I’m going skiing with my family this weekend. Skiing is one of those activities that seems like a great idea when you’re sitting indoors talking about winter fun. The crisp air, the snow, the exhilarating feeling of schussing down the slopes. But last time my wife went skiing she fell off the mountain. And that wasn’t that much fun. It’s not easy to fall off mountains because, in general, they are really big. When you are very small in relation to something very large it is very hard to fall off. Unless you are my wife. Then you figure out a way to do it.
We were skiing on the easiest trail they had. It was just a harmless little run with one small turn. The turn is where she fell off the mountain. I was skiing behind her and saw her attempt to turn, not turn, attempt to stop herself by sitting, not stop, and then go over the side of the mountain. When I saw her go over, my first thought was, “That’s pretty funny.”
It took me a few seconds to catch up to where she gone over. When I got there, I looked down and saw her hanging upside down, a fall prevented only by a bunch of trees into which she had somehow lodged her skis. Memory is an unreliable witness, but in my mind if she hadn’t gotten stuck in the trees, she would have gone over a cliff like Wily Coyote. Chances are that’s not the truth, though, because as I said, we were on a pretty small trail. Even so, we could have had a Sonny Bono incident on our hands.
So I was surprised when she suggested we endanger our children in this manner. My kids have a hard time staying upright even on a level surface devoid of ice. Strapping long fiberglass sleds onto their feet and sending them downwards doesn’t seem like the smartest idea in the world to me, but on the other hand I have never claimed to be a good parent.
The kids are excited about it, and I have to admit that I’m looking forward to the weekend too, even though the last time I went, I actually decided to try snowboarding. Which turned out to be a big mistake. This was in Los Angeles, and I was out there auditioning for television pilots. My friend’s girlfriend and I decided to take snowboarding lessons because we had never done it before, and it seemed like fun. So we spent two days learning how to snowboard. All well and good until the middle of the second day when I fell down backwards for the five hundredth time and felt something give. Was it my wrist? It was. Was it broken? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I couldn’t move it, and after I walked back to the lodge and called Ski Patrol, I passed out.
The rest of my weekend was spent in a haze of hot chocolate and codeine. Upon returning to Los Angeles, I had the wrist examined. Yes it was broken, and the other one was probably broken too. I didn’t get x-rays on that one, though, because it’s cool to be the guy with his arm in a cast. It’s not cool to be the guy with both of his arms in casts.
I decided to ignore the pain in the other wrist because it was slightly less than in the one that was definitely broken. If it was broken, then I would walk around with a broken wrist, but I was not going to suffer the indignity of walking into a network television audition with two casts on my arms. I don’t even know if I could have gotten to the audition because I don’t think you can drive in that condition.
The lesson in all of this: skiing is really expensive and potentially fatal. The perfect family activity.