Life is a risky business. To reach a comfortable dotage, one must thread one’s way past such omnipresent mortal hazards as cancer, auto wrecks, random assault, falling objects, air disasters, bullets stray or otherwise, atherosclerosis, capsizings, snakebite, cyclones, suicidal depression, carbon-monoxide leaks, cerebral haemorrhage, defenestration, shark attack, overdose, industrial accidents, poisoning, autoerotic asphyxiation, crib death, MRSA, jihad, pyroclastic flow, capital punishment, jealous lovers, anaphylactic shock, downed power-lines, avalanche, bicycle messengers, salmonella, icy sidewalks, derailings, surgical mishaps, rogue waves, heatstroke, cirrhosis, lightning, and so on.
This is a formidable gauntlet. With that in mind, it has always seemed to me that the game is sporting enough as we find it — but some of us find the challenge too modest, and so make hobbies of drag-racing, wreck-diving, free-climbing, hang-gliding, parkour, white-water rafting, and such like. Among the more jeopardous of these follies is “base jumping”, which consists of putting on a Rocket J. Squirrel suit and leaping from some crag or tall building. (None for me, thanks, but I’ll be sure to raise a glass at the wake.)
Here’s what it looks like when it doesn’t go so well.