I know I said I would review Skating with Celebrities in my next post, but I lied. Apparently I’m not the only one that got sucked into that show and I was reassured it’s nothing to be ashamed of. I still feel shame, but at least I realize I don’t have to complete my penance. At least as long as I stop having dirty thoughts about Jillian Barberie. Let's all keep dear Jillian in our prayers as she struggles with those bruised ribs.
If you’ve been visiting the Leper House Message Board (and you really should), you might have noticed that the F’ers recently took a well-deserved vacation. After I spent a week last year tumbling awkwardly down the snow strewn slopes of Taos with skis twisting and levering my limbs into positions normally reserved for experienced contortionists, Mrs F’er decided that it wasn’t sufficiently challenging and rather than build upon the limited skill set I managed last year she decided that snowboarding would be a bitchin’ idea.
Why did she decide this? I have a theory. First, her best friend used to be a snowboarder. Right… used to be. As far as I can discern she now spends free time remodeling her home, scrapbooking, knitting and reproducing. Second, the guys she works with at the bike shop apparently spend all their free time in the half pipe throwing down triple lindys and inverted aerials on their bicycles or snowboards, depending on the season and the amount of leftover money after stocking up on beer, Red Bull, and nachos. She forgets that these motherfuckers were still in diapers when I was already off at college learning to appreciate the subtle nuances of quarter beer night.
On the other hand, I’d rather repeatedly slam my fingers in the car door rather than spend a week chasing a golf ball across an overpriced resort with a bunch of generic businessmen, so I got out the ski pants and made sure they still fit. They were a little snug, but it wouldn’t be a problem if I just cut back on deep fried cheese sticks at breakfast for a couple weeks.
Taos is a cool, unpretentious place but is still old school when it comes to their mountain and bans those punk-ass snowboarders. So I booked a trip to Crested Butte, one of the more remote resorts in Colorado. Since I’m anti-social and base my life around not being seen and minimizing contact with the outside world, it has hence earned my business. Vail, Aspen and Tahoe can kiss my snowy white ass.
As our flight progressed, the dusty, dry terrain of Texas yielded to the mountainous Rockies and I began eyeing other passengers, trying to determine who I would eat first in the event of a crash while waiting for rescuers. That would prove to be a needless exercise as we soon landed safely in Gunnison, Colorado, whose airport is about one quarter the size of my local Wal-Mart SuperCenter. A heavily bearded guy named Woody in a flannel shirt and down vest unloads the baggage, arranges ground transportation, de-ices the departing aircraft, cleans the toilets, makes the coffee, runs security, and still has time for several games of solitaire on the airport computer.
I carefully avoided eye contact with the other two couples as we boarded our shuttle and began the 45 minute ride to Mt. Crested Butte. By the time we arrived, the snow was coming down pretty good and I perused the landscape for the location of the nearest emergency clinic. Meanwhile, I had to catch up to Mrs. F’er who was already half way to the rental shop to get our equipment so we could get an early start the next day.
At the rental shop, I filled out a rental form which included a waiver that released them from liability in the likely event that I seriously injure myself trying to get back down to the bottom of a snowy mountain while tightly bound to one of their sleek, waxed boards. I also had to certify my age, which they politely overlooked seeing that I exceeded the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s recommended age by approximately 47 years. To prevent a concussion from prematurely, yet mercifully, ending our activities, Mrs. F’er added a couple helmets to the tab. This added to my anxiety as she didn’t require us to wear the brain buckets last year.
I would find out later that before we left for Colorado, her buddy Gabe at the bike shop gave her the following advice:
"Wear a helmet and don't die."
Next stop was the ski school where they promised that I’d be on my way to landing my own triple lindys, but had me sign a waiver similar to the rental shop’s just in case I had some sort of Nordic learning disability.
With those details handled, we reviewed the chow house selections and decided on some Thai food. We hopped the free shuttle to town 3 miles away and walked around town which was refreshingly devoid of Fortune 500 companies and strip malls. Before dinner, Mrs. F’er bought a pair of snow boots from a girl and her dog at a small shop. The girl was extremely helpful, but the dog appeared rather disinterested. She also gave a thumbs up to our Thai food decision and we made tracks to the Ginger Café.
We didn’t have reservations (and didn’t know we needed them), but were early enough to get one of the seven or eight tables in the joint. We both dig Thai food, but I’m allergic to peanuts and, though a mild allergy, it still freaks out Mrs. F’er to the point that she thinks I will swell up and die if I even get a glimpse of Mr. Peanut. Little does she know that in Leper House they used to do immunology research by attempting to sneak peanuts into my food just to watch me puke. But I digress. Our server didn’t seem to have a good working knowledge of the menu, but assured us she would try to have them keep any peanuts to a minimum. Despite the concern, it turned out to be some the best Thai food we’ve ever had and I didn’t puke, swell or die.
But that also meant I didn’t have an excuse to avoid a snowy demise the next day…
(to be continued)