29/01/2010 by etiennefish
Last weekend (now two weekends ago) I went to Chamonix with a friend for skiing. While there I mistakenly blundered into what looked like a domestic between two very large, very angry, very smelly, creatures. When I say ‘blundered into’ in this case, I mean it quite literally. You see, in an effort to avoid getting run over by my erstwhile skiing buddy who was only hitting the slopes for the first time and hadn’t quite got the hang of either control or balance, I myself ended up flying unintentionally out of bounds, off piste, and into the great wild of trees and barely covered outcroppings of rock.
So narrow was my descent that I feared any attempt to stop or turn too wildly would end badly; namely me at the bottom of a tree well. So, against my better judgement I weaved in and out of densely packed trees, barely taking stock of my surroundings as I flew past. Finally, after what seemed like an indescribably long period of time, I shot out of the forest like one of those automatic baseball machine thingys, and smack into the arms of two very hairy brutes…we all ended up in a pile in the snow.
I had the considerable advantage of surprise on my side, which has likely contributed imeasurably to my good health today, despite my own great surprise. Unfortunately, however, I had the disadvantage of being attached to skis that were now facing awkward and wrong directions. This meant that the three of us ended up on our feet at around the same time. We spent longer than I would have liked staring at each other. I don’t think any of us knew exactly what to do. The apparent row which I had had the unfortunate opportunity to interupt was clearly forgotten and the prior animosity was now just as clearly being funnelled in my direction.
I was still struggling with the messenger bag I now regretted taking with me more than ever, and was just getting my poles sorted, when, with a bit of what might be best described as a ROAR, the larger of the hairy pair descended upon me in a flurry of fists and considerable menace. Can I just state for the record that something so large should NOT be allowed to move so fast?
To this day I have no idea how I managed to not only escape, but to do it intact and with no missing limbs, as well as to somehow make it back to the trail in time to see my skiing partner whizz past me. I must have one hell of a survival instinct that’s all I can say.
Anyway, at this point I was understandably quite terrified and was not about to take my newfound liberation for granted, so I wasted no time in setting back off down the mountain at a breakneck pace. I quickly passed up my friend and waited for him impatiently and slightly out of breath at the bottom. I did not appear to have been followed, to my great relief.
When my skiing patner finally executed a passably profient halt next to me, I basically tore the skis off his boots and dragged him to the lodge. Only after I was sitting at a table with a hot chocolate liberally laced with whiskey would I concede to explain my strange actions. When I finished my story, all he could think of to say included a number of rather choice, rather descriptive, strings of impressive profanity, and the wondering statement, ‘so that’s where the shiner came from. I thought you had just hit yourself in the face with the tip of your own ski when you mysteriosly lost your balance for no apparent reason on that easy flat bit back there, and did what looked like a fair piece of acrobatics before tumbling/crashing off through the trees. But your the experienced skiier. I’m glad you cleared that up for me.’
I for my part was also glad I’d let him in on the truth as well. How embaressing would it have been if he thought I gave myself a black eye while merely losing my balance?
PS- I had written another entry which added to this one, but which was apparently lost when my ipod lost internet connection (yes, I wrote this on my ipod. Yes, I had a very long bus ride home, and a lot of scary nightmares of hairy beasts to avoid). Anyway, the additional entry discussed, with citations, scholar’s assertations, that the abominable snowman, big foot, yeti, etc. does in fact exist, and the different species are descended from creatures such as Neanderthals, Australopithecines, wild humans, aliens, and others. I will attempt to recreate this article at a later date, and am very sad to hear of it’s demise…