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Hikers

A friend and I go on a hike. He's a geologist who loves to to talk about rock formations, their ages, the geologic forces that created the landscape, and everything and anything having to do with rocks. We climb into the canyon and he's pointing out strata, and the evidence of old rivers, and fossils. I'm interested so I ask a lot of questions about this outcrop, and that flat surface, keeping it up all afternoon. When we return to the parking lot, I point to the expanse of rock exposed under the thin layer of gravel.

"What do you think of this?" I say.

He walks around the lot, face down, scratching his chin.

"I think," he says, "we forgot to apply the handbrake."

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