ABYM #2: Never Go First

Posted: January 12, 2012 in ABYM Rules
Tags: , , ,

I thought that this should be number one, as I always say it is the most important rule. However I realized that subsequent rules are predicated on the existence of rule number one…..because if you don’t have your machete…you are not outside. Therefore it is relegated to the number two slot. But ho ho dear readers*, there is a veritable treasure trove of evidence to suggest that as a matter of personal preservation this rule is positively paramount. There are a multitude of reasons to follow your ayudantes in whichever path they decided was best. There are hidden pitfalls and problems, masked threats and mystified reasons why they unmistakably chose one direction or the other. Or you know, it just seemed easier.

That being said, IF you never allow yourself to go first, you will never…

Step on some Espina, and have it puncture your shoe.

Espina is a horrible plant, and when it dies it becomes extremely hard and looks like this:

The lesson learned was don’t go first while reading your GPS and not paying attention.

If you never go first, you will never…

Brush into a wasps nest.

This has happened a lot more times than I am proud of. However it has allowed me to discern that with most types of wasps the anxiety associated with being stung is worse than the actual sting. That is unless you bump into….


Sometimes the sting(s) are a lot worse.

If you never go first you will never…

Walk into a Pika Pika plant. This little bastard is basically a mix of a bean sized super cactus and poison oak. Each of the 10,000 little spines has an irritant in it that will break off in your skin and burn for hours. Usually you only get an arm or a hand or something, because it’s not like you were walking first and…

Fell off the side of the mountain into a whole bunch of Pika Pika…………………….yeah. That time I pretty much just took off most of my clothes and spent the rest of the day mapping half naked with my clothes in a bag.

If you never go first you will never…

Walk right into a live Espina (yes the same plant from before) plant. These pointy hard tipped spines on the live plant are the wonderfully tiny homes of the Nicaraguan version of fire ants. So yes, just as you imagine, after you are stabbed by the plant, you are then covered in fire ants.

If you never go first you will never…

Get bitten by a coral snake. This venomous snake is fairly prevalent in Nicaragua and I have come across it at least 5 times. Thankfully, every time it was either running away or we killed it. The snake you really want to watch out for is…

Cascabel. The Nicaraguan version of a rattlesnake. Far more dangerous than the coral, and thankfully less common. Pictured is a sleeping Cascabel where I found it after I was hammering on the rock next to this hole for about 5 minutes.

If you never go first you will never get…

Poop thrown at you from a monkey…

Walk into a face full of this guy….or…

have scorpions crawl all over you.

The only time you should ever go first is when someone asks: “Who wants to play with the Tarantula!”


*(Bonus points if you get the reference)

  1. Tatiana Tinsley says:

    Sam! This is so funny! I wish I could record some of my South American experiences like this. Great! You clever thing you. Miss you and keep up the good work.

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