I am a self-confessed weenie. I won’t get on a roller coaster for love nor money, I will with great reluctance get on the first step of a ladder, and I can’t ride a bike or go on horseback because quite frankly neither have seatbelts and I’m nothing if not safety conscious. Oh, and neither has turn signals.

I’ve read that the Chinese have built a notable bridge with a new twist – it’s glass-bottomed, is 1,400 feet long and swings a mere 985 feet above the Zhangjiajie Grand Canyon. Officials evidently didn’t foresee the popularity of such a structure, allowing a limit of 8,000 visitors a day – as it turns out they weren’t at all prepared for loonies numbering 10 times that.

Do you mean to tell me there are 80,000 crazy people in one day wanting to take a gentle stroll across Vertigo Viaduct evidently in the avid hope of losing their Moo Shu Gai Pan in spectacular fashion, as I can see no other thrill in this particular outing. I would be the one curled up – oh, believe me, well before I even got to the bridge – in a fetal position held so tightly that the force of the Chinese Army could not unravel me.

The bridge was opened Aug. 20, and was closed Sept. 5, due to an “urgency to improve and update.” How much updating does a 16-day-old tourist attraction need? I would imagine it didn’t have enough bathrooms, or cubicle space for the thousand psychiatrists needed to counsel hysterical bridge-crossers.

Not to be outdone, we’ve come up with an equivalent not at all designed for the faint of heart. Fancy a dip? Well feel free to dive into the see-through swimming pool suspended 500 feet above the ever so hard Houston sidewalks. Now I’m a good swimmer, spending the majority of my youth in some form of water, but absolutely nothing could convince me to take this particular plunge.

Presumably in an effort to reassure the plunger, the bottom of the pool is a “solid 8 inch plate of Plexiglas.” Eight inches? Well, my dears, I hate to burst any bubbles out there, but size does matter. Let me see, 500 times 12 divided by 8 comes to approximately 750 – this would be the number of panels short of the thickness I’d be looking for.

I’m sure there are printed rules displayed around the pool enclosure – you know, the usual: no lifeguard on duty, no running (with or without scissors), no incontinence and no throwing up, and no cannonballing. Without a doubt there will at some point be the idiot who will ignore the rules and will take a running dive, only to miss completely. Watch that last step buddy, it’s a doozy.

Check out your computer – you can watch the video showing the legs and feet of an intrepid man walking across the bottom of the pool – it’s all quite surreal.

I had to grip the arms of my chair for fear of hurtling myself to the floor, blessedly kissing the solidity of my bamboo flooring.


-- Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com .