Thursday, November 28, 2013

Well, Fancy That! # 4

It's been a whopping eighteen months since the last Well, Fancy That! but after learning amazing facts about two regular customers of the store this week, it returns in style!

Firstly , I discovered that one young customer is a direct descendent of P.T. Barnum!

Well, fancy that!

Circumstances in the store were such when this fact revealed itself that I could not find out more, but certainly will, or at least try, when he returns.

Secondly, the grandmother of another customer is the oldest Canadian-born person in Canada, and to boot currently the 17th oldest person on earth!

Well, fancy that!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Don't Look Down!

The fear of heights, or acrophobia, is of course very common. But as someone affected by it, I can't help but wonder how many other sufferers feel the fear simply by viewing footage of great heights. I don't have acute acrophobia, especially as whenever an opportunity arises I cannot help but ascend tall towers in order to try combat it. To this end I've been to the top of the CN Tower in Toronto, the Space Needle in Seattle, the Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur and various other very tall structures around the world. On each and every occasion, however, I feel as if the tower will fall; I feel dizzy and weak and no amount of rationalizing how safe I know I am will calm me down. I guess these are common symptoms of the phobia. Nonetheless, the next time I have the chance to get to the top of a tall building, I'll do so. I guess it's the same compulsion that gets us onto terrifying fairground rides.

As I say, I feel just as freaked out whenever I look at film of people experiencing great heights, yet this is a relatively recent development. When a couple of years back I was sent a link to the short film below, I was surprised to find myself feeling nauseous and genuinely scared as I watched. My heart was in my mouth and even though I knew the guys would not fall, I still felt they would. I still find it difficult to watch this without turning away or feeling panic creeping up on me. What does it do to you? 

The catalyst for this post, however, is a new piece of film that I find even more unnerving. Despite the fact that the guys in the above film are obviously highly trained and very safe in the work they're carrying out, those in the next clip appear to be in a situation of great potential danger, or at least that's how it seems to me. It feels like the edge of the road could give away at any time, at least in my terrified mind as I watch through my hands. I couldn't even WALK this route without thinking I would tumble over the edge at any moment, let alone do what they're doing, obviously thrilled at their situation and seemingly without a care in the world. I could not even do this if offered a huge sum of money to do so, and I mean that quite sincerely. I have a sense of adventure, sure, but never to this degree. That this takes place in the province I live in makes it all the more mind-blowing and scary! And what happens after the climax of the clip? Where the hell does the road lead after that? How did they get back? Where were they going in the first place? Are they all quite insane?

Anyway, whatever the answers, enjoy or otherwise. Comments from fellow acrophobics are welcome!