100 Hours of Humo(u)r – Hour 16: Zip Zop Zip!
The Winning Entry for Flash Humor Writing Contest Number One
The assignment: Write a humorous story of 500 words or less about a time when you stepped outside of your comfort zone. The winner: Beth Harling in Chicago, Illinois, with a story about zip-lining in Costa Rica. We’ve got three more of these contests happening before the 100 Hours of Humo(u)r comes to a close! Check out the schedule here and enter to win a professional writing/humor consultation and some free books!
By Beth Harling
Zip lining is fun, if you’re in to that sort of thing. But when you get motion sickness on a treadmill, flying through the air at 40 mph does not generally make the bucket list. But, I was in a foreign country, on my 25th wedding anniversary trip of a lifetime, so why not start it out with dying a tragic death?
Costa Rica is beautiful, and, according to the brochure, it’s even more beautiful 100 feet above the ground. So I signed the waiver. The pre-zip lesson had me strapped into a harness and began with the words “here’s what you do so you don’t cut off all your fingers.” The words every office manager/aspiring writer wants to hear. I diligently listened to the rest of the instructions, let’s face it they had my attention, and headed out to the first lift.
Sizing up my size they gave us two handlers to, well, handle us. Bonus time: young, handsome Costa Rican men to catch me at every platform. They looked strong and had great smiles so I was put at ease, right until I looked down from the starting platform. My first dilemma: how to look cool while throwing up into the wilderness while plummeting 40 mph toward a good looking young man. I determined in that split second that there is no way, and I jumped.
I screamed for the first 50 feet with my eyes closed as if that would make the inevitable fall and bloody death less horrific. But, to my surprise when I opened my eyes, it was fun! Zip zop zip, I flew through the air with the greatest of ease and my handsome Costa Rican friends caught me at every platform, smiling and laughing along with me. I’m not sure what they were saying since I don’t speak Spanish, but I heard the word “loco” used a few times.
I now love zip lining and conquered a huge fear. Now, all I have to do is conquer the treadmill.