We’re going skiing this weekend, possibly maybe. Second time in my life that I will have stood upright on two planks and prayed that none of my bones snap.
Since you asked, the first time was when two Australian ‘friends’ and a native bavarian took me skiing at Garmisch-Patenkirchen, in the south of Germania, a region also probably famous for a type of sausage. Anyhow, long story short, aforementioned acquaintainces – before they were downgraded from friends – left me alone in the kids’ area while they warmed up on the slopes. Suffice to say that my first triumphant grin at conquering the slight, snowy undulations of the beginners’ arena (it was as hilly as an ice rink) quickly faded. Certainly by the time I had fallen on, as the yanks say, my fanny and COULDN’T GET UP.
I’m sure some of you fall into the following groups: People who grew up in Europe, People who Live near Jindabyne, Stuart Diver, Rich People who can live anywhere and still afford to ski. To you I say that you may well have found yourselves, at one stage or another in your life, sitting in the snow with two laminated plastic slabs (or maybe even just one) attached to your pins. Armed with the requisite know-how, I have faith that you would have lifted the latch/pressed the button/ hit the dooverhickey that releases the skis, stood up, reattached ‘em and been on your way.
As I do not fit into any of the above categories, and also as I was too dumb to ask about the release mechanism beforehand, I was was left sitting in the snow after about three or four fruitless attempts to get up, a state of immobility I had not experienced since the age of about thirteen months or so. Adding insult to inconvenience, I was of course right under the ski lift, and knew that it was only my zen exterior, and my projection of ‘like whatevs, I totally just chill out in the snow in the middle of the beginners’ slope all the time’ energy that was preventing me from becoming an object of mirth. What finally cracked me, however, was the proliferation of four-year-olds zooming maniacally past. Shamefully, had google earth been around at the time, it would have snapped me shaking my fist at them and yelling ‘I bet you can’t surf, suckas’.
I guess I must have figured out the release mechanism, because my memory bank also reports that my acquaintainces came to collect me and established, using some unknown algorithm, that I was ready to hit a downhill run. After ascending a really long way in the ski lift, I learned another valuable lesson that day, viz. you can’t go back down the mountain on a ski lift. Why, you ask, faced with a glorious, freshly powdered slope, would I give consideration to sitting on a metal swing to go back down? Because, dear readers, it was less a slope and more of a sheer drop, as the black run tends to be.
The story ends with me shedding tears of fear and using my newfound ski-detachment skills to gather up my boards and trek carefully down to the bottom of the mountain on foot, inventing colourful new cuss words to apply to my erstwhile companions. Had facebook been invented then, freezing and frostbitten as I was, I would have found the nearest internet café and defriended them.