Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Messing around in the dark

One of the best things about hiking up the mountain and going through Timpanogos Cave has been when the ranger turns off all the lights and shows everyone how absolutely pitch black it becomes.
It's always "illuminating" to not be able to see one's hand in front of one's face no matter how you squint or scrunch.
I always found it fascinating and we had told our 5-year-old granddaughter to expect the moment.
(We tried this year to organize a Grandpa's Timp Cave Hike but due to grandpa's broken foot, various family emergencies and frantic summer schedules, we ended up with two grandparents, one dad and a single grandchild.)
That's why is was particularly annoying to find people in our tour party had failed to shut off their cell phones so when the moment came there were these tiny shimmers of light coming from two or three spots inside the cavern.
Adell not in the dark
One lady tried to hide her screen behind her leg but it was too late, the moment of utter darkness was ruined.
It apparently only takes a smidgen of light to destroy the effect of "total darkness."
The ranger had to adjust her spiel to say "you can hardly see anything" and "it's almost impossible to even make out your hand in front of you."
I added this to the long list I'm keeping of why cell phones, iPods, etc. should be banned from ordinary existence.
They intrude. They disrupt and I find all of it socially worrisome.
Everywhere you go there are these little lights and games and apps with people so absorbed in whatever they're doing that they ignore their date, husband, wife or child sitting or walking right next to them. They mess up movies. They ring at funerals.
Most of the time I just cluck my tongue and berate them silently.
But when they disturb my cave time, I'm inclined to say something.
Shut the dang thing off.

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