Friday, August 3, 2007

Disobedient, Disrespectful Oafs

We visited two caves while on vacation. Son is interested in caves because a) they're cool, and b) they are like dungeons in the Legend of Zelda video games.

The first cave was local. Unfortunately, the cave was quite commercialized, so much of it was paved. Paved cave. Say that three times fast.

The second spelunktacular was a couple of hours away. That cave was less damaged, but still pretty commercial. The guides were a little more careful to explain why people shouldn't touch the stalactites and stalagmites.

Our tour group was listening to our guide explain history of the cave. I was standing near a boy, maybe 9 or 10, when I heard the boy ask an older boy, probably his brother, "Should I pick one of these stalactites?"

The older boy looked disgusted that the younger one would even suggest such a thing. "No!"

"I could do it. Nobody's watching," he said, as I was staring right at him from four feet away. He plucked one from the ceiling.

I cleared my throat. "Excuse me, young man. Don't pick the stalactites!"

"I didn't!"

"I just heard you say you were going to, and I watched you do it. You're damaging the cave." The adult male with the boys was standing less than 18 inches away from me. He remained turned away the whole time. I'm guessing it was the boys' father. I walked away and moved to the other side of the group.

The man never did say anything to the boys nor to me while we were down there, but once we got to the surface, I did see him tossing a cigarette butt onto the ground. The tobapple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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