Why there are not only no atheists in foxholes, but none on ski slopes either and why I will never buy a 4- wheel drive with ski racks on the roof.
Yesterday I read about the ski resort chairlift in Maine going all wonky and about six people plummeting to earth and having to be rushed to the hospital. As I read it I thought to myself “Goddamn, I’m glad I wasn’t on one of those lifts” and then I remembered that there was no way in Hell I would have been because of a promise I had made. You see several years ago I had a group of friends who were avid skiers. They would go on their ski trips and come back and tell tales all about whooshing on the slopes all day and then partying all night in the lodges. I was quite envious because I had never been skiing and I thought the outfits were cool and the people were cool and I wanted to be a member of the cool skiing hipster club so bad. Then one day I was invited. I ran to the store and bought a ski suit that I thought was stunning and my friends arranged for me to rent all of the other equipment. They even set me up with beginner’s lessons! On our drive up there (and for the life of me I can’t remember what resort it was-all I know is it was in Tennessee) I fell asleep and dreamt about hitting the slopes and looking like a chick out of a Chap Stick commercial and then I was drinking hot rum toddies around a fire in the lodge with about a half dozen of the hottest looking men in the universe and they were all enthralled in some story of mine and they all wanted me. Shut up. It could happen. Anyway, we got up there, got settled and I got geared out and went to my lesson while they hit the slopes. I figured in a few hours I’d join them.
The class consisted of me and about four other FIVE YEAR OLDS. No shit. So our instructor was showing us all the basics and about our gear and all I could think was, “Yeah, yeah, let’s start skiing.” I felt really stupid in the class so most of the time I acted like I was just an innocent bystander. I would hum and look around like I was looking for someone as people went by. I’m pretty certain even the instructor thought I wasn’t in the class. “Oh no, I’m not in this class, I’m waiting for someone.” You know where this is going, right? Yeah, before I knew it I and the kiddies were turned loose on a “Bunny Slope.” Only I wasn’t on the “Bunny Slope.” I went one over because from where I stood they both looked about the same except this one was longer and I wanted away from the kindergarten crowd. I remember pushing off like I had seen Olympic skiers do and off I went.
Mother of God. I reached speeds I never in my life attained prior or since. I had frozen tears in the corners of my eyes and I screamed so loud and on such a high octave from the fear that human ears could no longer hear me. And it was one long continuous scream too, and to be honest, I think a little pee came out. I “whooshed” past a bunch of people and I wanted to scream “SOMEBODY HELP ME!” but I was stuck in that continuous non-human ear scream mode.
“AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” the dogs in the area heard.
The only thing I could think was “HOW THE FUCK DO I STOP? I want to stop NOW!” I knew if I just bailed at the speed I was going that I would die from the tumble and this fear was the only thing that forced me to try to maneuver while travelling faster than the speed of sound down that mountain. I tried to lower myself and that only made me go faster. FUCK! Instantly I saw where the trail got thinner and a tree line started. “NO! I don’t want to die like Sonny! Dear God let me live! I promise I won’t do this again IF YOU JUST LET ME LIVE!” I thought. Then I spotted a pile of snow and I knew I had one chance.
I hit that fucking snow bank like a brick. It was like being shot into a giant pile of mashed potatoes by a giant human bullet gun except these mashed potatoes were made by my crazy-ass meemaw and she used to forget to boil them first. I laid there gasping for air. The wind had been completely knocked out of me. People stopped, gathered in a ritual circle of humiliation, and asked me if I was okay. I tried to smile and wave them on. “Move along folks, nothing to see here.”
After I caught my breath, I still just laid there almost completely lodged in the snow bank. Sideways. Fresh tears of humiliation started melting some of the snow and I also think more pee came out when I hit the bank, so that helped too. But I was alive. I checked to see if I broke anything. I had no idea. I felt like a sausage encased in a snowsuit and lodged in an iced over freezer. I finally freed myself from the snow and fell over attempting to stand. The skis were still on my feet and the poles were still strapped to my wrists. I took them all off and half walked and half fell back up the trail, wiping fresh tears from my frozen face. Tears of relief this time because I looked into the eyes of Death that day and I survived. I was alive. I never skiied again after that and I never will. You don’t fall back on your promises to God. Fact.45 Comments
45 Responses to Why there are not only no atheists in foxholes, but none on ski slopes either and why I will never buy a 4- wheel drive with ski racks on the roof.
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I tried to ski on water once. It was bad enough even though it was warm and sunny. The thought of adding cold to the humiliation/near death experience turned me off it completely.
Also I bet those pants would make my ass look like the Hindenburg.
*** Girl, it was terrifying. Srsly. I think I still have that suit too. I couldn’t take it back after I peed in it. ~Laura
BRAVO! that was hysterical. being an avid skier for years I totally related to that one. I remember my Bunny hill experience. I used to live in Round Lake Ill and every day after work, I mean every day, we drove up to Lake Geneva Wisconsin Playboy Club and skied “Hot Dog Mountain” It was only about 1/2 hour away. You brought back all those good memories. Funny as hell… Thanks…..
*** I am glad my terror-ridden tale brought back such good memories for you. Ha! ~Laura
Thank you for keeping your promise. We are all really glad you’re still here!
*** Can I have a baby goat? J won’t catch the other one you keep sending. Maybe you can just drop him in MY yard. ~Laura
Laughed Out Loud all the way through… Too funny. What a visual…..”Move along folks, nothing to see here!” OMG HA!
*** I am glad you enjoyed one of my most embarrassing moments. ~Laura
LMFAO!!! OMG were you on an expert slope?
*** NO! The really sad thing is I was still on a beginner’s slope!! HAHAHA! ~Laura
OH MY GOD! My parents took us kids skiing when I was about 12 and I too was terrified beyond belief the first time I careened down a slope. I did the bail-out thing though and lost my skis and hurt my arm. Didn’t break it though. You were brave to keep going.lol
*** No, just more scared to bail. ~Laura
I have taken many teens skiing but never got up on those two sticks myself. I don’t figure my ears on each side of a tree would have been attractive to see. I have watched others ski and fall. Last year, I even saw someone being worked on and thought he was seriously injured. Turned out, they were just practicing and put fake blood on him.
I never made that promise to God about skiing, but if I ever thought seriously about getting on those two narrow sticks, I’m sure God would just knock me up side the head and say “What are thinking?”
PS I’m pretty sure God is gonna sound a lot like my Mom!!
*** I’m pretty sure He sounds like everyone’s mom. ~Laura
OMG – you are my twin separated at birth – same experience, Breckenridge 1978. I, too, have kept my promise to God. No way, no how, not happenin’ in this lifetime. The closest I would come to entering a ski resort now would be for the hot chocolate or to open a Depends kiosk (expanding to franchise level). I’m thinking it could be a winner. Take that, Steve Jobs. Sales only, no rentals – of course….
*** HAHA! Can I be your business partner? ~Laura
OMG trauma! So glad you decided to quit skiing. It’s not the cool hip club it’s made out to be, it’s just being cold alot and injured, mostly injured.
A friend of mine wrecked his knee skiing, it took 2 years and a few ops to have it “alright-ish” and he fell in the snow this month and its totally screwed again Bathing with sharks is safer than skiing at least then you know what your up against.
*** No skis for me is all I know. I would take sharks any day over flying over snow at 2000 miles per hours. ~Laura
“It was like being shot into a giant pile of mashed potatoes by a giant human bullet gun except these mashed potatoes were made by my crazy-ass meemaw and she used to forget to boil them first.”
Best description of hitting a snow bank EVER.
*** Seriously, that’s what it felt like. ~Laura
I did almost the same thing, only dumber — I totally SKIPPED the free lessons because I was all “Duh, I know how gravity works.” Well, yeah, that is exactly how it works… after I fell down for the ninety-blue-millionth time, I sat down on the slope, started crying (okay, CONTINUED crying) and refused to come down until someone came to get me. Good times.
*** HAHA! I bet there are more tears on those slopes than there are snow most days. ~Laura
Man was not meant to go at such speeds on two thin boards.
*** I agree. ~Laura
I love to ski, but I know what you mean about that first terrifying run. Great story.
*** Terrifying is putting it mildly really. ~Laura
Remind me to tell you about the time I went skiing in the Alps. It did not end well. The really sad part is that I’d been skiing for years–in New Jersey. The Appalachians are NOT the Alps, and just because you can ski somewhat competently on one does NOT mean you should attempt the other. Fact.
*** I would take a picture of the Alps from a safe distance is all I would attempt. ~Laura
I had a similar experience the first time I skied. Wrong slope…couldn’t stop or turn…skied right into a family, a Dad, a Mom, and their two kids…wiped ‘em all out. Hell, after that I went to the lodge bar and started laying the rap on the snow bunnies. I was public in drunk before my friends arrived after a full day on the slopes. I got double lucky though, no one was hurt (them or the family I wiped out), and well…nevermind.
I do believe that Olympic class Downhill is one of the most dangerous sports there is. One wrong slip and you can die.
“giant pile of mashed potatoes”…CLASSIC!
*** HAHA! The worst was NO ONE hit on me in the lodge! Of course I’m pretty sure I had frozen tears and snot all over my face, wet hair from melted snow and I don’t know, but maybe they even knew I peed a little. ~Laura
Very brave of you to post this. Not very sharp, but very brave! My first time was in the dark, going thru’ the mogals. Good thing I have skiing in my blood lines or it would have been bad. Maybe not as bad as yours, but then I am not a girly man!
*** Hmm, brave? not sharp? It’s a story of an event. And miine could have been worse, but there was a pile of mashed potato snow for me to crash into. ~Laura
Wow, you are living proof that PRIDE does before a FALL or more like a body slam into a snow bank!
Never been skiing, never had a op and now probably never will with the hip.
I’m glad no serious damage happened but I sure as fuck wouldn’t have mentioned it! HA!
*** Mentioned what and why not? ~Laura
This is further proof that I want to go to Colorado, buy some cute winter clothes and sit on my ass in the lodge in front of the fireplace with a hot chocolate. I do not want to actually ski. I just want to look like I know how.
*** THAT is my recommendation. ~Laura
Tooo funny! I mean the part about learing with 5 yr olds, not you crashing…that’s not funny.
Never skied a day in my life. On ski trips with the church college group, I would always take my camera gear and get cool landscape shots. But at night, they were all like, “You came up here, and didn’t ski?” and look at me like I was an alien. Yeah, and then they saw my pics and I was all thinking, “Yeah…who’s the cool one now…wait!…take a look at this shot of snow!”
My wife likes to brag that, not only has she skied, but she has done cross country ski trips, which is like the equivlent of….marathon running…or something like that.
The best Winter Olympic sport EVER is that one where they ski and shoot guns. Ski… kapow! Ski…kapow!
*** Now I could get into the shooting part. I’ll walk the other. ~Laura
Sounds like my one and only ski experience, except I really was on the bunny slope and thought I was going about 1000 miles per hour! But I did enjoy the hot chocolate at the lodge – I was only 14 then so that’s all I could drink.
Now I prefer hot buttered rum in the lodge and pretending that I know how to ski, but have a bad knee so I can’t ski anymore -
This is the easiest promise to God I’ve ever kept!
*** I KNOW, right? It’s been a breeze for me too. ~Laura
I hear ya. I went on a three day ski trip once when I was in high school, and while I went up on the yellow and green slopes many times after my two introductory lessons, I have never gone for a repeat. I was lucky, but several kids in the youth group who also went got injured, a couple of them pretty badly. I watched one of them come off a turn and then panic because he couldn’t get the skis to turn anymore than what he did on the curve, and he went really fast for about a couple hundred yards and smacked right into a tree and got a concussion and spent the rest of the trip nursing a foul headache at the ski lodge. Another guy was trying to turn and ended up that one ski kept going straight and the other one turned to the right, and he did the most amazing looking split I’ve ever seen anyone do. The split was accompanied by the most horrendous scream of pain I’ve ever heard from a guy as he tore all the muscles in his upper thighs and groing area. He spent the rest of the trip with very noticeable swelling at the ski lodge soaking in hot tubs trying to relieve the pain.
I’ll stick to watching the really talented skiers in the winter olympics.
*** GOOD LAWD OUCH!!!! Skiing is suicide! ~Laura
“People stopped, gathered in a ritual circle of humiliation, and asked me if I was okay.”
This has happened to me more than once in my life, btw.
I had a similar experience the one and only time I tried to ski – only you tell it a little better than I ever could!
*** Skiing should be against the law. ~Laura
I laughed so I, I think I peed a little bit. Been there, never doing that again. Why I thought a person who trips on imaginary bumps in the carpet could go careening down a hill on two little boards is beyond me.
Glad you survived. Did you get your hot toddy?
*** Several, before my tears chilled them down. ~Laura
I just love your stories! FACT!
Curtal Friar’s story about the friend’s groin/thigh damage…holy f’ing shit!
Everybody was probably thinking… “she is doing a great job on the bunny slope,” until you decided to stop and eat some of Meemaw’s mashed potatoes..
That explains you ‘aversion/panic’ to the snow you got!
*** I hit those taters hard too. ~Laura
Previously on this thread:
“Glad you survived. Did you get your hot toddy?
*** Several, before my tears chilled them down. ~Laura”
Hmmm…seems to me that sounds like the beginning of a country song.
“I drank some hot toddies at a bar in town,
But the frost of my tears chilled them all down,
I’d gotten to the point where I’d lost all hope,
Cause I got my ass kicked by that damned ski slope…”
Or something like that.
*** HAHAHA! You should go to Nashville! ~Laura
You are fantastic at telling stories.
*** Thanks. ~Laura
*SIGH* If only you had paid attention to the ski instructor, you would have learned about the ski positions: pizza ( II ) and french fries ( /\ ). Pizza makes you go fast and french fries are your brakes. Pizza will save your life. Once you learn how to do that, the rest is, well, elementary. *ducks*
Also, regarding an earlier comment, skiing is not the only way one can blow out one’s knee. No lie, I havea friend who blew his knee out couch surfing. No shit. The man was a dedicated couch potato. He fell asleep watching TV, and when he woke up, he tripped over his coffee table and ended up with orthoscopic surgery.
I love your blog, Laura. You really should write a book. It would totally sell! Just imagine the tens of dollars you could make! And how many circus peanuts that would buy!
*** Ha! And where were you when I was traveling at 2000 mph down that slope? But you would have yelled “FRENCH FRIES!” and I would have just turned around and said “Where?” and tumble- crashed for sure. ~Laura
Au contraire…I would have yelled “PIZZA” (because those are your brakes), and you would have just turned around and said “Where?” and ended up ass over tea kettle anyway. I’ve done some (successful) skiing, but really, it sounds more fun than it really is. When it comes right down to it, you just end up with sore shins from the ill-fitting boots, sore thighs, bruises, cold extremities and an empty wallet. These days, I skip the skiing and go straight to the hot toddies.
*** SEE. I still don’t know which means brake. Hot toddies it is. ~Laura
I totally would have helped you had I been there, because I just realized that I typed the descriptions backwards. LOL Pizza is your brakes…french fries make you go faster. Oy vey…see what happens when you go straight to the hot toddies? Let me be an example to you.
*** OH MY GOD! You would have murdred me with your instructions! I hope you are not a ski instructor in RL. Or worse- an instructor for the bomb squad. ~Laura
Oh god. I can’t type anymore. I am, like, the goddamn typo QUEEN. *blush*
*** Oh I typo constantly, especially on comments. Never worry about it here. I will either fix it or ignore it. ~Laura
OMG…glad you’re “ok”, my sides hurt from laughing…gosh that was a great recount of your experience!
*** I am glad you enjoyed my terror. Ha! ~Laura
No, I’m not a ski instructor, but I assure you I am fairly competent at what I do. As long as I stay out of the hot toddies, that is!
*** Oh no, an instructor for the bomb squad? Ha! ~Laura
OMG… You didn’t tell us that you had a twin sister!
You have to read it all the way to the end to get to the part where I was convinced of this.
*** HA! T-Rex always rules! ~Laura
:::Just imagine the tens of dollars you could make!:::
Just give her a p.o. box to send the money to. HA!
*** I will give it out. ~Laura
I went on a ski trip with a church youth group once. My scarf (which was homemade by my great grandmother-so, family heirloom, you know) got tangled in the cable they had pulling skiers up the hill. It got tighter and tighter around my neck as we rose up the hill, and I barely got it off over my head when it was pulled up into the air for the return trip down the hill.
Almost popped my head off like a dandelion.
I don’t ski no more, thanks.
*** HA! Sorry, but ” almost popped my head off like a dandelion” made me laugh. Skiing is murder. ~laura
I used to love skiing! I learned in Germany when I was a kid. (Yes, that’s the fucking ALPS you pussies!) Give me the steep and deeps any day! Unfortunately, you don’t have to crash and tear things up to ruin your knees, time will do that for you. I still go up whenever I can to play in the snow though!
*** So what you’re telling us is you know your fries and pizza, right? ~Laura
Where it snow, I don’t go. Fact!
*** Good rule to live by. ~Laura
Holy Shit !
Thank God for snow banks !
Agree about promises to God.
I wonder what those 5 yr. olds were thinking….
Did your friends help you choose the skis you rented ? Did they pick out some that were slicker than oiled glass ?…”Let’s make sure Laura’s ski experience is unforgettable”.
*** I have no idea. But now that you said something I kinda remember them being surprised that I had made it back to the lodge…. ~Laura
Skiing always seemed dangerous as hell to me and I will never try it. The frozen tears, god that seems like it had to hurt, too.
*** It all hurt that day. ~Laura
I think I peed myself reading that. I am still laughing.
*** I am glad you can laugh at my horror. Ha! ~Laura
Pizza stops are for n00bs. I prefer hockey stops where you keep your skis together and spray snow over everybody within 20ft of you. Great fun!!
*** That’s what I wanted to do! I just couldn’t figure out how when I was doing 2000 mph. ~Laura
Skiing requires mountains? With snow all over them? I hate mountains. They’ll try to kill ya. Fact.
*** YEAH! Sonsabitches. ~Laura
I’m down with the hot toddies.
The skiing, not so much.
*** That’s what most people are saying. I’m, of course, in that group too. ~Laura
I can’t wait until you get a book deal.
*** HAHA! Or institutionalized. ~Laura
I’m with you. If God wanted Texans to strap boards on our feet and jump off of mountains then he would have made Bullshit white.
*** Ha! First time I ever heard that. ~Laura