Thursday, January 31, 2008

Wild white yonder

Marathon Man, three of his teacher colleagues, and me piled into what I would classify as a compact car and remained in that sufferable position for FIVE HOURS! We were headed to the vast wilderness that is upstate New York for a weekend skiing trip. The driver (John) is menopausal and suffering from hot flashes. He would vary from opening the window, turning on the heat, and then blasting the AC….in January! I was the only one with enough sense to not put my jacket in the trunk. Granted, the three of us in the back seat were so smashed together (we could not sit shoulder to shoulder across) that the combined body heat was able to suffice for a while. Eventually we had spread my coat over the three of us while we quietly suffered. While we thought we were in misery, we had no idea what Dave had to endure in the passenger seat. At one point he was so cold that he clutched the “oh shit” over-window handle in hopes that it would secretly release the suppressed heat from the dungeon. After what we judged to be a good solid two hours of playing freeze out, John asked us if we were okay temperature wise. Dave timidly squeaked out “oh, a little heat would be nice” before looking over his shoulder at us for some reinforcement. Okay, writing about it doesn’t do the situation justice. I laughed so hard that I nearly peed my pants, which would have at least warmed up my frozen thighs.

Eventually we pulled into the “Mountain Lodge” which was basically a motel with woodsy decorations and a back woods staff. Seriously, all the furniture was made out of wood logs! It was like pa out back chopped up a tree and made us a chest of drawers. The handles were even hewed off chunks of logs nailed to the front. As if to complete the cover look for Lincoln Log Living, the bed covers were grandma’s pine tree quilts! Yeah, you can’t make this shit up.

Out of the five, Dave and I were the only two who had skied/snowboarded more than two times beforehand. Surprisingly John picked up skiing incredibly fast. However, Steven and MM spent the majority of the day face down in the snow. Steven cracked me up because he is a giant (6’6”) black man built like a linebacker with cornrows…..and a giant smile. Seriously, he is the nicest guy you will ever meet, and he will surprise you by spontaneously breaking out into song or screaming like a drag queen when falling. We were sitting in the skiing lodge and all the country folk were starring at us because we were “with the thug looking black man” as if they had only seen them on TV.

Steven may look like a tough guy, but he is the biggest frady cat…ever! The group accidentally made a wrong turn at a fork and ended up at a hidden chair lift. This lift would take us up to the very top of the mountain (all the other lifts would only go to an intermediate peak). Of course at the top, the trails were all single and double black diamonds with a lone blue. Yeah, not welcomed news for Steven and MM. Well the chair lift seemed to go on forever and just when it approached a plateau (where we thought it would end) it started to rise up a sheer rocky cliff with no end in sight. At that point we here Steven behind us go “ummmm…guys” as he started to freak out. Ah ha ha ha.

Not to pick on Steven, but he had the most humorous stories. For any skiing beginner, exiting the chair lift is by far the hardest experience. Well one time, Steven got off the chair lift only to ski directly into a barrier fence which he completely took out (fence poles and all). It was such a calamity that the chair lift operator had to wait until he stopped laughing before he could untangle Steven. The next time, I decided to help guide him off the lift. Well he ran over my skis and I tumbled over (at least he stayed upright). The next time, the assistant was Dave, and the exact same thing happened! Yeah Steven skied over to us and was all “look I got off the lift and didn’t fall” like a proud child and Now cut to Dave who was crumpled up in a heap of snow.

If skiing wasn’t the activity of choice for the weekend, then farting was. Evidently either John or Steve fart in their sleep and both of them can fart on command. When John first told me of his unique talent, I was like “really you can fart on command” to which he replied “phleeeet”. Another talent was eating immense sums of food. It would take Steve and John five minutes to order….”now can I have the two eggs with toast, over easy, with the corned beef hash, and the special of three pancakes with ham, and ummmm could I have a side of bacon and home fries”. One time, Steven’s order took up three plates! While he was devouring it, he asked a passing waitress if he could get some hot coco with whipped cream and a piece of chocolate cake on a heated brownie covered with vanilla ice cream. Yeah, she was speechless (and later confessed to us that meal was the most she had seen ANYONE eat).

On Sunday, we dragged our sore bodies away from the mountain to watch the Green Bay / Giants football game. First we needed a beer run so that we could play beer pong (yes, the teachers are THAT resourceful). We stopped in this tiny mom and pop shop where they sold beer in three varieties: domestic (Coors light), premium (Canadian blue), and what the hell (plain can with “beer” on it). We grabbed a case of Budweiser and asked the cashier if there was a discount for buying in bulk. Although we were totally kidding, she said “well I don’t know, I’ll just call up the owner and find out”. Wait are you serious? Awesome!

Through some random connection, the Guido cousins of another teacher from Staten Island joined in on our football game watching beer pong playing festival. I felt like I was in a freaking Soprano’s episode. These had an opinion about EVERYTHING! Eventually we started talking about random topics that you could not possibly rant about… know like wiping yourself front to back or back to front.


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