Like many of you I was indifferent to the idea of running ziplines from the radio tower to key spots downtown. On one hand I thought it would reduce the number of lost ecotourists wandering through the neighborhood, on the other hand there were a bunch of meetings that my wife insisted we attend. I consider my time valuable so I was not looking forward to the meetings but figured that the nut who railed against the tower because it would increase swearing would show up and I’d get a laugh. But I’m not laughing now. After everything I’ve been through and seen, I’m beginning to think that the wacko had it right all along. The zipline experiment has failed and we need to take them down before it’s too late.
Like the local weirdo, my first concern is with language. I’m the kind of guy who tries really hard not to care about anything. Getting worked up about issues that you can’t change yourself is a drain. I try not to get too excited about things, but the amount of flying f*$ks given off by these zipliners is astounding. I would estimate that a f-bomb is dropped within earshot of my home every 15 minutes. I have impressionable children. If they are going to be exposed to that kind of language I want it to be from me, not some stranger flying through the sky above their home like a foul-mouthed Santa.
Next we have the safety issues. The company running the lines clearly doesn’t care about safety. From what I can tell, customers are often drunk when using their service. The lines have been up less than a month and we’ve already had 2 instances of people getting stuck. If I’m working on the car while trying to listen to the game, the last thing I need is a screaming tourist stuck 40 feet above my house. It’s not just terrified tourists going down the lines either. I’ve seen coolers, pets, and even a baby strapped into a car seat go flying through the air. At any given time the sky above my neighborhood looks like a cross between a Vegas acrobat show and a swap meet.
Even with all of those problems I thought I could abide the daily idiot air show. There was an incident last week that changed my mind however. I can tolerate bottles and wrappers falling like a filthy rain but not what landed on my car on my way home.
I am the proud owner of a Mustang Shelby GT350. Her name is Ivy. I love her. With 526 hp, 429 lb-ft of torque, and custom green paint, Ivy sets me apart from other men. I love my kids. I really do, but they aren’t remarkable in any way so far. They do alright in school but just alright. I’m probably going to have to pay for their college without any help from scholarships. Neither one is especially athletic or good looking so a job as a Manimal spokesperson is out the window. No, they’re just your run-of-the-mill ordinary kids and I’m OK with that. Ivy is different. When you have a car like that people know that you’re the kind of guy who’s willing to put time into something. Maintaining a car as special as Ivy this close to the ocean is hard work. All kids need is access to food and an occasional hug. Ivy is special and I’m very protective of her.
I was driving home along my normal route, being careful to avoid any debris in the road, just like I always do, when I noticed a zipliner coming my way. I could hear her screams over Ivy’s purr and her face was frozen in terror. Then I watched something drop and arc my way in the wind. I couldn’t figure out what it was at first. It hit the windshield and my mind scrambled to come up with a scenario that wasn’t so horrific, but I had to accept what just happened. The tourist was so scared that she lost control of her bodily functions, and now it was all over Ivy. By the time I got home my finger was numb from pressing the washer fluid button. It took 2 hours of meticulous washing and waxing before Ivy was no longer befouled but I’m not sure she’ll ever be clean again. I double bagged and threw away her wipers.
I want to believe that I’ll be able to look at her one day and not relive the incident, but it’s just too hard right now. I can’t unring that bell. She’s sat covered in the garage all week. I’ve been taking the bus to work. As long as those lines are still up I can’t chance it. Let’s take them down now before others have to feel the pain of having a stranger literally shit all over the thing they hold most dear.