So I'm watching the Travel Channel, which is the best channel of all the channels God ever created, when I saw them.
The Grand Canyon Mules.
If you aren't familiar, they are not a football team, although I think that would be a great name. They are actual four-legged mules who work for the government at the Grand Canyon, which is the grandest of all the canyons God ever created.
Apparently visitors to the Canyon can hop on the back of a mule to be hauled down the incredibly steep and crazy scary dirt trail to the bottom of this big hole in the ground. Why they feel the need to descend 5000 feet in the first place is beyond me entirely. Add to that the fact that they want to do it on a mule's back, and I'm completely at a loss.
As I watched these tired old mules hauling fat Americans down such a frightening and narrow trail, a few things really gave me cause for concern. Call it OCD, or call it common sense, but I think everyone that is considering riding a mule for fun or profit should consider these questions.
What if you get a mule that is just exhausted? What if he collapses half way down and as a result you fall off the side of the trail? The words "plummet to your death" come to mind. Do the mules get regular health exams to prevent such a tragedy? Are they on the South Beach Diet so that they don't have heart attacks?
What if you hop on a mule that looks perfectly happy to be at work, but is secretly bi-polar? Isn't it conceivable that he could suddenly have an attack of mania and decide to fly?
What if your mule doesn't like you? Would he tease you by walking so close to the edge that you wet your pants?
What if he's had an argument with his significant other the night before? Maybe he's hung over from trying to drink her off his mind? Or worse yet, he caught her with another mule...who just happens to be the mule carrying the Asian tourist in front of you? Would there be a fight? Would you be able to hang on while your mule is kicking the ass of the ass that was sleeping with his wife?
What if you are so fat that Disneyland won't even let you ride Space Mountain? Do you really think a mule can carry you down a 7 mile trail? What if you break his back? Would you have to carry him on your back down the remainder of the trail?
What if a snake jumps out in front of you on the trail? Would your mule freak out and hop around yelling, "Somebody kill it!" and if so, where are you in all the commotion?
What if your mule doesn't understand English? What if you say, "pretty mule" and he thinks you said, "Jump or my associate will chop off the thumbs of your wife and kids."
What if Osama Bin Laden is hiding behind a rock on the way down and pops out and yells, "Boo!"? Bumbles may bounce, but I don't think mules do.
What if your mule has OCD, like me? Would he keep going back up the hill to make sure he didn't leave his curling iron on? Would he have to keep his eyes on the ground at all times so he didn't step on an ant and get sent straight to Hell? Would he continually ask you if his forehead felt hot because his last rider had a cold? Would he constantly look over the edge and whisper over and over again, "I will not jump. I will not jump.I will not jump."?
You can ride a mule if you want to. I think I'll take a golf cart.
Wait a minute...what if the brakes fail? What if I pass out from the heat and drive my cart off the edge? What if......?
Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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