With the complete understanding that everyone must earn a living somehow and with all due respect, this Nik Wallenda fellow has got to be stopped!

Maybe a class action lawsuit charging him with irreparable heart damage to millions of viewers is in order.

Think about this. Here’s a fellow who is going to walk on a high wire over a volcano complete with a pool of swirling, molten lava bubbling 1,800 feet below!

Truth is, I couldn’t watch it live, although I truly tried. At first, the circus-like production reminded me of “Geraldo opens Al Capone’s vault” which can be translated as, “You’re in for a big letdown!” But there was educational information included in the hype leading up to the actual death-defying act. I was intrigued by the riggers at work. Who knew so much was involved in preparation for such an event?

The history of the Wallenda family is always interesting, but the image of Karl Wallenda falling to his death didn’t have to be shown more than once to remind viewers that this is a dangerous occupation.

Then again, the skeptic in me wondered if the whole thing was computer generated and we were all being hoodwinked. Is that a real pool of lava down there?

Mrs. Wallenda started her acrobatics and I had to change the channel, all the while thinking, “Her children are there watching this!” as she dangled from what appeared to be a Hula Hoop.

When I returned to the program, her segment was finished, and it was time for Nik to start his walk. A few thoughts popped into my head: If that’s a real, magma filled volcano, and he falls, there’s no return. There’s no rescue. He’d be falling into a burning pit of fire/lava to instantly transform from living, breathing human being to ash. There will be no remains because even the ashes will burn up.

The fact that he was wearing a safety harness did little to alleviate my concerns. I remember reading that an aerialist’s plan in the case of a slip is to grab the wire, hold on, and wait for help. While remaining calm, of course. Are you kidding me? Who’s going to rescue a man who’s hanging on a high wire over a volcano, twirling like a rotisserie chicken?

Time to change the channel, go take a shower, have a hot beverage or read a book for the next half hour. I figured I’d watch the news later that night to know if he made it safely.

But I couldn’t stay away for too long and checked back frequently to see if he was still walking. What if a gust of wind blows him off course? What if those carefully placed cables snap? What if those gases cause him to lose consciousness? What happens if the volcano blows its top while he’s on that wire? Does he have life insurance? If so, and he falls into a volcano and there’s no body to retrieve, is the claim paid?

Not only was I concerned for Nik, I was also concerned for the millions of people watching this madness.

How many spikes in blood pressure were being recorded?

How many heart stoppages? Surely there were breath-holding records set across the country. How many viewers simply fainted?

A few days after Mr. Wallenda’s amazing feat, I watched the whole thing, grateful for “On Demand.”

I’m sure he was well-paid and I’m sure he’s proud to continue the Wallenda family tradition. As well he should be.

But I really wish he would find a new occupation for the health and welfare of the viewing audience.

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