And so……..a few weekends later, we put on our most courageous faces, clearly leaving our brains behind, and returned to the lodge, this time for the dreaded Bunny Run.
That was the name given to the least challenging hill the place had (the steepest and most dangerous was called the Kamakazie). The Bunny Run was the perfect place for two newbies who had grown bored with that silly cross country skiing and lived for a bigger challenge in life. And this time we actually got a free lesson before going up on the lift. The man showed us how to snow plow to slow yourself down, and yes even included that part about how to turn. We were ready. Bring on the Bunny Run!
I had never been on a ski lift and that was quite fun, looking out over the expanse of trails and lodges; again all quite pretty, kind of like being in a Ferris Wheel at the county fair.
The thing that made it different however is when we had to get off. They really didn’t cover this part in the free lesson, so we kind of jumped off when the ground got close. The other thing they didn’t mention was what you were going to jump on. Of course, we knew you would be at the top of the hill; what we didn’t know was you hit the ground running, or skiing as it were. We, of course, went immediately in the wrong direction and had to re-group and take a few moments to consider our situation before pushing off down the hill.
I looked over at Mike and this time he had his “Fuck it – Lets just do it!” look on. I shook my head but followed his lead and planting our poles in the snow pushed off and we were on our way!
Now clearly each of us had evidently been listening to different parts of that lesson we got. I got the part about the snow plow and turning your legs inward to slow down your descent. What I somehow missed (again!!) was how to turn. Now, Mike, he heard and got the turning part, but not the slowing down part. So between the two of us, we made one pretty poor beginner skier. We made our way as slowly as we could down the hill.
Every once in a while I would hear a shout behind me: “On your left!””On your Right” Mike and I didn’t know what they were shouting about. I didn’t care if they were on my right or left. What of course they were doing was telling me to get out of their way! You can imagine how after being shouted at a few dozen times, my responses were less than polite, using consisting of: Fuck You!! Things were not off to a rousing start.
One thing we became quickly aware of was if you were careful, you could actually just scuttle yourself and fall down, thereby giving you a much-needed breather and time to reconsider just what the hell you were doing on the stupid hill in the first place! On one of those self-inflicted stops, we watched as a man was being strapped into a kind of sled by two guys from the lodge; he wasn’t hurt, he had evidently just freaked out, too afraid to continue I guess, so they had sent up the Fraidy cat team to bring the guy back down. Mike and I looked at each other, both thinking the same thing: We would rather die than suffer that embarrassment!
So with our new found Devil May Care attitude, we started back down again. We soon realized of course as I mentioned that we made a much better team than we did individual skiers. So yes for a while we kind of clung to each other, shouting things like:
“Ok turn us! Turn us! We’re going hit that kid!!”
“Well, why don’t you slow us down then??!! You’re the one who knows how to stop!”
“Yea and you’re the one who can turn so turn already – were going kill that kid!!”
Anybody watching this performance would have had thought that perhaps we were the free entertainment provided by the lodge to the people waiting in line to get on the lift (which was approaching quickly), or maybe to amuse our fellow skiers. Little did they know that we were doing what we always did – relying on each other to get through a sticky situation and making a spectacle of ourselves in the bargain.
There came a point, and I am not sure whether it was planned or not when we separated and were on our own for the rest of the way down. Both of us were picking up speed and that line of people was getting larger. Why the heck they had decided to have the line waiting for the lift curl around the bottom of the hill is beyond me but it might have something to do with it being the Bunny Run the assumption being a bunny could ski this hill.
So there we went; I was to the right of Mike who was making a straight bee-line for that line of people, like a deranged bowling ball intent on taking down every last pin. He started to wave his arms and shout for them to get out of the way, as remember, he couldn’t stop. I, on the other hand, decided I had had enough of this- I knew what I had to do- Fall and stop this insanity!!. Now that is a bit harder than it sounds now that I was going fast– it wasn’t like there was an ejector button or anything. So I decided just trip myself – for me that was easy! I put one ski in front of the other and soon I was toppling over in the snow. What I didn’t reckon on was that damned perpetual motion thingy again. I just kept rolling over and over, lucky not to impale myself on one of the poles. I threw them away somehow and continued my descent. And once again there was a bit of nature to stop me; this time a hedge line that bordered the run. Yes…..again….
Right into the damn hedge.
At least I had stopped.
Mike had somehow parted the Red Sea of people on the waiting line and made it safely down. He came to rescue me from the clutches of the hedge and we slowly made our way off the run, soaked, banged up, and convinced we were no better at downhill skiing than we were at cross country skiing.
Twenty minutes later we were sitting at a long wooden table where refreshments were served. We sat there, bruised and tired and must have looked like we had skied down the toughest hill the place had. A bunch of guys across the table were looking at us, and finally one had to comment:
“You fellows look mighty beat – did you take on the Kamakazie?”
Mike and I looked at each other, and this time he had his “Fuck it – tell him!” look on.
So I turned back to the guy, put on my best Clint Eastwood squint and said:
“No….the Bunny Run.”
I heard Mike stifle a laugh to my side, but the funny thing was the guy thought I was making a joke or being a smart aleck. He smiled and shook his head, saying:
“Yea right – looking like that – the Bunny Run?… Good one Guys…Well, have a good day”.
And they got up and left us. We slowly looked at each other again and broke down in laughter. And as usual, Mike, laughing so hard he was almost crying said:
“That was fun”.
“No, I said” lighting a cigarette, “That was funny.”