The Weasel came by to pick up her dog--We've been dog sitting for a week and a half while she was out west. Las Vegas and Arizona. Apparently stopped very briefly at one of the rims of the Grand Canyon, just to snap a picture and jump back in the car.
And also, apparently, to stop however briefly at the gift shop.
So in addition to getting me a nice box of chocolates from somewhere in LV she bought a book with the lurid title OVER THE EDGE: DEATH IN GRAND CANYON. It is a compilation of every single known death in the recorded history of the place.
As I just said, she LOVE true crime, and I do not--it actually gives me nightmares--but she is evil and she knows if she hands me any form of reading material I will read it. (It's an obsessive curse. I will read anything and (even more hideous) I will sit through just about ANY MOVIE, no matter how dreadful. The only exception to this rule was a few years ago, when Charlie's Angels proved to be even more wretchedly bad than I could have possibly imagined....so much so that even my husband, loving schlockmeister that he can sometimes be, turned it off after about fifteen minutes. Voluntarily, too--I didn't nag or complain or say anything; he turned it off of his own accord. It was That Bad.)
But I digress. I finished Truman Capote's ICB just before she showed up, which was ironic timing to say the least. And just flipping through this gruesome book all these nasty little anecdotes about people going crazy from heat stroke or mis-stepping and sliding down gravelly embankments before winging over the final edge and launching into a five hundred foot drop are popping out at me.
And yet I Must Read. And I am somewhat heartened to learn that the Grand Canyon is usually only a deathtrap for the stupid and/or ill-prepared. The authors early on make a very nice point about what they call the "domestication" of the human animal which renders some people totally incapable of thinking for themselves or recognizing danger even when it is staring them in the face.
This was brought home to my husband and I several years ago when we were driving up the Bay of Fundy in Canada. We stopped in this town called Alma (in New Brunswick?) and there was this cool lighthouse. We were walking around the grounds and every now and then the Canadians tapped a sign in the earth telling you there was a huge crumbly drop off and don't go too near the edge. We were amazed, because in America the lawyers would have had a field day unless everything was barricaded and idiot-proofed. So we asked someone "Aren't you worried about people walking off the edge of the cliff?" and he just looked at us funny and said. "They'd have to be pretty stupid to do that."
Ahhh. And yet, lest people think I mindlessly respect Canada and all Canadians, I am reminded a few years ago when we in the east had a massive ice storm. We weren't hit too bad but some people up in Quebec didn't have power for WEEKS. And some people, who don't have a CLUE how to survive, were heating their homes with their gas stoves and DYING IN THEIR BEDS. Sure, it's a terrible, awful thing to have happen, but there's a part of me saying helllllooooooo......? Like, don't DO that, 'kay?
So this book looks like it's going to be one long "helllllooooooo......?" for me. And the picture on the back, of a river raft about to tip over, has pretty much sworn me off ever going on a river raft. Mojo does not like fast-running water, anyway.