Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Man Attacks Crocodile!!

Man Attacks Crocodile!!
African rainforest
The twelve foot long, man eating croc, sat on the riverbank sunning itself, re-energizing, readying to take down his next victim, not knowing that it was the one who was being stalked by the crazy guy nearby who had a hankering for croc meat. The ensuing brawl would put any UFC match to shame …
On what was my favorite day in Ghana we got to visit one of the last vestiges of rainforest left in the country in Kapkum National Park. I'm a nature lover, minus every mosquito dead or alive.

Much of rural Ghana is covered in new growth forest, scrawny 98 pound weakling trees as compared to the Arnold Schwarzaneggar’s that have all but been clear to make your hot tub deck, the last vestiges residing only in the National Parks. (please make certified sustainable woods purchases)
Immediately I am struck by the beauty of the African Rainforest. Emerald green shining in the against a background of saturated golden light, trees extending their arms towards the heavens, birds and monkeys chattering up a storm, and the soft warm rain alighting on my skin.
I ventured onto the canopy walk, rope bridges spanning from tree to tree one hundred and twenty feet above the ground. It was soooo beautiful, to look at all the surrounding vegetation from an eagle’s vantage point.
Alice Beckwith on the rope bridge

(A view from the canopy)

Straight from branches of nearby trees came the coconuts and cacao fruit I chopped open with a machete. Birds lizards, and salamanders abounded. I had a great time!

(A lesson in where CHOCOLATE comes from)

After what was only an hour and a half in the forest, we had to board the bus again (don’t get me started, we spent 80% of the first four days on that stupid bus. Less travel, more DO please.)
With that frustration in mind, we stopped for lunch by a local lake, known to have crocs, and sure enough, the local legend, the twelve footer who the locals said was known to have eaten at least one tourist was sunning himself on the bank.
Now, a quick adoption of game theory, (measuring each possible outcome and weighing the benefits of one against the downside of the other) came up with the following results.
Outcome #1: I survive my encounter, educate you guys about crocs, and have a fun story to tell
Outcome #2: I get pulled into the lake and eaten, a grizzly horrible death by any standards … which means that I don’t have to get back on the bus!
A no lose situation for Rich!
Apparently, the rest of my group didn’t agree with my analysis and told me I was CRAZY. It’s not that I have any empirical evidence to counter their argument, but do they really have to state it out loud? It kind of hurts.

(Rich versus Crocodile- the brawl of the century)

You can see the full results of the croc brawl in the video. As I am still standing, it’s pretty safe for me to claim victory. I guarantee that croc slid back into the water, and all his pals told him, “man, you’re a loser. If that was me, CHOMP, yum-yum,” but my croc undoubtably replied with a refrain often heard on the basketball court, “Maybe if he wasn’t so quick.”
On my end, it was the first time I was grateful to get back on the bus.

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