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Amid Loss, A Proposal for the Betterment of Our Species

at the death of idiots, nature applauds; so should we

This is Dark Cloud on Wednesday, June 26, 1996.

Between the horrors newly unleashed in Saudi Arabia, a massive shakeup in the Boulder School System, and the loss of what was once a twenty-four hour haven – The LA Diner – my crusty eyes focus today on tubing in Boulder Creek. It’s a ritual here in Boulder. Unbelievably drunk and fat male teenagers and an occasional female companion jump in the creek and sit in tire inner tubes for the few minutes it takes to carry them downstream. Then, these high toned athletes generally have a friend drive their dripping bodies back up-stream to Eben Fine Park or the library for another, on-the-edge experience. In a normal year, several are seriously hurt and many innocent bystanders receive retina damage as these bloated, hornless narwhals emerge into sunlight and give each other high fives as if they were awaiting the point score from an Asian nation’s event judge. Nothing is a truer sign of spring than the screamed obscenities from tubers on the creek.

This year, the creek has risen high and stayed high and fast as spring rains and runoff kept the banks full. Tubing was disallowed, a prudent and wise choice. Yet now, police and other officials have to make sure nobody breaks that law and gets hurt and drowns. They are mostly successful. This, I feel, is a mistake.

Government would do the commonweal a service by weeding out irresponsible citizens in a financially responsible manner. To wit, sufficient warning is enough, and the government has no responsibility to rescue, resuscitate, and pamper morons. Corpses need not be removed unless drinking water is affected. More effective than planting a cross where peoples’ earthly remains are found would be an environmentally suitable display so parents and children can witness biodegradation.

Not only for idiot tubers, I propose that such a practice be extended to dysfunctional climbers who return to sobriety forty feet up a cool rock face and expect rescue teams to risk time and injury to free them. Skiers who want to test their mettle by skiing off bounds and causing avalanches and who do not survive ought to do yeoman service by leaving their studly attired skeletons for contemplation by future generations. I’m not convinced that officials shouldn’t be allowed to force surviving yahoos at gunpoint to traverse other potential avalanche sites until the inevitable as punishment for their melodramatically selfish behavior.

Much as Yellowstone bears ought to be rewarded for culling idiot gene pools from our ranks, government ought to reward itself whenever an alcoholic “Help!” emerges from Boulder Creek. By turning a deaf ear.