My wife and I were watching a movie last weekend called “Sanctum.”
In short, it was about “cave divers” who scuba dive in subterranean waterways deep below the surface of the Earth. While the incredible, nonstop intensity of the flick is a probably a story in its own right (I’m telling you, don’t watch it unless you’re ready to literally be on the edge of your seat for two hours and are willing to cringe your way through numerous look-away moments), it got me thinking about how it depicted an activity I have no desire to ever be involved in.
I am 100-percent sure I’ll never be in a water-filled labyrinth a mile down in the planet’s crust, pushing a tank of air ahead of me through an opening barely big enough to squeeze through with a goal of seeing if the passage leads to a big room filled with more water.
I’m completely OK with never having done it and there’s absolutely no chance I’ll get the urge in the future. Zero, zilch – not gonna happen.
Just for fun, I went on to consider some other things people do that I never have and never will. Here are a few, in no particular order.
•Go underwater in a cage near large sharks.
I’ve seen video of big sharks with big bite radiuses pretty much destroying such “safety” cages.
And I saw Jaws. The image of the great white penetrating the metal box Richard Dreyfuss’ character Matt Hooper was in may have just been a good piece of movie making, but I’d just as soon not put that to the test.
Note to self: Sharks are not friendly. Must stay away.
•Ride a bike across the United States in the heat of summer.
I understand that the yellow-clad riders seen going east or west on Highway 17 in Texas County are probably in better shape I’ve ever been in.
And I understand that when you’re that well conditioned your body is capable of tremendous endurance and will maintain a constant temperature even in super-heated situations (as long as it’s kept properly hydrated).
But I’m sorry, that just doesn’t look fun. Maybe riding hundreds of miles in a day would be neat when the temperature is 63, but I’m not so sure about doing it when it’s 96.
Even if I’m ever in that kind of shape (which I won’t be), I’ll pass. Forever.
Fine, call them by their fancy French name, escargot. I don’t care what they’re called, they’re not going in my mouth.
This is one of those deals I guess I just can’t fully comprehend – or as might be said these days, “wrap my head around.” I’m pretty sure that anywhere I have the option of wolfing down a few slimy mollusks, there will also be other options. Given other options (pretty much any other option), I can’t for the life of me envision choosing to consume a snail.
So I won’t. Ever.
That’s good news for people who do eat them. None for me means more for you.
Actually, I’ll never climb the third highest mountain in the world, let alone the second. Or the first, fourth or 17th highest, for that matter.
I don’t mind at all that any particular high mountain exists, but “because it’s there” just doesn’t seem to be reason enough to risk life and limb (or at very least be extremely uncomfortable for weeks on end) by walking to the top of it.
I’ll admit I kind of like watching documentaries about people reaching the summit of great peaks, but maybe that’s because it’s them doing it and not me.
I love mountains. I grew up near mountains and spent a lot of time hiking, fishing, camping and skiing in them.
Yep, mountains are great. When you don’t need an oxygen mask or a Sherpa.
•Enter a “polar bear swim.”
I very much enjoy swimming in the outdoors. There’s nothing like a nice body of natural water to make your whole body relax.
But my feeling is that when water is the same temperature as ice – or even colder – it needs to be left to the seals and narwhals. It’s not a place for human flesh. Not mine anyway.
And again, that just doesn’t strike me as fun. Running into a frigid pond in your boxers or briefs and hoping you don’t go into cardiac arrest before you can get out. Woo-hoo.
I’d just as soon stick with a cool river or a warm shower.
•Be a sword swallower.
How does one ever start this?
Does little Johnny one day say to his friend, “hey, watch this – I’m going to shove this three-foot saber down my throat?”
Long, sharp metallic objects should hang from belts or on museum walls. They shouldn’t slide down a person’s esophagus.
I would never hold it against someone for enjoying any of the aforementioned activities, or any others that might make my anti-bucket list.
To each his own, it takes all kinds, there’s no accounting for taste, and on and on and on.
But what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander.
Just call me gander.
Doug Davison is a writer, photographer and newsroom assistant for the Houston Herald. Email: email@example.com.