My sister, Shannon, joined John and I for a tour of “The Utah Five.”
Shannon: Capital Reef, the last of the Utah Five. Incredible. I wasn’t optimistic that this park would offer more than the others. So happy to be proved wrong. Thank you guys for this amazing experience.
Shelley: You’re welcome sistah.
Shannon: What? What? This up up is killing me. The sign said, “A gentle mile and a half to an amazing view.” Oh yeah, right. I wouldn’t mind so much, but I see a road down there, so I ask, “Why am I hiking straight up when I could have taken the truck?”
Shelley: You sound like Toni. (My BFF who hiked Nepal with us) We’re almost there.
Shannon: Are we? Are we? Or are you just saying that to me so I won’t turn around?
Shelley: (Whispers to John) No idea. (Normal voice) Honest to God. Cross my heart. Look! There’s the top.
Shannon: Hang on. I’m going to ask those two hikers heading towards us. Hi there. Are we close?
Shelley: (Stage whispers) Help me out here. Say, “Soooo close, you can almost touch the top.”
Hikers: “Sooo close you can almost touch the top.”
Shelley: See. Here, give me your pack.
Shannon: Don’t worry. I’m going to complete this hike even if I’m not enjoying it. It’s like when I read a book, no matter how awful it is, I finish it. In fact, I like to finish everything I start. I told you that already. Which leads me to this question,
“Why, while listening to NPR, in the middle of a show, do you turn off the radio? I’m so confused. Is the show over? Is this a podcast? Will I ever hear the end? It makes me anxious.
Shelley: I like to discuss issues.
Shannon: Before its over? Couldn’t we discuss issues after we listen to the entire episode?
Shelley: Not possible. I might forget what I had to say. It’s not really my fault. I blame menopause.
Shannon: Ok. Ok. I think I get that? But that doesn’t explain why you turned off the program about the Chinese family who went back to China to visit the matriach of the family. When you turned that off, there wasn’t a discussion.
Shelley: (Patiently) Because, Shannon, the grandma was dying and the entire family pretended to gather for a wedding, when in fact, it was to see her before she passed. That upset me, made me cry while I was driving. How in the world am I supposed to drive a truck pulling a 28 foot fifth wheel safely while sobbing? I couldn’t see a thing. Jeesh.
John: I gave up long ago.
Shelley: Hey! We’re here. John stand here and Shannon…
Shannon: What are you two doing? You’re too close. Get away from the edge.
Shelley: Ha! Ha! Ha!
Shannon: I mean it. All week you two crazies have been scaring me half to death.
Shelley: Come on Shannon. We’re safe. This will be an amazing picture.
Shannon: No. Absolutely not. Look at those edges. They can crumble any moment.
Shelley: Is that a hard “no” or a soft “no?”
Shannon: Hard. Get down from there.
Shelley: Where’s my badass sister gone? The daredevil who never backed down from any challenge. Who always went first. Without hesitation. The sister who sniffed imperiously at the first ledge at Schuwap Lake, refused to acknowledge the second ledge, stalked to the third and without pause, leapt, not stepped, off the cliff, swam back to the houseboat, cracked open a beer, fired up a cigarette, then hurled abuse at me.
“Come on chicken s#$t!”
“What a f#$%ing wimp!”
“It’s the first one for C@#$t’s sake.”
“Everyone’s jumped but you, even the kids.”
And if that wasn’t bad enough, when other boaters motored up to check out what all the yelling was about, you encouraged them to join in the mockery. And they did.
Who are you? What have you done to the sister I know and love?
Shannon: I had children.
Shelley: So did I. Come on. Get up here and check out the view. I promise you you’ll be safe.
Shannon: Fine. J#$@s Ch$%^t! An amazing view my ass. What a F@#$ing waste of effort.
Shannon: There. We’re out of here. A cold beer’s waiting for me. All 2.5% alcohol.
Shelley: There she is.
Shelley and John