An accurate - if slightly exaggerated – description of a climbing gym. I liked this quote:
“The climbing gym is the watering hole: a place where all the little creatures of our climbing kingdom come to frolic, play, swagger, sashay, find mates and throw feces. It’s a meat market. A dojo. Occasionally, a dance club. A training ground. A proving ground. A one-upping ground.”
And this one:
“I always feel funny taking the Belay Test…. I hate it when people watch me do anything, especially something that I could do in my sleep …
Meanwhile, a designated gym employee monitors you, absolutely basking in this rare moment of power like he’s the cop, and you are the illegal immigrant with a pocket full of llello.
If you try to do something ‘weird’, like tie in with a double bowline or belay left-handed, it throws the tester into a fit that won’t stop until you do something that looks familiar to him. And you just have to do what he says because it’s easier than arguing. But that doesn’t mean you can’t tip the balance of power by screwing with the tester.”