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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!

S’No Boarding Like Snowboarding

Desperate times call for desperate measures. That ski day I mentioned a while back is coming up on Sunday. And with no easy way out — I can hardly fake a bleeding ulcer or scarlet fever now, without laying any fake illness groundwork — I’m pretty much on the hook for it.

Oh, part of the trip will be fun. It’s a two-hour trip or so to the mountain, and the missus and I ride well together. We listen to the same kinds of music, only one of us tries to drive at a time, and there’s almost never any farting while the windows are rolled up. Our car etiquette is superb.

Also, we’re going with a couple of friends, so we should have a grand old time on the way there, on the way back, during any meals we might share, and while they’re visiting me in the infirmary for frostbite or broken bones or being impaled by a ski pole. Or for scarlet fever, if I can manage a really good hacking cough on the way there.

It’s all the other time, when we’re supposed to be skiing, that I never enjoy on these trips, because I’m just so freaking bad at it. I firmly believe that if you try something three times and show no improvement and aren’t having any fun, then you should never have to do it again.

“It really seems to be a matter of whether I’d rather shatter my ego, my body, or my liver. And only one of those has the perk of allowing me to write my name in the snow in pee.”

(Of course, this rule only applies to leisure activities. Otherwise, folks would only get three colonoscopies in their lives, and only pay their taxes for the first three years of employment. I suspect it would cut down enormously on people having four or more children, too. But that’s not the point right now.)

I’ve been skiing four or five times, as I mentioned in the post linked above, and I still stink like a snow-behind-the-ears newbie. Also, I don’t like it. So, in these desperate times, I laid an ultimatum on my wife last night. I’ll go on your little snowy mountain trek, I told her, and you won’t hear a peep of complaint out of me. But I am not — I repeat NOT — strapping on those slats of death and shame and ligament snappage while I’m there. That’s just how it is, lady. I’m the man of this igloo, and I’m putting my fur-lined sealskin-booted foot down. I told her that, and braced myself for a wave of protestation.

Oh,‘ she said, nonchalantly. ‘That’s fine. You can always snowboard.

Look, I don’t care how long you plan to withhold sex over this. I said no, and anyway, I know where you sleep and where we keep the bungee cables, so… wait. Did you say snowboard?

Yeah, you should trying snowboarding if you don’t like skiing.

Isn’t that hard?

Probably. But what else are you going to do for four hours while we’re skiing? Drink yourself stupid at the bar?

Well, if that’s an option, I’d sure as hell like to try-

No. It’s not. Try the snowboard. Oh, and also?


I moved those bungee cords. And next time I’m mad at you, I’m sleeping with a mousetrap down my pants.

Good to know. I guess it’s not quite as terrifying for a woman to stick a mousetrap down her pants as for a guy. One wrong move, and we’d be looking for jobs singing falsetto in a boys’ choir. I guess next time she’s mad at me, I’ll have to test the waters with a stick or something first.

Or throw a mouse down her pants. If she weren’t mad at me already, she sure as hell would be then.

Back to this weekend, before I get into further hot water with the missus. Or PETA.

So, it looks like I’ll try snowboarding. Today at work, I mentioned my newly-planned adventure to a few folks around the office. Their responses, down to the very last one, were unanimously positive.

Positive that I’m going to gravely injure myself, that is. One girl asked if she could have my desk chair, should I never make it back. I licked the seat all over, and told her that if she still wanted it, it’s all hers. She declined. So I keep my chair, but now I can’t get the taste of my own Levis out of my mouth. Where I come from, we call that a ‘draw’.

Meanwhile, my other office chums said things like:

Oh, you’ll be falling on your butt all day the first time.

Snowboarding, huh? Man, you can snap a knee ligament so easy doing that.

Be careful. My buddy broke his wrist trying to learn to snowboard.

Watch your head. You could flip over face-first and get a concussion.

Dude, what are you, suicidal? Snowboarding will screw up your back in a heartbeat.

Peachy. So now I have three choices. I can try skiing again, which brings me no comfort or pleasure, fall and bitch and kvetch all day and ruin the day for everyone. Or I can try something new and different in snowboarding, and break my back, head, wrists, knees and ass — quite possibly all in the same maneuver. Or I can say to hell with both, ride up to the mountain and sneak off to the lodge to start drinking at 9:30 in the morning. It really seems to be a matter of whether I’d rather shatter my ego, my body, or my liver. And only one of those has the perk of allowing me to write my name in the snow in pee.

I think I just changed my mind again. If I can weasel my way directly to the bar without also shattering my marriage, I’m considering that ‘Plan A’.

If not, and I wind up strapped to a snowboard — and subsequently airlifted off the mountain and fitted for a full body cast? Well, you can have my office chair while I recuperate.

But you might want to wipe it off first. I’m just saying.

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