Tall tales are a common element of adventure story telling. I can’t tell you how often I detect the scent of a tall tale coming from one of many exaggerated stories told by my friends. Whether it is a phone call from my friend Trent stating, “I just skied the deepest snow this planet has ever seen”, or an email from my Dad stating, “you should have seen this fish, it was as long as my arm!!”, tall tales are part of my every day listening experience. Sometimes, I can detect the Pinocchio in these stories, but often times I cant, falling for some of the most absurd stories. For example, this April, I let my guard down, and got completely fooled.
This April, my two buddies, Brody and Abe were going to ski Mount Tom in Bishop California. This is a committing tour, which takes you up a steep avalanche path, 8,000 feet up into the clouds. I knew this mountain was notorious for big avalanches, and I was slightly worried about my buddies. On April 4th, while they were skinning up the peak, I was stuck at school eating lunch with a professor. In the middle of a conversation, my phone rang, and Brody’s number popped up. My heart started to race. I could sense that something was wrong. I told the professor that I had to take the call. “Hello” I said. “Robin, I don’t have much time to explain this…but there has been an avalanche.” “What” I said. I ripped my backpack off, pulled out a piece of paper, and prepared to write down details to give to search and rescue. “What happened? Are you alright? Where is Abe” I rattled off. “We are OK, but the avalanche ripped out skies off, and we are stuck on top of a 100 foot cliff, with no way up or down” Brody said, with a very solemn voice. “Hang tight! Can you tell where you guys are? Are you sure you can’t hike out?” “No” he said. “I think we are going to jump, it’s the only way down”, “NOOO, Stop!!!” I yelled. Everyone eating around my stopped what they were doing and stared at my, as I frantically tried to pursued Brody. “Brody, stop what you are doing, you are obviously frantic, and not thinking strait. Do not jump!!” “It’s the only way……I think I might do a front flip,” He said. “……. Wait”, I said, confused. I can hear Abe laughing in the background. Brody says, “Ya, I think Abe is going to do it naked!” My face turns bright red, I can’t believe I fell for their April fools prank. “I hate you guys” I said, and hung up the phone. My professor must have been wondering what the hell was going on. All I could seem to say was, “sorry about that”.
You may be thinking, “How did you fall for that? It was April Fools Day!” I know, I know!! MY excuse, is that I frequent these types of stories so often, that I fall for anything. “Robin, Tim and I free soloed Mount Olympus today in the Rain”. To this story, I said, “Not a chance, that is a lie”. So I thought, until I saw the pictures. WOW! With such crazy friends, and such wild adventures, it is hard to tell the real from fantasy. Most of the time, the stories are some where in between. They are tall tales; my favorite type!!!