Monday, August 18, 2014

I Am A Bad, Bad Person...

...because my first response to this story was raucous laughter...

Couple falls to their death while trying to take selfie
A Polish couple has fallen to their death in Portugal while trying to take a selfie near a cliff, according to local media reports.

The bodies of the couple – who were not identified – have been recovered after initial attempts to rescue them on Saturday were hampered by rough conditions in the waters off Cabo da Raca, Polish Radio reports.
Now, there's a sad part to this, as the couple left behind two children - who watched their idiot parents fall to their deaths. I feel bad for those kids - they didn't ask to be born to people that don't have the common sense that G-d gave gravel. Perhaps they will be raised by someone with a better sense of self-preservation, like a lion tamer.

I just don't get the daredevil stuff, I really don't. Sky diving, bungee jumping; all of that just makes me scratch my head. I ride a motorcycle, and that's enough risk for me; I don't need to go out actively seeking ways to get myself killed. I have to think that it's thrill-seeking at work here, because the alternative is TSTL - they just didn't give the cliff enough credence and forgot that gravity isn't just a good idea, it's the law.

Reading this account, I have even less sympathy for the recently deceased. They apparently went around a safety barrier to get their picture - when you actively circumvent items intended to keep you from doing unsafe things, it's hard to move the "give-a-s**t-meter". It's one thing to misjudge the edge and slip. It's entirely another (dumber) thing to go around the perimeter set up for safety.

At least that's a mistake they won't make again...

That is all.


Old NFO said...

Darwin won, but a little late... stupidity DOES have it's own 'reward' sometimes!

Dave H said...

I grew up in Ohio in the Appalachian foothills, and to us the unofficial start of summer was when the first flatlander from Columbus fell off a cliff at a nearby state park. (It was easy enough to do - the whole park was caves and gorges.)

I don't think these people were stupid necessarily, just inexperienced with nature. The trails were all established at least 20 feet from any cliff and there were signs everywhere to stay on them, but people could see the gorge and wanted to get a better look. They didn't realize that a sandstone cliff with mud on top of it is slippery, and they'd end up falling 50 feet to the rocks below. They were used to stairwells, sidewalks, and parking ramps, not the rocks and mud we hillbillies lived in.

Although this one guy was just plain stupid. He made a perfect swan dive from a 40 foot cliff into a waterfall plunge pool. He probably would have been okay - the water was about 7 feet deep at that point - but he hit a rock that was 6" below the surface instead. Broke his neck. He only lived because people saw it and pulled him out of the water.

Anonymous said...

Stupid, yes.
But I would submit that we are rapidly developing a 'Boy who cried Wolf' syndrome with safety barriers and labels. It doesn't remove the stupid; but when everything has safety warnings on it, people are much more likely to ignore the safety warning that actually means something.

Harry Flashman said...

We have several parks here in the mountains that have waterfalls. Some have paths to the top. Every year, some college kid will go over the rail, crawl out on a big boulder to get a picture made, without realizing the boulder is covered with slime. Then, it's over the side, 50 feet down into the rocks. The fire and rescue guys get fifteen dollars each for the body recovery task.

Jim said...

Mr. & Mrs. Wylie E. Coyote. Minus the ACME umbrella.

Sunk New Dawn
Galveston, TX

Glenn B said...

I once took the label off of a pillow - it said do not remove. The pillow did not blow up. I have fired a gun once or three times, never shot myself. I have even gone faster than the speed limit (will only admit doing that once) and did not crash even though I had to be doing all of 26MPH in a 25. Been hunting and hiking by myself too and always made it out alive. Oh well, I must be lucky since I disregarded all the warnings I had about how dangerous all of my actions could have been.

Anonymous said...

Glenn B,
Exactly. I can think of only one warning label that I have ever encountered that really made sense: on the stall of a certain horse, who had perfected the art of the strike and bite.
In that single case a warning was needed because there was no other, common sense way to tell that it shouldn't be handled in the way that all horses should be handled.
But if all horses were labeled as dangerous (which they are, but not if handled correctly) the one that was genuinely out to kill wouldn't have a different label. That is what we have done with warning signs.

Ed said...

Around twenty years ago we went to see a Space Shuttle launch at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. We chose a canalside viewpoint in Titusville with the launch site in the distance. Standing on the road side of a metal guardrail, one local commented to another about the crowds lining the banks of the canal. "Ya know what we locals call those who just absolutely must stand on the other side of the guard rail to get a better view? Gator chow!"