15 February, 2009

It Was a Very Good Year

Oh, so damn long ago, here I am, going for a drink at the bar in Keystone Inn, a ski lodge with friends, celebrating my 21st birthday. A nice bar that normally we could never afford to be in, if we didn't work there. Finally, I can put the 3.2 beer they sell to those kidsters where it belongs…in the urinal. I'm there living nearby with a bunch of other college drop-outs in a A-frame house on the Snake River. A house so trashy we never had to clean it. In the spring, the river used to flood our basement and blow out the pilot on our water heater. Damn it!.. cold showers, again. One friend, Dr. Bong used to fall asleep with his boots on the fireplace stove and wake us to black smoke billowing upstairs. So, he used to wake up with magic marker on his face, our little art therapy, and today he was a pirate! That guy could sleep through anything. We could ski all day, and then work nights setting up conventions. No stranger to wild kid pranks, I used to marvel at the smart asses that use to throw butter pallets on the convention ceiling. “Honey, I think we struck oil somewhere in the rockies!” as they fell when the heat came on and the seminar was in full swing. But it was a bitch to clean up after, and it wasn’t until I found a ruined suit coat on a chair back, did I look up. Quickly pulling my baseball cap back down and yelling, "There she blows," pointing upwards. And then we had to cook the space to speed up their delivery to earth. Or Not. Rolling tables in and out to set up or take down spaces, like a juggling act. We were dressed up in best Purina khaki, strapped with belt pagers that allowed us to text out the next location for Wild turkey, a nap in a vacant room or a maid rendezvous in a suite. All while I fantasized about a new troop mate working there or a roommate. It was crazy time, but back to my 21st party at the bar. It is May, but being 9000 feet it was still snowing. The heavy kind of snow that killed any noise, and we watched outside the window as it piled up. “I can’t wait to ski the east face.” Jordan said. It was a face off the highest chair, that was only attainable when you traversed far away from the main run. A great place to crash in new snow when bindings don’t release. The bar was cozy, a bit higher class than the four of us, in our head we had a Mark IV in the garage, but no... we just knew the bartender. One of us the got the crazy idea to do Kamikazes, and we were off. The unstoppable, William Shatner, a childhood source of entertainment, was at the bar that night and ready to propel us into space with another round. We all said he looks great, and then joked that he was holiday until his face lift scars relaxed. Thanks for drinks, Bill! Drunk and stupid we had to leave to get home to bed to work the following day, and three of us piled into my car and the rest in of my roommate's car. Driving home to put “Dr. Bong” to bed, our resident stoner. It was snowing in big chunky fat girls flakes. I took off, driving along the road, clipping the right front tire in the snow on the side of the road and laughing at the huge ploom of snow that cascaded outwards. We were hysterically laughing and just about the time that someone said, watch out!…the car was sucked in, jettisonned off the road, still laughing. Landing was great, just like a pile of feathers...quiet, soft and totally white. Whumphf! When the hysterics ended, we rolled down the widows and dug ourselves out. Walking out to our friends who saw it all happen from the car behind. My thanks go out to the guy in the white truck with a wench that just pulled my little Corolla to safety…all for a just a stern warning to be a little more careful. It was a very good year!
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