(Copyright 1996. All rights reserved.)

The Tattoo

--- Making a Permanent Impression Since 1994 ---

July 15, 1996

--- OPINION ---

Nature buff, mall rats spar


There are two kinds of people in this world -- those
who love nature and those who detest it.

Here we have a conversation between members of the
two camps.

Brian: "What a day! It's warm; it's sunny; and it's a
perfect day to get out into the woods and so some
hiking or camping, whatever! This is the best day in a
while to get out in nature."

Danielle: "What a gross day! It's scorching. I'm

Amanda: "Why would anyone want to go outside? I
would much rather be in a nice climate-controlled
environment. Bugs don't live indoors, generally."

Brian: "Of course they live indoors. They've been
around for millions of years and they don't care where
they are. But that's not the point. Two words: bug
repellent. It repels bugs and everything. What are the
chances, huh?

"And the heat really isn't a problem either. You could
always experience the simple beauty of the outdoors
on a cooler day."

Danielle: "But even if I'm outdoors on a cold day,
there is still dirt and furry animals that I can't identify.
And I would rather eat barbed wire than hike."

Amanda: "I know! Who invented this hiking thing?
We have paved walkways. Why get sand and rocks in
your shoes? Let's go climb a mountain, break our
ankles and die of heat stroke."

Danielle: "And then you get to say, while you're
huffing and puffing, 'Wow! I'm no top of a big
boulder! And damn do my feet hurt!' Let's face it, the
best thing about hiking is the trail mix."

Brian: "Let's start at the beginning. Dirt. Dirt is
everywhere. Even if you stay inside, you'll have dust.
Dust is the irrepressible spawn of dirt."

Danielle: "Ohhhh! It's not like dust stains my clothes
and has worms crawling around in it."

Brian: "I'm not asking you to roll around in the dirt.
I'm saying you should try walking ON it. And if you
ever get dirt or rocks in your shoes, try taking the dirt
OUT of your shoes.

"Speaking of which, if your feet hurt, try better hiking
boots. And hiking becomes more enjoyable and
rewarding after a few tries.

"And besides, furry animals are 'bad?' You would
rather eat barbed wire than hike? Not only are you
losing out on the outdoors, but I think you're clinically

Danielle: "Yes, furry animals are bad if they spray
foul-smelling liquid at me."

Amanda: "Besides, if we want to see  furry animals,
we can go to a zoo with nice cement sidewalks, where
the animals and their stinky selves are behind glass
and bars and the trees are in well-groomed little

Danielle: "If you really want fresh air, open a

Brian: "Come on, you're making me out to be some
New Agey, tree-hugging freak!

"Let's face it, sometimes animals do stink. But the
point is not to see animals. The allure of the outdoors
is the escape from all the noise and tension of the city
and all of your normal stresses.

"And regarding air conditioning, I'm not saying you
should do this in 90-degree heat. It's a comfortable
day. Why not go outside and do something besides
amusing yourself in a cramped city?"

Danielle: "What it all boils down to is that you like
nature, we like controlled, sterile environments. We
will just have to agree to disagree."

Amanda: (to Brian) "You fresh air freak!"