my death and go up the damn tower (or building or landmark or cathedral or cliff or helicopter or whatever the hell else places devise to terrorize people).

And so I've been up the Space Needle. The Gateway Arch. The Sears Tower. Hancock Tower. The World Trade Center. The Empire State Building. Splash Mountain. The Grand Canyon. The Waimea Canyon. Bryce Canyon. The Cologne Cathedral. Petronas Towers. Tokyo Tower. Yokohama Landmark Tower. The Buckets of Death. The Stratosphere. The Sagrada Familia. The London Eye. The Tower Bridge. Olympic Tower. CN Tower. The Tower of Terror. The Capilano Suspension Bridge. The Rio Grande Gorge Bridge. Coit Tower. Shanghai Tower. The Peak. Mary's Bridge at Neuschwanstein. St. Peter's Basilica. St Paul's Cathedral. St. Mark's Campanile. The Monument to the Discoveries. The Holmenkollen Ski Jump. The Cliffs of Santorini. AND YES, THE FUCKING EIFFEL TOWER! Just to name a few off the top of my head.

And I could tell you that they were all just bloody fantastic experiences and gave my life new meaning... but thinking back to each experience, what I probably remember most is being scared out of my freakin' mind.

And now there's a new "Tallest Building in the World" that's opened up in Dubai. So when I eventually go there (I'm guessing), I have something to look forward to...

Wheeee. I can't wait.

   

*It helps here if you've seen Superman II... KNEEL BEFORE ZOD!!

   

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