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Consider This

By LC Van Savage

Rescue Me Me Me!!!

Anybody out there have a problem with people who constantly expect to be rescued? Who are absolutely dead certain they’re entitled to be rescued? I'm not talking about those of us who occasionally appreciate having fire persons save us from our burning homes, or having physicians rescue us from dying of an unpronounceable disease or having doctors of dentistry rescue us from having repulsive smiles, or having police persons rescue us from unscrupulous rapscallions.

No. The people I'm objecting to are those who insist they have to "experience the thrill and challenge" of going where they do not belong, and when they then get into awful trouble, automatically expecting to be rescued by the very same folk who told them to not go there in the first place.

For example, how about those macho idiots who think ice climbing is an amusing way to pass a winter afternoon and proceed to head on out to their local mountains even after being warned repeatedly that a monstrous blizzard is howling in and will be on top of them in six hours? Off they go, paying no heed to the grim weather warnings, ignoring the repeated pleas of humans who from long experience know of the dangers, sneering at the posted signs planted around the entire base of the mountain which state in twelve inch high black letters that to climb in certain winter conditions is dangerous, unlawful and just outright and downright stupid.

But no. These guys, dressed in smart nylon windbreakers, khaki pants, and state of the art Nikes head on out and up, and guess what? Surprise! They get caught in that predicted blinding blizzard with no food, all that improper clothing but ah! a cell phone into which they scream for help to be rescued from the side of the mountain’s seventeen inch ledge onto which they've tumbled. "Help us!" They beseech, and the rescuers do what they’ve been trained to do and head on out, sometimes in helicopters, sometimes on foot, and sometimes even losing their lives in the process. And then these heroic rescuees have the absolute gall to state to the media from their hospital beds where they've been taken to have their frozen feet and many frostbitten fingers removed that hey! Not to worry everyone! They'll tell us proudly that they’ll find a way to climb again! Let us rejoice.

Wonderful! Any word about or nod to those dedicated people who went out in that blizzard to save them? Any apologies to the families of those rescuers who will never see their beloved fathers and husbands again because they died trying to snatch those bozos from that seventeen inch ledge after they’d been warned to not go up there in the first place? Nope. Absolutely none. These people expect to be rescued. They insist it is their right. I not so respectfully disagree.

It's difficult for me to feel much sympathy for people who go where they don't belong, get into serious trouble and then expect to be hauled to safety, putting the haulers at great risk and not much caring about that fact. Sure, I recoil in horrified revulsion when some guy who has had to endure the embarrassment of being nicknamed "Stumpy" because a year before he insisted it was perfectly safe and he really needed to have the fulfilling experience of scuba diving with those "oh, so beautiful" Great Whites. The guy did not belong there. The Great Whites do belong there. That's Fishworld down there Jerk, not Ohio.

And yes, I feel sympathy for the pain a person obviously feels from having to sway in traction from every limb after his latest attempt to leap over 67 end-to-end school buses on his speeding Harley launched from a tall ramp. But come on, what did he do that for? He didn't belong there, up in the air on a motorcycle, and yet he expected to have the pieces of him rescued, gathered up, stapled together and hauled off to the local hospital.

And skydiving? Are we supposed to weep for the people whose shinbones are now located in their armpits? Bungee cord jumping? Are we supposed to weep for those people who now can only see through their navels? What's the deal with those people anyway?

You're right. I have no wish to ever challenge myself. I already know I shouldn’t do those things and get no big rush trying something dangerous, especially when it involves, for example, my hurtling through space with nothing in or around me to cushion my fall, or plunging to the bottom of an ocean where I can't breathe and don't speak the language of the denizens and where I may very well have the startling experience of being eaten alive while I get to watch.

Yes, I am certified wimp, a raving sissy. But at least I don't casually expect to be rescued from the failure of my attempt at performing some great dramatic act of derring-do, some against-human-nature feat putting me in a place where I don't belong and from which I've been warned away. You know, like tightrope walking between the tops of two swaying skyscrapers on a day of stiff breezes, or cooling off in a languid river teeming with ravenous crocodiles, or lounging about with a snarling group of very hungry jackals and no nice friendly gun to keep me company.

If we must test ourselves, why can't we take on a few challenges like finding time to work in a soup kitchen or teaching a kid to read or being a Hospice volunteer or working a day a week with a handicapped person? Am I sounding just a little too noble here? You bet. Sorry about that, but you'll have to admit that these are places where humans do belong and where at least they aren't breathing in saltwater or are being frozen solid to the tip of an impossibly tall mountain, or jammed hopelessly seven miles down in an ever narrowing cave in the bowels of the globe after being warned to stay away from all those places.

Push the envelope? Go to the edge? Get into bed with the Fates? Go where angels fear to tread? Then when you discover you cannot possibly survive, demand and fully expect to be rescued? Why? Because we’re owed that? Wrong.

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