Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Someone Gets Left Behind

Mr. Pike, the colorful and beloved barber of my childhood, loved to regale us on Saturday afternoons with stories about his time with the Commandos in World War II. One point he always stressed was that the Commandos didn't leave their own, wounded, dying, or dead, behind.

"We couldn't very well abandon one of our chaps, and leave him for the Jerries or Eyeties, now could we," he paused as he adressed the seated line of children, waved his scissors for emphasis, and continued, "Not really British, now is it?"

We would agree with him emphatically, "No, Mr. Pike, it isn't!"

"That's right! Nothing British about it all, simply isn't right, it is," and Mr. Pike would go back to cutting hair and telling us more of his hair raising war stories.

I hope Mr. Pike isn't around to hear about the one left behind to die on Everest, it would have shocked and upset him, going against all his deeply held notions of decency and loyalty. I am saddened that Sir Edmund lived long enough for this: Hillary Blasts Climbers Who Left Dying Man: "Mount Everest pioneer Sir Edmund Hillary said Wednesday he was shocked that dozens of climbers left a British mountaineer to die during their own attempts on the world's tallest peak."

1 comment:

Steve said...

A local Washington state climber I know once went on rant about how crass and bad the Everest type climbers were. I thought it was just some esoteric issue among climbers, but now I must concede that he had a point.
It just doesn't make sense that you leave a man to die just so you can complete a climb to the top of a mountian that now gets climbed several times a year.