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Ryan Bakken, Forum Communications, Published December 30 2012

Ryan Bakken: Bigger cliffs to worry about

GRAND FORKS - Much has been made recently about the so-called “fiscal cliff,” a symbolic overhang that the United States supposedly will fall from if Congress and the president don’t reach a budget compromise.

Apparently, if this dangerous plunge isn’t avoided, our taxes will skyrocket and important programs will be gutted. The freefall would result in a sharp decrease in the federal deficit, but also would likely prompt a recession.

Avoiding the cliff will require a compromise. And what are the chances of that happening?

So, it’s perhaps best that we concern ourselves with other potential cliffs to avoid, cliffs that are closer to home. For instance:

• The snow cliff.

A snow cliff is one step up from a snowdrift. It’s what develops at local intersections after persistent snowfalls. If plowing crews can’t keep up in lowering the intersection cliffs, motorists’ views are impaired, resulting in everyone other than body repair shop owners being unhappy.

• The credit card cliff.

This is also a winter season danger that happens after Christmas. Many have tumbled off this cliff in attempts to make the kiddies or grandkiddies happy at Christmas. When the credit card statements arrive in January, we brace ourselves for the financial wounds from our freefall off this cliff.

• The calories cliff.

Nowadays, Christmas surpasses Thanksgiving for food consumption and Halloween for sugar consumption. It all adds up, resulting in many jumping off a cliff into the fitness club that beckons below.

• The New Year’s Eve cliff.

The dangerous jump starts with a .08 reading.

• The sports cliff.

It’s winter, meaning that schools have games every night except Sunday and Wednesday. For sporting events that aren’t affiliated with schools, game day happens seven days a week.

The calories cliff and the sports cliff combine to create a bleacher-butt cliff.

So, yeah, this is a precarious time of the year, with or without a fiscal cliff daring us to jump. In fact, it may be the least of our worries.