Is this what they mean by ‘Hit the slopes’?

February 13, 1998

Well, it’s Olympic time again, and that means there’s a lot of attention on skiing – especially the really big falls that send the skiers spinning through the air like tops. I’m really not sadistic or warped (although you’re more than welcome to believe otherwise). It’s just reassuring to me when I see professionals making some of the same moves I made my first – and only – time skiing. Being from an area that has pitifully small amounts of snow even during the harshest winters, I had an incredibly romantic idea of skiing. I thought it was simply a matter of pointing your skis downhill and enjoying the ride. And of course I knew the group I was with, consisting entirely of teenage guys, would get one of those young, attractive ski instructors we would all develop immediate crushes on. All in all, I assumed it would be one of those experiences that would last me a lifetime. At least I got one thing right. The instructor was a 78-year old retired auto worker, but I really didn’t have a chance to get over my shock at having a grandfather figure for an instructor. The lesson had barely started when I began to move. Honestly – I was just standing there trying to listen when my rental skis, complete with a mind of their own, took me on a ride down the amateur slope. Backwards. Then on my stomach. The instructor shouted down to me that I needed to turn my skis sideways, and walk up the hill. As I was progressing, slowly, up the slope, the skis – apparently having decided they didn’t want me wearing them – tried to get away from me again. I slid into the side fence, as far away from the rope that carried skiers back up the hill as possible. When I finally got to the rope and figured out how to use it (imagine an escalator where YOU are one of the steps), I got flipped onto my back every time I grabbed it. I spent the next four and a half hours just trying to get back up the hill, although in that time I did manage two seconds of perfect skiing. At that point, it was enough to last me the rest of my life.

Tomorrow is St. Valentine’s Day – have a happy one everybody. I have a few appropriate offerings, but remember that today, February the 13th, (which also happens to be a Friday, so don’t spill any salt, walk under ladders, or step in front of large moving vehicles) is St. Modomnoc’s Day. He’s the patron saint of beekeepers, so it’s not too early to call your significant other "honey".

Romance, Country Folk Style

Kudzu is green, my dog’s name is Blue, And I’m so lucky to have a sweet thang like you.

Yore hair is like cornsilk, A-flapping in the breeze. Softer than Blue’s, And without all them fleas.

You move like the bass, Which excite me in May. You ain’t got no scales, But I luv you anyway.

You’re as graceful as okry, Jist a-dancin’ in the pan. Yo’re as fragrant as SunDrop, Right out of the can.

You have all yore teeth, For which I am proud; I hold my head high when we’re in a crowd.

On special occasions, when you shave yore armpits, Well, I’m in hawg heaven! – I’m plumb outta my wits.

And speakin’ of wits, You’ve got plenty fer shore. ‘Cuz you married me, back in ’74.

Still them fellers at work, They all want to know, What I did to deserve such a purty, young doe.

Like a good roll of duct tape, Yo’re there fer yore man, To patch up life’s troubles, And stick ’em in the can.

Yo’re as strong as a four-wheeler, Racin’ through the mud, Yet fragile as that sanger, Named Naomi Judd.

Yo’re as cute as a junebug, A-buzzin’ overhead. You ain’t mean like no far ant, Upon which I oft’ tread.

Cut from the best pattern, Like a flannel shirt of plaid, You sparked up my life, Like a Rattletrap shad.

When you hold me real tight, Like a padded gunrack, My life is complete; Ain’t nuttin’ I lack.

Yore complexion, it’s perfection, Like the best vinyl sidin’. Despite all the years, Yore age, it keeps hidin’.

And when you get old, Like a ’57 Chevy, Won’t put you on blocks, And let grass grow up heavy.

Me ‘n’ you’s like a Moon Pie, With a RC cold drank, We go together; Like a skunk goes with stank.

Some men, they buy chocolate, For Valentine’s Day; They git it at Wal-Mart; It’s romantic that way.

Some men git roses On that special day From the cooler at Kroger; "That’s impressive," I say.

Some men buy fine diamonds, From a flea market booth. "Diamonds are forever," They explain, suave and couth.

But for this man, honey, These will not do. For you are too special, You sweet thang you.

I got you a gift, Without taste nor odor, Better than diamonds; It’s a new trollin’ motor!

Something useful for those of you seeking a meaningful relationship:

COLLABORATION AGREEMENT WHEREAS the party of the first part (hereinafter referred to as "she") and the party of the second part (hereinafter referred to as "he") are desirous of exploration an opportunity for a joint and mutually beneficial collaboration (hereinafter referred to as the "Relationship"); AND WHEREAS he is willing to invest an inital amount of time and money in investigating the potential for such a Relationship; AND WHEREAS she has determined that she is not washing her hair during the time in question; NOW THEREFORE, she, being sound of mind and fairly good body, and he, being out of his mind and into his body, agree as follows:


The parties agree to make a minimum initial investment of $200 and 4 hours each into the Relationship. During such period (hereinafter referred to as the "First Date"), each party may conduct his or her due diligence investigations to determine whether he or she wishes to proceed with the Relationship. The cash portion of his investment will be applied towards a form of entertainment to be agreed to by both parties. The cash portion of her investment will be applied towards apparel to be worn by her on said First Date.


During the First Date, each party agrees to make full, true and plain disclosure of:

(a) any and all material facts including existing dependents, bizarre religious beliefs, social diseases, extreme political affiliations, radical forms of political correctness, or currently active relationships which have not yet terminated;

(b) any deep-seated mother/father/brother/sister complexes;

(c) any family history of schizophrenia or depression;

(d) any fanatical obsessions with cleanliness, pets, careers or organized sports.

Failure to make such disclosures will result in the immediate termination of the relationship.


Should both parties agree to continue the First Date past the minimum four hour period, they may do so at the location at which either party is resident, subject to such residence meeting the minimum requirements of environmental regulation (including, but not limited to, absence of roaches, poisonous substances growing on socks, and toxic chemicals not contained in refrigerated areas).


The parties confirm that the continuation of the Relationship past the First Date neither implies nor requires any guarantee of exclusivity. Both parties mutually agree not to ask any questions about the other’s whereabouts on weekends, weeknights or holidays during the first 30 days of the Relationship (the "Dating Period"). During the Dating Period, neither party will have any "right" or "hold" over the other’s time.


Following the completion of the Dating Period, both parties may mutually agree to exercise their option to continue the relationship provided that each covenant to the other, and confirm that the other is relying on such covenants, that:

(a) such party will not refer to the other as his or her "lover", "little woman/man", "my old woman/man";

(b) such party will not call the other more than once a day on weekdays;

(c) all dates will still be made at least 24 hours in advance for another 30 days;

(d) such party will not use the "L" word; and

(e) such party will make at least one romantic and apparently spontaneous gesture within two weeks of exercising the option.

Upon the completion of the first 45 days of the Relationship, each party will return to his or her normal personality.


Any of the following events will be grounds for immediate termination and final dissolution of the Relationship:

(a) failure to return phone calls promptly,

(b) failure to limit phone calls to a reasonable number

(c) comparative statements involving an ex

(d) discovery of strange prescriptive medications in the medicine cabinet of the other party

(e) yelp-like laughter,

(f) excessive absenteeism,

(g) cold feet

(h) bad hair

(i) bad breath

(j) annoying breathing habits (including, but not limited to snoring).



Each party agrees to hold the person who arranged the underwriter of the relationship (colloquially referred to as "the matchmaker") blameless in the event that the other party is found to be a "real loser" or a "psycho bitch". For a definition of "real loser", see Maradonna: "My story", available at most bookstores, or Michael Palin as Ken in "A Fish called Wanda". For a definition of "psycho bitch", see Sharon Stone in "Basic Instinct" or Glenn Close in "Fatal Attraction", all of which are incorporated into this Agreement and form an integral part of what not to do in the Relationship.


In the event of a termination of the Relationship other than in accordance with this Agreement, each party agrees to indemnify the other for all loss, damages, and distress caused by:

(i) removal of the indemnified party from the circle of friends of the indemnifier, which friends are more fun than those of the indemnified party (if in fact the indemnified party had any friends at all), resulting in such indemnified party being left with no one to have brunch with on Sunday mornings;

(ii) the appropration by the indemnifier of what few cool friends the indemnified party has which friend consistently talk about how much fun they had the other night at the indemnifier’s dinner party, resulting the indemnified party never being able to forget about the indemnifier and move on; and

(iii) the appropriation of sweatshirts, boxers, and other paraphenalia belonging to the indemnified party.


At the time of breakup, the party being dumped (the "dumpee" – pronounced "dumpy") reserves the right to make the other (the "dumper") feel guilty for breaking up with him/her.


(a) Each party agrees to give the other at least five minutes notice before terminating said relationship.

(b) Both parties agree to remain exclusive until such time as the Relationship appears to be "on the rocks".

(c) On termination of the Relationship

(i) both parties agree to behave maturely and return compiled socks, sweatshirts, books, record albums, door keys and personal undergarments with all due haste through impartial intermediary

(ii) each party agrees to wait at least seventy-two (72) hours before engaging in sex with any of the other’s friends

(iii) both parties agree to refrain from slandering the other for a period of at least three days (bedroom performance included).

During the three days following the termination of the Relationship, both parties consent to use one of the following nebulous terms in the description of the breakup, "The timing wasn’t right", "He/she wanted more than I could give", "He/She was too involved in his/her career", He/She decided to go back to his/her

(1) girl/boyfriend,

(2) last lover

(3) hometown

(4) therapist".

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