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A Little Spring Skiing Anyone?

A few weeks ago, someone, we don't remember who, suggested we all embark on a "field trip" and for an activity of said trip, spring skiing was mentioned. Downhill spring skiing. In the snow. In the cold. On a hill!!! So without further care or ado we rented a short bus and headed north towards Westlock. Yup. You know this doesn't end well. Don't you?

I know I should have bailed off the bus well before we got to to the hill but after watching Lazy Bastard drink from his wine skin and pop cold medications as we drove, I thought, "What the hell, this could get interesting!", so I stayed on-board until we reached Tawatinaw Valley Ski Facility, our destination as planned. Plus I was the driver, so bailing could have been a real bummer for the passengers, but the wreck might have made the lead-in on Global TV News.

As I drove I reminisced about people in my life and those that have gone on to that "better place", what so ever that place may be. In particular I was thinking about my grandpa and his passing. As I drove I began to think that one day when it is my time, I want to go like he did. Quietly in his sleep. Not screaming like the passengers in his car...

Upon our arrival at the ski hill and since I was the only sober one of the lot, I was chosen to go and purchase the tickets, and as it turned out I was expected to pay for them as well, all 20 of them. So pay I did and I was handed a raft of tickets and the wire hangars to go along with them by the vendor at the sales window, a very pleasant and attractive lady I might add. Had she known what a sorry lot of dickheads had arrived at her fine establishment, she may not have been so pleasant, nor sold me the tickets. Fool me once as it were...

As the Snowy Palms contingent changed into their ski wear in the lodge I attached the ski passes to their jackets, adjusted their melon protectors, zipped up their coats and then took them outside to the ski racks where I had placed the skis and snowboards.

Once all of the lost souls were buckled and strapped into their respective skiing implements I directed them to the lift, and like a slow march of the damned, they all headed up the hill to fates unknown. They skied, skated and limped along, like a gaggle of school children tied hand to hand - crying and forlorn, to the chair lift.

I herded the contingent towards the T-bar to get us to the top of the mountain. I followed Lazy Bastard on the T-bar and he was riding with Herr Ubermensch and in front of them on the T-bar was a young man riding alone. What could possibly go wrong? A lot it turns out.

The young guy in front of Lazy Bastard was cutting a groove with his snowboard, outside of the worn track and breaking the "stay in your track" rule. The problem with doing that is if the little wretch fell he would possibly take down all of the riders behind him, which were the 20 rejects from Snowy Palms, or worse - pull the cable from the guide rollers which would screw up everyone's day. That was his big mistake.

As he rode in his zigzag pattern Lazy Bastard began yelling at him to stay in the track. The advice was ignored. Being ignored, Lazy Bastard yelled at him again, telling him to stay in the track - this time using the expected and colourful epithets he is known for. He was ignored again.

Finally, nearing the top of the lift, the young fellow turned around and looked back behind him and realized that the yelling was being directed at him, he then flipped the bird at Lazy Bastard, and seeing that, all I could think was, "Ooohhhh that was a very bad thing to do you foolish young man!" The bird being flown set off a stream of words that would have made a sea-battered sailor proud.

At the top of the lift the transgressor stopped and waited for Lazy Bastard to arrive and upon his arrival words were exchanged and finger wagging begat pushing, which begat shoving, which begat a more forceful pugilistic activity - eagerly engaged by both parties. The fight was on.

By the time the snow settled and the Ski Patrol arrived the combatants had worn themselves down and what had been a vigourous attack had waned to a mere bitch-slap contest. With the attack now over the Ski Patrol separated the warriors and took stock of the situation.

Lazy Bastard had taken a such bad beating that it was decided that he needed to be taken to the First Aid room on the toboggan and his adversary was to be reunited with his mom who was waiting at the bottom of the run. That kid was the toughest six year old any of us had ever witnessed and no doubt the beating he inflicted on Lazy Bastard would have been far worse had the string holding his mittens in place not restricted his arm movements...

With Lazy Bastard now in a safe place and under a watchful eye the rest of us took to enjoying what the ski hill had to offer and as a group we suffered just a few debilitating injuries but none were worse than the injuries that Lazy Bastard suffered while visiting Chuck E. Cheese's last summer in Edmonton. So on balance the trip was a success given there were only a few trips required to the Sturgeon Hospital Emergency Ward.

As we neared the Snowy Palms Resort Lazy Bastard was feeling better, a result of the tender caring he received from She Who Must Be Obeyed and the shots of Bacardi 151 that were offered to him, and being in a better mood when we arrived at the Inn he set to cooking, a little wobbly, but he was cooking.