Stupid Tourist Tricks

Above: Snow means a variety of visitors arrive to Big Bear, California.

Some of you know that I have a shelf full of books with interesting titles or content. One favorite is The Darwin Awards. Basically the book is full of stupid things people do–insuring the survival of the fittest.

The full title is THE DARWIN AWARDS: Commemorating those individuals who ensure the long-term survival of our species by removing themselves from the gene pool in a sublimely idiotic fashion.

I think we need our own Big Bear version. It could start like this:

Common sense should eliminate the need for signs such as “DANGER! STAY OFF THE ICE.” Sadly, common sense and common courtesy are sorely lacking in today’s visitors…

The good news is that the really stupid ones actually add to our economy by keeping our rescue crews and emergency hospital room busy. They also probably don’t come back during the same season leaving the opportunity for other really “interesting” people to come up and try the same tricks…or some innovative new ones.

Signs and warnings don’t seem to work. Perhaps what is really going on is reverse psychology. They KNOW that signs exist so that people won’t take them seriously and so compete to find creative ways to unknowingly try out for our new show (and we do watch) appropriately titled, STUPID TOURIST TRICKS.

Another amusing activity is down by the Big Bear Dam. People like to waddle out onto the ice. They actually remove their coats and hang them on the STAY OFF THE ICE sign.

Rumors of a sign budget increase are circulating.

The increase is needed so that coat hooks can be attached to the STAY OFF THE ICE signage so that more coats can be hung up neatly–and so the sign can still be viewed should a plantiff try to argue that the sign was obscured.

Still, those people pale to the modern day neanderthals who actually carry a boulder (well, large rock really) out onto the ice so they can throw it down to see if it goes through the ice. If not, they at least try to see if the rock cracks the ice.

Yep, they take it out onto the ice and intentionally do those things.

I wonder if they target the space between their feet or simply throw it out in front of them and then walk up to get a closer look at the fissures.

Over near Fracture Ridge (between Stanfield and Division) hoards of people actually park illegally so they can ride down the hill into the highway–dodging traffic if they overshoot.

Heck, I guess the slow traffic isn’t too much of a risk since most could just try targeting the side of a vehicle at full force. Maybe it is the extreme version of some game I never played.

Now us locals think it is fun to watch when the sheriff turns up to ticket the illegally parked cars. It looks like an anthill that has been flooded. People pour out of the hills.

I still think a remote camera with a date and time stamp is the best way to ticket all those people. Just set it up, snap every hour or so and then send the ticket. The boys can stay warm and generate some good revenue while we all tell stupid tourist trick stories over coffee.

Better yet, how about those protective parents who wait at the bottom of Fracture Ridge so they can prevent their three kids on the toboggan from overshooting onto the road by making themselves into a protective barrier.

I have to ask, what makes dad actually think he can stop the sled with several kids by catching it like a short stop?

Over on the otherside of the lake it is always amusing to watch the speeders hit a patch of ice and slide off the road. Some flip over. My favorite last year was the truck we bet on. They passed over the double yellow line because the other cars were going the speed limit (or at least close to it).

We bet it would be the next vehicle over the side–and we were right. It slid off the road and was stuck between a tree and the hillside. The cab was smashed. Too bad CalTrans put up the guard rail–takes all the fun out of it.

I also liked the truck that flipped off the highway into the lake. It landed on the cab. The person actually got out and tried to slip away unnoticed. I found the keys up in the middle of the highway. Funny how amusing early morning ambles can be. They don’t have the guard rail over there…yet.

My neighbor’s favorite tourist trick involves the people who feel their vehicle tires slip and immediately stop in the middle of the road to put on their chains. Usually this is done on a blind curve. The really entertaining ones stretch out underneath to connect the interior hooks–leaving their legs out in the middle of the road.

Nope, they do NOT use the turn outs. We really have not figured out why.

Honestly, I am surprised there aren’t more incidents around these parts.

I am sure YOU have some entertaining stories. I hope you’ll post them in the comment area below. Just click on Comment blue text–you can post anonymously or with a user name.

BTW, you can order the Darwin Awards for Yourself:



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This entry was posted on Tuesday, January 16th, 2007 and is filed under Mountain Lake Resort, Small Town Living.

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