You Know You're A Caver When...

* you decide on which home to buy not based on the height of the ceilings but the diameter of the drains.
* you pull out your long underwear for a ski trip and its all a shade of brown.
* you no longer think twice about getting butt naked next to a public road in 20-degree weather.
* you know that your next vehicle will be a truck or a van.
* you decide to buy a PC and when the salesman asks what you want to use it for, you can only think of reducing survey data.
* you know who holds the 30-meter rope climb record for your age group.
* you can't pass a dumpster without checking for old carpet for rope pads.
* you start to wear your lamp reamer around your neck all the time as jewelry.
* you constantly have to pull the wires of your lamp reamer from your chest.
* you know your way around the back roads of West Virginia and Kentucky better than the roads near your home.
you know how to pronounce the name of the second longest cave in the world.
* you have more OTR t-shirts than dress shirts.
* you never throw away sturdy old clothes, just buy more canvas grip.
* you call a speleovendor and when he hears your name, remembers your address.
* you own more ammo cans than the local National Guard unit.
* your car constantly smells like acetylene.
* you drive more miles in a weekend than your colleagues at work do in six months.
* you can't get out of bed in your apartment without stepping onto a Gibb's ascender and webbing left out to dry.
* you come back from vacation and people at work ask "You drove to Mexico?"
* your next set of luggage will be waterproof.
* you try on wetsuits and crawl out of the dressing room to check it out.
* you know what phreatic means.
* you bite your tongue when on tours at commercial caves.
* you wear trash bags.
* you sneak into laundromats.
* you read drivel like this.
* you step into the shower in the morning and find last weekend's coveralls in there with you.
* you can't find your check book or tax records but you know exactly where you left your mini-mag.
* you have a power outage, dig out spare lights, and your home is brighter than it was before the electricity was cut off.
* you're identified by the sound of your voice by the NSS office folks.
* you have a permanent layer of mud in your trunk.
* your mother never wants to know what you're doing on weekends until you've successfully survived.
* you own a bat house but have no where to put it up.
* you put it up anyway, inside, hoping.
* you do Bridge Day and are sorry that the drop is so short.
* you have more money tied up in vertical gear than furniture.
* your regular furniture includes stuff that you take camping.
* you actually write something for the local grotto newsletter.
* you've been on a trip when you wonder what the heck ever made you think that you'd like this sport.
* you've hung on a rope on a long drop and remembered that someone recently said that they'd like to be your beneficiary.
* you suddenly realize that somehow you've acquired a second family.

By Bill Klimack
March 1990 Issue of The Karst Window

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