Friday, November 03, 2006

All About Caves

Contrary to popular belief, most caves don't have any treasure hidden in them. Unless of course you consider one of the earth's more subtle and magnificent ecosystems to be treasure enough in itself.

But then, that would make you a granola-munching geologist who's never known a day of real work in his life and won't as long as his grant is renewed, wouldn't it?

***

Chip Bannon, the smug tour guide for the National Park Service, never has any trouble remembering which are the stalactites and which are the stalagmites. This is mostly because he's smarter than you, but partially because he knows a handy little memory trick that he's more than happy to share:
Stalactites have to hold on tight to the ceiling.
Stalagmites might grow up big and tall if they eat healthy and remember to take their vitamins and minerals.

The latter being extra clever, as Chip hastens to point out, since they form from the calcified drips of mineral-rich water.

Well, what Chip Bannon doesn't know is that for the last few minutes I've been mentally killing him in just about every horrifically gruesome way imaginable involving stalactites and mites. And that if he reminds us one more time that cave ecosystems are very fragile and we must stay on the designated path, taking only pictures and leaving only footprints, then I'm gonna beat him to death with his helmet lamp and feed him to the cave slugs.

***

Contrary to popular belief, cave slugs don't attack unless provoked. And rarely grow much longer than a foot or two.

(You're thinking of the Paraguayan Devil Worm.)

***

When Tom Sawyer and Becky Thatcher's last candle burned out after they became hopelessly lost in McDougall's Cave, Tom Sawyer found Becky's lips in the darkness, kissed them tenderly and told her everything was going to be all right.

Which is quite lovely.

Well, when I clicked off my flashlight and tried to kiss the woman next to me as our group gathered on the bank of some boring underground river that Chip claimed was a geologic masterpiece, she broke my nose with a cave rock and then Chip was furious because apparently that cave rock took something like a billion years to form... and now it had my blood on it.

***

Contrary to popular belief, farts do echo in caves.

Quite resoundingly in fact.

***

There are many types of caves. Two main ones are Volcanic Caves, formed by lava flows through rock, and Solutional Caves in which water erosion through softer (soluble) rock produces the passages and chambers. Limestone caves are a common example of solutional caves.

Chip Bannon claims there's no such thing as a Wizard Cave--that twisting maze of scorched granite, blasted deep into shear cliff walls by the lightning-tipped staffs of levitating wizards. But Chip Bannon is an asshole and a liar.

***

Contrary to popular belief, caves aren't scary to walk through alone. Well, not all of them. Okay, most are but there are a few that aren't.

Okay, fine, even those are pretty spooky.

***

Chip Bannon will always politely thank everybody who paid the four dollars to take the National Park Service's crappy tour through the smelly cave, but he becomes significantly less-than-cordial if he discovers your pockets are stuffed with endangered cave newt carcasses.

***

Contrary to popular belief, your dead relatives can still see you if you touch yourself in a cave.

10 Comments:

At 5:36 AM, Blogger ATD said...

Latigo, why do you choose to do such silly things with women, like kissing them in a cave? Most women think better of you if you engage in polite, intellectual conversation. I have many women friends. ... but then they tend to think of you as "friends" and "a nice guy" and you stay that way forever and ever while they get married and live happily ever after. Huh. Well, that wasn't very helpful, was it?

I'll ask a different question then: Latigo - did you meet any dragons in the caves? If you had, would you have slapped thigh and shucked iron and blown the living daylights out of that firebreathing menace just to protect that lady who hit you with a stalagmite?

?~ATD

 
At 8:54 AM, Anonymous The Macek Collective said...

I wonder how long it would take to kill someone with mites. It would make for a fucking great CSI.

 
At 9:17 AM, Blogger tangled said...

I see the cave and the stala-whatever-ites
in my mind's eye.
The experience is unearthly. Spectacular spelunking.
Unnerving.

 
At 9:30 AM, Blogger tangled said...

And hey, Mr. ATD, I wouldn't mind being kissed in a cave.
(or at all, for that matter. ever. *sigh*)

 
At 11:52 AM, Blogger Ari said...

1) Spiders : Latty :: Slugs : Ari
i.e. ew.

2) Chip Bannon mite get laid if he holds tite to his high-profile career as a NPS tour guide/spelunker and courts only hippy chicks majoring in geology.

3) Did you get to look down a deep dark hole and see the devil? They do that one in Tennessee.

 
At 2:37 PM, Anonymous Strange Forces said...

What a sad life, to be named "Chip Bannon."

Bannon, as in Race! It smacks of adventure, intrigue and last-minute escapes.

Chip. Men who wear dickies are named Chip. Men who wear dickies never have adventures.

Chip Bannon, doomed to be witty about rock formations and nothing more.

 
At 8:09 PM, Blogger Amandarama said...

I try not to make a habit out of touching myself in caves.

Sometimes it works out for me.

Other times, it's just damn awkward for me and the allegedly "blind", geographically isolated Mole Men.

Apparently there's going to be some kind of pay-per-view at some point...

 
At 4:38 AM, Blogger tangled said...

Don't you reply to comments any more? :(

 
At 1:40 AM, Blogger Latigo Flint said...

You have asked many questions of me ATD... fortunately you immediately answered most of them.
So, yes. In answer to your question. Yes I have. Sometimes dreadfully so.

I meant to type that 'mites, Macek. "Stalagmites" would have wrecked the rhythm.

Hey Tharunya, no flirting with men that aren't named Latigo Flint. That's the rule here.

Hey Ari:
1) Reap it.
2) I hope he chokes on granola.
3) Every morning sweetheart, but the deep dark hole is my bathroom mirror and the devil winks as I shave.

You truly understand me Strange Forces. I do not lightly value this.

I'm in love with you Amandarama. Your husband is gonna have to fight me someday. And for that I envy him tonight but not tomorrow.

The pattern has been well established Tharunya. Rerun nights aren't reply nights either.
Soon I'll be dead and it'll all be moot.

 
At 5:59 AM, Blogger Helga von porno said...

hilariuous

 

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