The Accidental Extremist is now online at www.theaccidentalextremist.com


Over The Edge [The Abyss]

 

Sometimes the sea calls, and we answer.

Sometimes the sea calls, and we answer.

           I never thought I had a death wish, but one experience on my recent travels had me reconsidering. I’d been traveling around South-East Asia by myself on a break from my studies to see the world. One day I decided go cliff jumping and snorkeling in Thailand; I’d seen signs all over advertising guided trips.  On the same signs there were also advertisements for swimming with sharks.  At first I thought it would be quite a day to do all three, but to swim with sharks I would have to get up at 6:00am. That is just not a time of day I wake up to go jump in the water with sharks.  That’s not even a time of day I’m awake to see super models swim in the water…

 

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Spin Cycle [Love on the Road, Love on the Rocks]

 

I just feel so safe with you.

I just feel so safe with you.

On Valentine’s Day 1998 I decided to surprise my new boyfriend with what I imagined would be a romantic and unforgettable helicopter tour of the Mile High City. 

           It was on the way to the airport that I learned of his terrible fear of heights. What should have been an amorous 35-mile limo ride from Boulder to Denver became nothing short of a ledge-talking scenario, but I did my best to reassure him while he nervously chugged champagne from the bottle.

            Our pilot, a sweet man in his mid-50’s, assured us that he would give us a night we wouldn’t forget. As we ascended, I glanced furtively at my boyfriend only to notice his white knuckles clutching both knees. We circled downtown Denver for 30 minutes before our pilot took us west towards the lights of Golden and Central City. By the time we reached the foothills, we were met with winds so fierce that our pilot radioed to his supervisor to request permission to land at a nearby airport. No sooner had he done this than all of the lights went out in the cabin, the engine cut off, and we started to fall for what seemed like an eternity.

           I always thought if I were ever in an accident that I would be a screamer. But instead I was silent—we all were… Continue reading



Twin Beds and Thin Walls [Love on the Road, Love on the Rocks]

After the wedding, all we want to do is relax by the beach.

After the wedding, all we want to do is relax by the beach.

Here, excerpts from an entertaining piece by writer Rob Story which recounts his action-packed honeymoon throughout Asia—and some of its more memorable catastrophes. —CDB

              We’re a funny couple to watch. She, all of five feet and 99 pounds, blithely swings her skis down steep mogul runs with apparent amnesty from the laws of gravity. Trying gamely to knit near misses and miraculous recoveries into a line that at least looks intentional, my 200-pound carcass hurtles down slopes with the subtlety and grace of the Hindenburg. She never, ever biffs on a mountain bike. Me, I’m attempting to become the first human to be constituted completely of scar tissue.

             I guess the sea kayaking session in Thailand presented the most interesting realationship dynamics. When M’Lissa emerged wearing an XL life jacket on her petite frame, I said something along the lines of: “Whoa, looks like Tattoo got in Mr. Roarke’s closet again.” (It was quite a clever remark, as we were in a gorgeous marine national park dotted with all manner of Fantasy Islands, but she didn’t care for it. Apparently, California kids like M’Lissa frequently grow up in an environment polluted with sports and activity, suffering from dangerously low levels of TV exposure.)

            Things only got worse on the water, because our vessels were tandem sea kayaks…. Continue reading