Getting lost on a river shows a lack of common sense

illustration of children and river

This has been a weird year. Come to think of it, weird may not be quite the right term. Depressing, worrying, an endless parade of suck, that more fits the bill. I heard about a hilarious news story and figured I could use the cheering up, so I clicked. I was not a happy guy.

Instead of laughing, I pretty much felt truly hopeless for humanity on a whole. The story, as it goes, involves three women who wanted to go float down a river in an inner tube. With the weather being what it’s been in Seattle, I can relate. Drifting down a lazy river, cooled by the glacial runoff sounds heavenly. Throw in a couple bottles of beer tied to my vessel and we’re talking about a pretty tremendous evening.

I’m with it so far, hilarious stories involving sojourns into the wilderness always end well. Not this time. The women, apparently having no idea where they were or where they were going, asked some random individual they came across, who gave them directions and advice regarding floating the river.

The women set off and a couple hours later, they were completely lost. Hopelessly and utterly lost, they spent the night clinging to a tree and hollering for help. They were discovered by a fisherman in the morning who alerted the authorities who conducted a rescue operation to save these adventurers.

So, how exactly does one get lost on a river? I was curious, rivers tend to be pretty linear in the grand scheme of things. You either go up or down, and if you get lost, backtracking is easy. Rivers are a boon to the survivalist, following rivers will invariably lead one to civilization.

Turns out our brave trio were told by that individual that the river ran in a circle, and they would eventually return to where they started. First of all, props to whoever told them that rivers can go in circles. That has got to be troll of the year, if not troll of the decade and I’ve seen some pretty epic trolls.

But really though, I was blown away at the stupidity. Rivers don’t go in circles. It straight-up violates some pretty elementary physics. A circular river would be the same thing as a circular hill, one that someone could bike down and never stop, because they would end up back where they started. It’s simply impossible. Sure, Escher came up with some pretty trippy drawings that look like an infinitely-looping stream of water, but judging by the intellectual capacity of these ladies, they probably haven’t seen much Escher.

So, I’m calling it. The death of common sense. The day that basic reasoning skills ceased being commonly held by the public. There are countless other examples of people being idiotic, but this is the last dying breath of the idea that common sense is common.

It should be common sense to plan a trip into the outdoors, to have a map, to know where the trip is going to start, where it’s going to end and how to get there and how to get back home. I mean, Google is ubiquitous. It would take 20 seconds to go on Google maps and make a plan by looking at the river. Common sense is not going into the wilderness without any plan past asking someone nearby what to do.

It should be common sense that rivers don’t go in circles, either. On all levels, this triplet of tenacious troopers completely abandoned the use of their brains, the very thing that makes us the most awesome force this earth has ever seen. It’s a complete abdication of the human legacy.

I’m still holding out hope that the rest of this year could turn around, but that hope is fading fast. With presidential campaigning in full swing, a completely screwy Olympics, a horrifying number of attacks by Islamic extremists in Europe and the Middle East, we’re going to need something incredible to balance things out.

If all else fails, Giant Meteor is in the top five presidential candidates. With a hashtag of #JustEndItAlready, at least people are keeping their sense of humor.