Vodka and Rossignol

January 9th, 1982, the first ski trip of the year. Throngs of audacious rich kids were bounding from their daddy’s Porsches and Mercedes Benz’ to flaunt their Telemark skis, Gore-Tex jackets and Lycra bibs for all to see. They were all shiny and new in the January twilight. From the other side of the parking lot Mouse sat glaring at them. He felt more than slightly apish in his Sears’s parka and polyester shell suit. He was always the odd one out, the perpetual loner forever seeking acceptance that he really didn’t want. Desirous to remain inconspicuous, Mouse sat in the cab of his fathers 74’ Dodge waiting for the last moment to sneak his hand-me-down Rossignols into the luggage compartment. With expertly orchestrated timing he slipped past the fashion police and boarded the bus to Park City.

At age 13 Mouse was well behind his classmates in two aspects. The boys occupying the back rows had been strapping sticks to their feet and barreling down mountainsides for years. This would be Mouse’s first time. These boys were no strangers to alcohol either. As the cowhide flask was passed around Mouse felt obliged to take a gulp of the vodka and coke therein; also a first for him. He drank heartily, having no idea what was soon in store.

As the Dutch courage began to take effect Mouse felt no need to not inform his new drinking buddy’s that he had never before attached skis to his feet. He actually began to brag about his prowess on the slopes. By the time the lift reached the top of the mountain it really didn’t matter that Mouse had lied. At this point he could barely even stand. God knows how he managed to make it to the drop in point. He stared down into the mogul laden abyss, set the Rossignols free to follow their own path, thanked god for his slippery polyester suit, then slid his way down the slopes. At least he could blame his temporary insanity on the cowhide flask. How he didn’t get arrested is anyone’s guess. Still, one lesson had been learned…

…Vodka and Rossignol do not a good mix make.

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