It was about twenty years ago that Mount Everest captured my imagination.
After having watched all that I can watch, and reading all that I could read about the world’s highest summit, I became and remain completely enamoured with her.
Reality long ago dictated to me that I would never climb her, but I have a quest that one day I will at least see Chomolangma for myself.
Imagine then, my pleasant surprise when I learned that my friend and coworker, Brian had just returned from a five week holiday to Nepal.
“Please tell me that you saw Everest.” I said to him after welcoming him back.
“Not only did I see Everest, I stayed at base camp.” he proudly told me.
Being instantly smitten with joy at his achievement I also turned a tad shade greener with envy. My next question was inevitable.
“What was it like?”
He then related the long trek that he and others of his team had made. Describing the beauty, the people, and the cold, he made it sound both fascinating and frightening.
Then, I moved on to my next question…
“Tell me…. what did they eat for breakfast on Mount Everest?”
“At about five in the morning,” he began, “the sherpas came to the tent and offered us a hot towel. That was our shower. Then they gave us a cup of tea. That was our breakfast.”
I could picture it all too easily. In a heartbeat I would pass up the most lavish breakfast imaginable in favour of what he had just described to me.
Then came my final question…
“What music did you take to Everest with you?”
Upon hearing my question, he shot me a very pained and sheepish look. I instantly knew that I would not be impressed by his answer.
“Oh Doris,” he began, suddenly looking and sounding very sorry for himself…
“I really don’t want to tell you.”
“Yes, I want to know…. tell me…”
“Well,” he began, “I forgot all my CD’s at home, and the only one I had was the one that was left inside the player.”
“Brian,” I continued to prod, determined to find out what music he played at base camp. Fixing my eyes onto his, I asked once again…
“What music did you take?”
After a deep breath and a heavy sigh he blurted out his sad reply…
“It was Shania Twain.”
I let out a horrible gasp.
“Shania Twain, …“HOW COULD YOU???”
Now, don’t get me wrong. I like Shania Twain. In fact, I can sing along to just about all of her songs. It’s just that when I think about what music I would choose to take up to the roof top of the world, I think majesty and grandeur. Take Beethoven’s 9th, or Cosi Fan Tutte by Mozart, Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong. However, listening to Shania’s “That Don’t Impress Me Much” on Everest seems so wrong on so many different levels.
Upon hearing Brian’s sad confession, I could hear myself go off on a rant which I no longer remember. However, within a few moments Brian was able to talk me down.
“I know, I know” he repeated in soothing low tones.
Then, he went on to say…
“Everyone that I was traveling with really hated it.”
However, having said that, my friend Brian’s face then lit up with such a mischievous gleam, the likes of which I had never seen on him before.
Then leaning in just inches away from my face he proudly and triumphantly said to me…
“But you know, …. the sherpas REALLY loved her!”