In case you didn’t know, don’t stand on a geyser

Geysers are dangerous, sure.  Giant spigots of hot gas.  Yeah, that’s gonna hurt if you get too close.  I guess some people don’t know that, though.  So Yellowstone has installed these incredible signs within the National Park warning visitors what could happen if you wander off the path and onto one of these steam gushers.  But the picture tells such a deeper story than just the horrible consequences of hugging a geyser.  Let’s break it down:

First, you got the kid.  Okay, he’s the rule breaker.  The troublemaker.  Went off the path—a long way off the path, by the looks of it—and stepped on a geyser.  His hat’s midair, which makes me think the geyser had burned him mere seconds before, and he jumped from the shock of getting burned.  I’d jump, too, especially if I were wearing shorts like his.  Though, his knee-high tube socks at least protected his shins.

The kid is the only necessary part of the picture.  But the artist doesn’t stop with him.

Next, we have the woman, most likely the boy’s mother.  She is standing there on the path in shock, pointing at her injured child and screaming.  Now, it’s true people sometimes freeze up when they go into shock, but this kid had enough time to run off the path and up to a geyser.  Was the mother in shock during that entire amount of time?  Seriously, watch your kid.  A kid that age isn’t going to know about geyser danger.  That’s why you, the parental guardian, are there to supervise them.

The plot builds to a dramatic conclusion with the guy walking away.  I haven’t quite figured him out.  He could be just another visitor to the park, but he’s walking away.  If a woman and child are screaming within earshot, wouldn’t he at least look in the direction of the screaming, even if he were a stranger?  What I fear is he’s the father of the burning child.  The man works twelve hour days as a tool and die maker and has been growing apart from his family because of the long hours.  Struggling to keep his family in tact, he used what few vacation days he has to go on a road trip with his wife and son.  But he could only get time off in August, so it’s hot, it’s crowded, and his kid’s been whining the whole time.  After another outburst from the little brat, the father decides a geyser burn will teach the kid a thing or two about appreciating how good you have it.

Or maybe the man is deaf, but I don’t think the artist would be that specific in his backstory.

Sep 2011
POSTED BY travelbugrobert

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