Saturday, January 4, 2014

Sledding is not as fun when you have no sled

Here is the most recent chapter in my ongoing love affair with winter. It features my large fiancé Marshall and our Only Friend, a man we met at a coffee shop one time. (Because Marshall and I moved to Pennsylvania about a year ago, we're still in the process of becoming socialized beings -- so when I say Only Friend I'm basically exaggerating. We have at least two friends.)

To the delight/dismay of weathermen and women everywhere -- who literally cannot stop using the word "overachiever" to describe every snowfall ever -- it snowed a lot this week! With Patsy Cline as my inspiration, I decided to organize a day of sledding so that those of us in our late twenties could see through the eyes of a child, i.e. forget about our mortality for several fleeting, snow-powder-filled moments. (I have a lot of great ideas like this. You might say I'm the Peter Pan in our gang of adult children.)

There was only one problem: nobody had a sled. We didn't even know what a sled looked like these days. Should we get a toboggan? I suggested a one-horse open sleigh, but instead it was decided that a flat circular plastic disc-thing would suffice.

Wrapped in long johns and giant unattractive coats, Marshall, Only Friend, and I headed to Wal-Mart, where a store clerk texting on his phone told us that all the snow discs were officially sold out.

"No!" I screamed.

"Yes," he said.

"Oh well," said Marshall.

"Too bad," said Only Friend.

"No!" I screamed again.

Then I ran away, down an aisle.

Soon I found myself in the Holiday Clearance section (obviously), and a lightning bolt of inspiration struck me, similar to the moment when Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. Underneath a giant wad of Christmas lights were large red things called "Wreath Holders."

Round, plastic discs!
For just $7.97 (after a 75% discount) we'd found our sleds, and communed with one of history's greatest inventors. Next we drove to a mountain by a library. 

Okay, it was a small hill.

There were even some authentic kids there.
The thing about invention is that you can't expect everything to go perfectly on the first try.

Our Wreath Holders traveled about ten feet, then ground to a halt. On either side of the hill, appropriately aged adolescents whizzed by, cheering and laughing death in the face. I considered offering one of them $50 for a real sled. Only Friend advised against it.

Only Friend sits on the hill.

It wasn't so bad, though. We sledded. Sort of. For five seconds at a time each of us really, uh, plodded? Drifted? Just kind of coasted at a slow, walking pace. The Wreath Holders did their best, until my feet went numb and I coerced everyone to run back to the car. 

But I have no regrets. Neither does Benjamin Franklin. 

And so I leave you with a timeless bit of advice (Benny Franks-style):

Get to a Wal-Mart early, if you want to go sledding. And wear thick socks.


1 comment:

  1. Wreath holders! That's ingenuity! I'd love to see snow like that. (I live in a snow-less part of the world, so I look upon snow as weirdness. Very cool, though.) :)