August 1, 2018

Talking With Mt. Everest

This morning I woke up in Nepal and with many hours until I could get back to where I belonged, I went to talk to Mt. Everest itself...a lot of people have interviewed a lot of people who climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest or at least tried until they turned back...and basically they tell the same one of three or four stories all the time...interesting, but done before...I decided it might be interesting to talk to the mountain instead...you know, get his point of view on things...so I caught a local bus and then hiked over to his base, and after getting it cleared through his stern looking publicist, the interview began...he seemed suspicious, but after I assured him I had no intention of trying to scale him myself, he agreed...I sure as hell wasn’t going any higher than I was already…he was a little cold as first, but during our talk, he warmed up and his guard melted away and he seemed to be a pretty good guy...er, mountain... “Yes, what can I tell you” he said in a God-like bellow... I asked him what it feels like to be the most famous mountain in the world…he responded “It hasn’t done me much good. It’s not like I’m in the mountain hall of fame or something”...ah yes, I replied, “but you are famous”... “Yeah, I suppose so, but it’s a curse and a blessing you know” he replied. ..“I got all these people trying to climb on top of me...some of them are ok, but some of them are just plain idiots...plus, I get all this fan mail asking for pictures and autographs...I’m sorry, but I don’t want to be bothered with that”...I contemplated his answer and then asked him about the number of people that have died trying to get to his top... “Well, it’s not always my fault you know...I don’t control the weather, people freezing to death and all...I can’t keep them from being stupid...let’s face it, some of them have no clue what they’re doing and they shouldn’t be here”...I asked him about the 2014 avalanche that killed 16 people. “I couldn’t help it...I had to sneeze” he said matter of factly..he went on to mention he was worried about global warming and pollution and then out of nowhere asked how the Colorado Rockies were doing in baseball this year...“I used to keep up with them, but I don’t know, I just don’t have the time to follow it anymore...I’m more worried about global warming and all that...how’s that going to affect me?...” I inquired whether he considered himself to be Nepalese or Chinese or both since he straddles the border... “Neither...you humans came up with that nonsense...I’ve been here for ions just minding my own business when all that came up...I don’t care...I don’t belong to anybody...I’m just here minding my own business...a citizen of the world you could say”...I excused myself to drink some more Johnny Walker Red Label that I’d bought in town strictly in an attempt to stay warm of course...I said that well, a lot of people have wanted to climb you ‘because you’re there’ I stammered...he rolled his eyes and said “That’s a stupid reason to do anything...there’s a lot of stuff in this world that’s ‘there’ and it don’t mean you should mess around with it...I think somebody came up with that when a writer like yourself asked them why they did it...they couldn’t figure out a real reason, so they thought they were being funny when they said that”...I pointed out that there are groups that charge enormous sums of money to take people up the mountain... “Yeah, I know...you think that does me any good?...I haven’t seen the first dollar from any of those leeches...I oughta be getting a cut of that, you know a commission...in fact, I wish people would leave me the hell alone...go find something else to climb on and bang stakes into...frankly, I’m sick of it”...I saw his point but I’m not sure what he’d actually do with the money.

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