Once we reach that age where supposed to be mature, clear thinking adults, a truly enjoyable part of life is somehow sucked out of us. We dismiss goofball fun as childish and beneath us.
And that’s too bad. Because what’s the point of life if you’re not having at least some fun? As I sit in my house with the outside temperatures hovering around -10 I think back to just a few years ago. (Now that I think about it, it was 20 years ago) Time flies so fast!
Anyway, my brother, the infamous Beerculees, came up from the Bronx for a visit and we decided to take my daughter sledding. At the time the nearby golf course was allowing the locals to sled on their property (which had a surprising amount of hills for a golf course.)
When we arrived the place was packed. It was perfect day for sledding. So my brother and I watched and caught up as my daughter and her friends had fun in the snow.
But as we watched we heard shouts and shrieks and raucous laughter coming from behind the adjacent hill. Once my daughter had enough of sledding and was cold enough to want to call it a day, I took her hand and her little pink plastic sled and started toward the car.
That’s when I heard the shouts and shrieks and laughter again and just HAD to find out what was going on.
So we made the trek over the hill and there I saw the most jaw-dropping slope I had ever witnessed from the top side. I looked at what I imagined the top of an Olympic ski jump looked like. And to top it off, half way down the snow curved upward forming an actual ramp that jettisoned the sledder into the air.
My daughter immediate asked me if she could sled down it. (she was always fearless, still is) I looked around and saw most of the sledders were adults although there were a few kids my daughter’s age in the mix.
I’m not a big fan of heights but I needed to try it myself before letting my daughter try.
So I got into her little pink sled with my brother looking at me as if I lost my mind and, after taking a deep breath, told my brother to give me a push.
“You sure you want to do this, Bro?” he asked eyeing me carefully.
“I’ll do it!” my daughter chirped enthusiastically.
I turned to my brother and said. “Wish me luck.”
So he did and gave me a shove.
DEAR LORD! To this very day I have never experienced anything like it. I felt like I had been shot out of a cannon and when I hit that ramp I took off into the air like an F-18 fighter jet.
With my hands tightly gripping the edges of that little pink sled I finally touched down and slowly came to a stop.
It was fantastic!
No way in hell was I going to let my little daughter do it.
When I got back to the top of the hill, Beerculees grabbed the little pink sled and quick took off down the hill. My daughter was talking with a school friend who was about to make her first trip down.
Now I had a problem. If her school friend was allowed to do it why wouldn’t I let her? On the ride home there would be wailing and gnashing of teeth and a silent treatment that would go on for weeks.
Just then, Beerculees rockets into the air with a rebel yell, apparently having the time of his life.
“I’m going next!” she said as her friend started down the hill.
As my brother trodded back and I pondered my next move my daughter’s friend hit the ramp at the wrong angle. The sled flipped and the girl crashed into the packed snow shoulder first.
I can still remember her scream.
An ambulance was called and the girl was taken to the hospital. She had a broken arm and collarbone.
Her parents sued the golf course (the bastards) and consequently all sledding there was prohibited.
Which is a shame because I still have that little pink sled in my garage and after looking at all the snow outside I know exactly where I’d like to go with it.