Greetings, my fellow port swillers!
Ol’ Robbo hopes that all friends of the decanter had a very good Thanksgiving, that you continue to enjoy your revels over the weekend and that your favorite teams are all winning. (My nephew tried to explain to me the intricacies of the new college football playoff scheme, but I couldn’t quite take them in. IMHO, it seems a bad idea.)
The Port Swiller Brother and I spent a very pleasant afternoon yesterday tramping about North Carolina’s Stone Mountain State Park. The park is named for this particular height:
It’s a 600 foot granite eminence, the result of a huge subterranean outburst of magma eventually cooling and being exposed through millennia of erosion. You can get to the top either via a very steep ascent on the left or via a more leisurely path snaking up on the right and behind. After doing a circuit of lookouts on a lesser hill across the way, we hiked up Stone Mountain by the former and went down by the latter, pausing at the top for a rest, a view and the best apple I’ve ever eaten.
You can see that the top is rayther rounded and curves down a fair bit before finally dropping off sheer. Because the curve itself is steep (along the lines of a roof-top), the effect of looking down on somebody below you is that they appear far closer to the drop than they actually are.
As we sat admiring the view and catching our breath, some people came out of the trees in front of the more leisurely path, a couple and their teenaged daughter. The first I was aware of them was when I heard the fellah say, “Don’t go any farther than that bush, now.” (The bush was about 20 yards down from where we were sitting.)
While the daughter held back, the woman completely ignored him and started walking down the slope.
“Don’t go any farther than that bush, I said,” he said.
She kept walking.
The more he told her to hold up, the farther she kept going.
Finally, when she was about 30 yards past the bush and looked from where we sat like she was standing on the very brink, she turned about and started dancing and laughing and taunting him.
The fellah had reluctantly kept moving down himself, finally stopping about 10 yards short. I didn’t get all they said to each other, except that she kept laughing and at one point I heard him say, “I am, too, adventurous!”
All this time I had been getting rayther nervous myself, especially as it was all I could do to keep my own acrophobia in check. When I realized what she was playing at, I found myself sympathetically angry on the part of her husband and thought to myself, “Self, if that was my wife playing the fool like that and making me look foolish in public, I’d take her home, put her over my knee and giver her a right good spanking!”
A few seconds later, I suddenly thought, “Oooohhhhhh…….”