Broken ground is just what the words imply. Be careful, that ground is broken. Don’t go falling in there. If you go up to that edge because you want to look down and see what’s down there, don’t lean way out and start flailing around with your arms and yelling “Hey I’m falling here.” and expect a lot of sympathy from anybody when you do. If you got two eyes and a brain in your head you should have noticed that that is broken ground and not got up so close and act stupid because your goofy friends think it’s funny. Remember, after you fall in they’re just going to laugh and say how dumb that was and drink the rest of your beer. Plus your cousin, the one you didn’t want to come along on this trip anyway, will probably be putting the moves on your girl before you even hit bottom.
If you did kind of winkle up to the edge and kind of lay down on your stomach several yards from the drop-off so you could crawl up there and hang your head over the edge and look, you’ll notice that the only bodies down there are ones with a camera strapped around their necks or maybe an iPad laying next to them all busted up. That’s because the locals and others that are familiar with the West and places you can fall into, don’t do that. They right away recognize broken ground and back up real quick. Lots of them will just sit in their pickups and drink coffee out of a thermos and watch the entertainment.
It needs to be said that there is one local and his horse down there. But it was a freak accident, he didn’t mean it. He doesn’t even own a camera. He had ridden up to tell someone not to get that close to the edge and a rattlesnake laying there looking like a cow pie, bit his horse in the leg right above the hoof and that caused no end of trouble. Horses after getting bit by things often don’t know if they’ve been snake-bit or struck by lightning so they’re apt to do unusual things. Having said that, what with the horse jumping around and trying to stomp on the snake and then rearing up and falling over backward into the abyss, it was just a colossal blunder.
Unfortunately that was really a bonehead play because as they were going over they snagged the poor, sort of innocent tourist who was trying to back up and took him along for the ride. So we can’t really hold that one responsible for his sudden demise. I guess the moral of that story is watch out for locals on horseback trying to tell you stuff, or check out the area for snakes before engaging in any meaningful dialogue with anyone, a quick motion with your hand and the simple phrase “Hey, Stay back there a minute. Looking for snakes.” will work, they’ll understand, or just stay back a ways. You can see enough from twenty feet back. You don’t need to get up there and act like some kind of nutball, all you’re going to see is dead bodies anyway.
We only bring this up to help. It’s not like we’re trying to tell you what to do or anything. It’s just the neighborly thing to do. Around here we don’t want you falling in places. It’s bad for business. OK then, remember, watch out for broken ground.
P.S. and for locals on horseback.