What Would You Do For A…

There’s a TV ad campaign that’s been around for years and poses the question,

What would you do for a Klondike Bar?

A Klondike Bar being a square of ice cream coated with a thin layer of chocolate.

The commercials suggest that people would do just about anything to get a Klondike bar, such as enduring painful removal of body hair with tape:

The Klondike commercials came to mind when I read a news story that made me want to ask folks:

What would you do for a selfie?

A selfie being a self-portrait taken with a smartphone camera and then uploaded to as many social media sites as possible in the hope that it will go viral and millions of people will see it and understand that you actually are pretty awesome after all.

I understand that some people will go to great lengths to get what they believe will be the perfect selfie.

But I think this guy went too far:

“An American tourist in Italy survived a fall into the crater of Mount Vesuvius after he tried to reach for his phone to take a selfie, according to Italian police and local officials.”

Yes, the Mount Vesuvius in Italy:

The Mount Vesuvius, an active volcano:

Mount Vesuvius, which in 79 A.D. erupted in one of the deadliest volcanic events ever recorded in Europe.  For nearly two days, a violent cloud of hot gas and ash spewed out of the volcano’s main vent, blanketing the city of Pompeii in lethally hot volcanic material.

The Pompeii – a thriving city of around 12,000 people that was buried under millions of tons of volcanic material that killed more than 2,000 inhabitants.

You’ve probably seen images of their remains, like this:

And this:

And that selfie-craving American who fell into the crater of Mount Vesuvius?

He’s been identified as Philip Carroll, 23, from Baltimore, who was hiking on the famed volcano with his family earlier this month.

Now, hiking on an active volcano is definitely not something on my bucket list, but it is for some.

And it’s also a big business.  You can get your tickets here:

And from many other websites.

So Philip Carroll and his family on Mount Vesuvius wasn’t unusual.

And Philip wanting a selfie on Mount Vesuvius wasn’t unusual.  Hell, it was practically mandatory, wasn’t it?

What was unusual – or at least, unfortunate – was that when the family…

“…accessed the top of Vesuvius through a forbidden trail…”


Even I, who have never hiked in my life, know that when a trail is “forbidden,” there’s probably a good reason for it.

“When the family reached the top of the volcano…Carroll reached for his phone to commemorate being atop the 4,000-foot-high volcano.”

But Carroll fumbled the phone, and it fell into the crater of Mount Vesuvius.

“Instead of recovering the phone and snapping the perfect photo for Instagram, the man slipped and dropped a few feet into the crater.”

That “dropped a few feet into the crater” turned out to be 15 meters, which is 50 feet.

Even I, who have never fallen into a volcano in my life, know that 50 feet is a damn big fall, especially when it’s into a live volcano.

When the rescue team reached Carroll he was unconscious.  At some point he woke up, the team extracted him from the crater and he was treated in an ambulance farther down the mountain.  Carroll had suffered abrasions on his legs, arm and back, as was shown on Facebook:

Even I, who have never taken a selfie in my life, know that this image of Carroll is not a selfie.

“Carroll was taken into custody by the local police.  It’s unclear what charges he may face.”

I’ve found no follow-up stories so we don’t know what charges, if any, Carroll faced.

Maybe…Selfie Stupidity?  Might that be a crime in Italy?

Let’s ask the Italian polizia:

I’d say he made his feelings clear.

What the myriad news stories about Carroll also don’t talk about – but I will, here, for the first time ever – is that Carroll wasn’t the first to have a cell-phone-Mount-Vesuvius-related incident.

Remember those earlier pictures, the remains of Pompeii residents who in 79 A.D. were caught unawares and buried in tons of lethally hot volcanic material?

They were caught unawares because they were distracted.

Distracted because they were taking …

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