Saturday, February 19, 2005

mompoet's surreal snow tube adventure

Okay, this won't be surreal if you are under 40, probably. But it was for me.

Friday was a Pro D Day. I took the day off work and drove the kids plus one 11 year old friend up to Cypress ski area to go snow tubing. We paid $14 each and got our instructions, then off we went. There's a rope tow. You get your snow tube (part of the deal) which has a long nylon web tether with a flexible ring at the end. The ring hooks over a doo-hickey that is attached to the rope tow. You lie in your tube like a baby going backwards uphill. Kids walking up the hill pass you easily. At the top you pop over a lip and and the tether unhooks as you slide backwards into a bowl of snow, still belly-up helpless. Then quickly you scramble out of the tube and grab the tube and get out of the way because your 14 year old is coming next and if anything he's less coordinated than you and he's big and heavy.

So there are 4 runs from which to choose. It's a gorgeous sunny day with a great view of the water and the city. The runs are long snow chutes. They must have made the snow by machine or scraped it up from all around because outside of the tubing area it's pretty brown and green. Each chute is really long and really steep, about 3 meters wide, with banked edges and a banked slow-down zone at the bottom and some of that orange net held up by bamboo sticks that provides a visual barrier that you could easily crash right through.

There are staff people at the bottom and top of the rope tow and at the top of each chute. The ones at the top of the chutes remind you of the department store elves in A Christmas Story who pitch children down a scary slide after they have their scary encounter with the boozy Santa.

So you pick one of the chutes because your daughter says it's the slowest and it's boring. Sounds like a good place to start. You sit in the tube at the top while some 50 pound kids goes flinging down the chute ahead of you, spinning like a top and screaming and banging back and forth against the banked sides like a pinball. You are helpless again, legs akimbo, hands fishing for the nylon grips on the side of the tube. I dunno about this, I dunno.

"You want a big spin?" the evil elf asks with a sadistic grin. "Not unless you want to clean technicolour spew off the tubing run," you warn. "Okay, how about just a little spin then?" This elf cannot be trusted. "Straight down please. I barf on the tilt-a-whirl." Well, that's an exaggeration, but you want to be sure that you will not get the pinball treatment. So the elf grabs you by the tongues of your boots and runs down the hill backwards, pulling you along for about 10 meters, whooping, and you have a moment to think that's kind of an intimate touch in a weird snow elf kind of way then the elf gives some kind of elf kee-ai and flips around to let you go straight down the hill BACKWARDS bumpitty skitter way too fast and you go up the banked end and your toes are around front and they graze the orange net stuff and you think you might die then you stop and get up and stagger off so the next person can go down and you say.

"That was fun. I want to do it again."

Question: I wonder if they have a training program for evil elves?

mompoet - wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!

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