This post isn't for the Pollyannas of the world. This post is for my friend Sam. I mentioned Sam a little while ago, deeming him the world's best skiing companion. If you've used the link to my short stories there is also one story with a character named Sam. That character is NOT the same Sam but Sam did unknowingly contribute to the story (Deadweight).
The last I saw Sam was on his wedding day in Park City. I seem to recall him saying he was moving to Connecticut. After years, I got an email from Sam the other night from the Middle East. I told him to read the blog. So, in welcome of Sam's arrival I will post, in it's entirity, the one page story Sam and I wrote together a decade ago (Don't worry, Sam reads the likes of McPhee and Krakauer in his spare time and has a degree in Geology). This is gonna be sweet:
The gladiators were roasting hotdogs. Gruntor, the big one, was roasting two....
On second thought, maybe the world isn't ready for this story, yet. The highlights include the gladiator, Little Wiz, having his genitals mocked by some man-eating "Munch Fish" as they eat his ear, followed by Little Wiz taking out a personal ad in the newspaper:
Single White Gladiator, 5'1", 320 pds. wants a hot chick with a nice ten speed (please provide a picture of the ten speed).
Then there's some stuff about a jackass named Josh, some Mud Ducks and dancing worms. The story also makes use of a "cheetah" graphic from Word Perfect. The story really doesn't make much sense without that graphic. I would describe it as a cross between Edgar Rice Borroughs and Harry Potter.
I probably shouldn't tell the incriminating story of how we obtained the lumber to modify our dorm rooms or about dirty dishes, so I will tell a story about one of the best weekends of my entire life when Sam drove me and Sculpin and one of his rock-climbing friends up to his grandmother's house near Jackson, Wyoming.
Basically, we hauled up all our skiing and snowboarding equipment and spent the entire weekend cruising around the tetons on Sam's grandparents snowmobiles (or snowmachines, as Sam likes to call them). I guess I imagined the trip would be similar to when we would do backcountry skiing up Logan Canyon but it was a world apart. It was endless fields of snow and trees and mountains. It was the deepest of winter but the sun showed up anyway (we had to snowmobile just to get to the house). It was fun, even when Sam would try to shake you off the back of the snowmobile just to watch you fall. Even when we spent nearly as much time trying to get the snowmobiles un-stuck as we did riding them. Doing that thing when we towed people behind the snowmobiles to launch them off that 40 ft. cornice into that bowl of powdered sugar will be on my top ten list of life events till the end of my days. And I never thought a giant chunk of metal and plastic, like a snowmobile, could fly through the air and land so gracefully. This is due to Sam's riding knowledge, which his grandparents might dispute.
Those were the main things, but I liked the rest of it, too. When your grandmother cooked for us, that is the only time in my life that I can remember eating three home made meals every day for three days. And the Goo Cake has it's own place on my top ten list, too. I really appreciated that she made us chop wood and shovel snow off the deck to attempt to earn our keep. I didn't even mind holding the 2X4 for your grandpa as he wailed on it with a sledgehammer after what's-his-name crashed the snowmobile into a tree when we tried to cross that deep gulley.
All through life, realities never live up to the fantasies we create. I hadn't even thought to create that fantasy, but it was perfect; One of the only weekends I can describe with absolution as perfect. Water that smells like sulfur seems undesirable but in this case, it was yet another thing which separated this fantastic world from the world I usually find myself in. I liked the Elk Migration. I liked that you took us to that frozen lake in front of Square Top, even though we didn't really do anything there. It all meant a lot to me and I never told you before.
I regret saying that I was going to steal your grandmother from your grandfather. That was dumb. I just meant to say I really enjoyed myself.
Another thing about Sam: He has made good. Sculpin met my girlfriend (soon-to-be-wife) and called her "The fair Eleanor." Sam had a more derogatory name that he spoofed from the name "Eleanor." I won't mention it here, because Sam now has a daughter who he has named Eleanor and we certainly wouldn't want it following her around. My Eleanor was happy to hear about this, Sam. Thanks.