I should have been concerned when our tour of the cave started but the guide assured us that it would be safe enough for me and the children to go.
Of course, this guy only had one arm. I'm guessing that he lost it in some freak caving accident like the movie "127 Hours". We should have turned back. But we didn't because the kids and I like to adventure and dammit, we were going on an adventure.
So down into the cave we went, with our one armed tour guide.
The first thing he noted was what appeared to be a GIANT FREAKING CRACK in the ceiling. But he let us know that it had been there for ages and the cave was perfectly safe. This was right about the time they were digging the miners out in Chile. I made a mental note to eat our tour guide first should we be trapped in a cave in.
As a father, you are always watching out for danger. You are constantly on the prowl for things that might do harm to your offspring. Broken glass=bad. Nerf football=good. White Pedophile van giving away puppies and candy=bad. Hot mom giving away puppies and candy=good.
We descened further into the cave. To go down, we walked on little stairs carved into the cave. Each stair was wet from condensation and what I can only guess to be blood from virgin sacrifices. Probably done by the one-armed tour guide that was not concerned with the giant crack looming over our heads. But we went on.
There was a hand rail which helped. That was thier "safety" precaution. "Be sure to hang on to the handrail!" the tour guide told us. But the handrail was about three feet high. What was to prevent my prodigy from slipping on the satanic entrails on the floor and swooshing right under the handrail? Is there a net down there that I'm not seeing? As a result, I spent most of my time grabbing the kids raincoat hoods to make sure they didn't plummet to thier doom. This had the unfortunate side effect of choking them instead. But I very calmly explained that a few minutes without oxygen was preferable to the pits of hell that waited below.
When not panicking about losing my kids to a cave in or on the slip-and-slide of death, the cave was actually pretty cool. There were stalagmites, stalagtites and stalagpetrifiedfathers. All very interesting. There were some really cool formations.
Until the tour guides flashlight started to flicker. "Man" he said. "I just changed the batteries in this thing". Sure you did. Butthole. I think this guy feeds off a father's fear. I'm pretty sure I heard him smack his lips and whisper "more, um, more."
Eventually we reached the bottom of the cave and I released the kung fu grip I had on my children. We all stood now looking up at the natural wonder of Mother Nature and thinking about how she would love to kill us in this god forsaken pit.
Then the tour guide turned off the lights. What was supposed to follow, I think, was for each and every one of us to be awed by the total true blackness that we found ourselves. Then small little lights came on and off showing the different formations. And for adults, I think this is a good part of the whole show as you bask in the tranquility of the surroundings.
But when you have two small kids with you, the word tranquil does not apply to people who still believe in monsters.
My kids started to scream. I went down to one knee and hugged them and reassured them that everything was ok. Well, I think they were my kids but I can't be sure. It was dark as shit. I could have been hugging Bubba Hoss and Golem for all I knew. The tour guide chuckled a little and pointed out things that the kids might like. I reassured them that the things that he was pointing out were not demons from hell although given who our tour guide was, I could have been wrong.
Eventually everyone calmed down and we started heading back up. I didn't think it would be as dangerous and for an adult, it isn't. But when you stand 2 feet high it apparently is, as shown by the numeroius concussions that my son recieved from walking up the stairs. Each stair brought his head directly into contact with the cave wall and the screams that he let lose after each one seemed to calm our tour guide greatly.
We made it to the top and out of the cave. I thanked baby Oprah for our survival and agian wondered why I have to be such a cool dad. The kids wanted to go again. But I held my ground and said no, we had cheated death once today and it's not a good idea to antagonize the dark hooded one. But I did ask the tour guide if there was anything else to see.
That's when he pointed at the gift shop and all it's expensive and breakable crap. My kids took off running.
You evil bastard.