When cliffs attack

They are the silent killers – except for the occasional seabird.

They hover at the edges of society – along shores, on mountainsides, in classic movie chase scenes.

They walk among us. Actually, we walk among them, because have you seen those views? Breathtaking!

Regardless, they are out there. Waiting. Unbending in their resolve. They are the cliffs. And they are trying to kill us.

On Sunday, a 20-year-old woman in St. John’s, Newfoundland drove over the cliffs of Signal Hill in her Toyota Echo (Echo, Echo, Echo…). The woman escaped from the plummeting vehicle before it came to a stop 90 metres down the cliff face. The victim was lucky, for if she had fallen into the sea, she would have been a-salted.

Then Monday, in Malibu, California, a man nearly drove over a cliff but managed to escape as his vehicle teetered over the edge. Unfortunately, he was immediately hit by a bus. California screaming indeed.

But putting aside the dangers of gratuitous punning, the question of what exactly provoked these unprovoked attacks is a provocative question that should be asked? “Should be asked?” No: “should be asked,” period.

Either way, the cliffs aren’t talking. Their stony silence is that much more disconcerting because they leave no rationale as to why they attack and when they will attack again. And rest assured, they will, and they have, and they are, and they be. Attacking. Will there be an avalanche of cliff-related assaults? Or will they erode our sense of security by making us wait, wait, wait… Wait, what were we talking about?

The gravity of extreme cliffism, that’s what. Each year, over 1500 people are killed by cliffs, a figure that is as shocking as it is completely made up. That’s more than are killed by dishwashers and vending-machine sandwiches combined. Make no mistake: you cannot turn your back on a cliff, especially if you’re taking a selfie.

In 2013, the U.S. Department of Homeland Gravity issued a report entitled “Threat Intelligence in the Vertical-Altitude Land/Void-Disparity Paradigm with Charts and Stuff,” commonly known as “The Cliff Notes.” In trying to get to the bottom of the cliff crisis, the Cliff Notes enumerated countless global drop zones that posed threats ranging from certain death to slight wooziness.

The report also indicated that many cliffs displayed extreme lack of flexibility and a failure to embrace racial diversity, a revelation that led to Great Britain’s brief hashtag campaign, #DoverSoWhite.

The bleeding-heart liberals will whine, “Oh, but not all cliffs are dangerous. Some cliffs purposely have ledges that you can land on if you fall or branches sticking out that you can cling to like an adorable cartoon character. Cliffs don’t kill people; people kill people by saying, ‘I dare you to lean over the edge of this cliff.’ What we need is more understanding, more signs explaining cliffism and the origins of cliffs, so we can really get to know which geological era they’re coming from. If we let fear of cliffs rule our lives, then the cliffs win. It’s like Sir Edmund Hillary said, ‘A Sherpa’s pants may be saggy but that doesn’t mean he…”

Oh, shut up, bleeding-heart liberals! No wonder nobody likes you.

Every cliff is a threat. There’s no question. No arguing. No business like show business.

It’s common sense. If you fall for their “we just have a different outlook” line and let the cliffs go unmonitored, they will rise up. And it won’t just be cliffs. Next thing you know the hills will be attacking, then the mild inclines. It’s a slippery slope.

For the safety of our communities, for the safety of our children, for the safety of our poorly gripped smartphones, we must impose an outright ban on all cliffs. Let them continental drift back to where they came from.

And if they refuse, we must build a wall. We must build a wall so high that these precipices will no longer be able to lure innocent people to their doom with their panoramic vistas and their cavorting whales and that unnerving compulsion to fling yourself over the edge, go ahead, do it, DO IT! We must build this wall before society as we know it hits rock bottom.

P.S. Please do not climb on the walls.


About rossmurray1

I'm Canadian so I pronounce it "Aboot." No, I don't! I don't know any Canadian who says "aboot." Damnable lies! But I do know this Canadian is all about humour (with a U) and satire. Come by. I don't bite, or as we Canadians say, "beet."
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28 Responses to When cliffs attack

  1. As long as the cliffs pay for the wall…

  2. “I read this right up the point where the humor dropped off,” she came to allege.

  3. Oh no! This is the most shocking news I heard since “the hills are alive…”

  4. Dismember the cliffs to build the wall! Wait … then we won’t need a wall. Yes we will. Everyone needs a wall! Phew. Thought I lost it there for a second.

  5. pinklightsabre says:

    “California screaming indeed.” Be honest — no, don’t — be what I want you to be for a minute and answer me this, did you like that scene in AHWOSG where he and his kid brother are singing to Journey while they’re driving in and out of the fog alongside the SF cliffs? Did you? Do you know what I’m talking about? Gosh, you are at your best here, I fear. Let your freak flag fly, Murray.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      There’s a lot I forgot about the book but that I recalled well. I think it’s because it comes after the scenes of his mother dying, not to mention all that intro (which he warns you not to read), so there’s the huge emotional release in the moment. And why shouldn’t there be. They’re young gods.
      Thanks, Bill. A lot of this was written with the left brain. Right brain? Which part of your brain doesn’t think…?

      • pinklightsabre says:

        That part of the brain is best, right or wrong. Glad you recall that scene from the book, it’s one of favorites EVER.

  6. Paul says:

    Ha! I clearly recall the exact second that it registered on my consciousness what a danger cliffs were to any and all. It was a dark and stormy night – OK, OK, just dark – and I was staggering down a road in another country ( mind it was just over the border in Calais Maine but it sounds better as another country) when I had this unbearable urge to pee. It may have been the result of the beer intake having surpassed my ability to count – the number of beer increasing whilst the counting ability decreased (strange that). I told my imbibing colleagues to hold up and I stepped into roadside brush to get out of sight and tend to my needs. Little did I know that six feet into the brush there was a 10 foot cliff hiding just waiting to ambush any innocent passers-bye. The next thing I knew the cliff had attacked and thrown me into the river. The river, working in collusion with the cliff tried hard to sweep me away but I persevered and managed to survive with great effort and sacrifice. When I managed to crawl from the brush back to the road some distance from colleagues – soaked to the skin and somewhat drained from the undeserving attack, it was agreed by all that my survival of such an ordeal had to be celebrated. Hence we did a beer run and found an appropriate park to discuss the terrible cliff attack. That’s all I can remember – but I know that cliff was out to get me and i agree that until we can repeal the laws of gravity,we should proceed with care and wall off all cliffs – and supply free beer to everyone. Very appropriate and serious topic Ross – thank you for using your website for this Public Service Announcement about the dastardliness of cliffs (they are all terrorists and rapists).

    • rossmurray1 says:

      To be fair, though, with enough beer in you, even a field of daisies can be a hazard.

      • Paul says:

        I wasn’t going to mention the daisy attack incident but now that you bring it up…. 😀 Oh, and beware the dandelions too – they are worst, especially the ones that smile invitingly and then attack when you get too close:

  7. Sheila Moss says:

    Funny piece. I don’t think I’ve ever head it explained that way before. It is amazing how many people don’t get it and walk off into things like the Grand Canyon or on an overhanging ledge that can break off. Anyhow, they can’t say now that they were not warned.

  8. Ned's Blog says:

    I love it when you write miore edgy pieces…

  9. …a-salted“? Seriously?

    Hello? Okay. I’ll tell him.

    The Catskills called. They want their cornpone humor back.

    You can blame cliffs all you want but I’m betting a mobile phone was involved. As you know, those things are my bête noire. Cliffs, not so much.

    • rossmurray1 says:

      I know, I know. That’s a Grade 5 joke. “Hear about the peanut who got in a fight?…” I’m glad you called me out on it. I would say I’ve learned my lesson but of course I haven’t.
      “Hey, aren’t you that string I kicked out of the bar a few minutes ago?”
      “I’m a frayed knot.”

  10. Lisa Neumann says:

    “A public service blog.” Nothing gets past you Ross. Nothing … 🙂 🙂 🙂

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