1 October 2010, ARIZONA | The Grand Canyon, one of the seven wonders of the world, recently welcomed home the soul of one of the witless wonders of the world. The death of a 42-year-old California man named Andrew, who was leaping from outcropping to outcropping on the South Rim near Pipe Creek Vista, reminds me of an incident in March 2000 involving a "financial entrepreneur" visiting the famous National Park.
Because of the tiresome problem of tourists farting their way into disaster, the more treacherous overlooks in the Grand Canyon are protected by fences and signs. All of these overlooks are spectacular. Some have towering columns, some have small plateaus that tourists toss coins onto, like dry wishing wells.
Make a wish!
One entrepreneur wished for financial success. And there in front of him was a means to an end. He had a brilliant, an obvious, idea. No stranger to danger, the man climbed over the fence with a bag, leapt to one of the precarious, coin-covered perches, and filled the bag with booty. Harvest time!
But. When he tried to leap back to the safe side, he went head to head with physics. Specifically, F = mg. Our entrepreneur had increased his mass, and the force required to lift himself against the pull of gravity was now greater.
The heavy bag of coins arrested his jump, and the birds were treated to a view of his long plunge to the valley floor below, followed by a shower of coins. Brilliant idea with a fatal flaw in the execution.
Gravity. More than a good idea, it's The Law.
"Jumping Jack Flash, it's a gas, Jumping Jack Cash..."
It’s probably not true but it makes a good story anyway.