To the delight/dismay of weathermen and women everywhere -- who literally cannot stop using the word "overachiever" to describe every snowfall ever -- it snowed a lot this week! With Patsy Cline as my inspiration, I decided to organize a day of sledding so that those of us in our late twenties could see through the eyes of a child, i.e. forget about our mortality for several fleeting, snow-powder-filled moments. (I have a lot of great ideas like this. You might say I'm the Peter Pan in our gang of adult children.)
There was only one problem: nobody had a sled. We didn't even know what a sled looked like these days. Should we get a toboggan? I suggested a one-horse open sleigh, but instead it was decided that a flat circular plastic disc-thing would suffice.
Wrapped in long johns and giant unattractive coats, Marshall, Only Friend, and I headed to Wal-Mart, where a store clerk texting on his phone told us that all the snow discs were officially sold out.
"No!" I screamed.
"Yes," he said.
"Oh well," said Marshall.
"Too bad," said Only Friend.
"No!" I screamed again.
Then I ran away, down an aisle.
Soon I found myself in the Holiday Clearance section (obviously), and a lightning bolt of inspiration struck me, similar to the moment when Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity. Underneath a giant wad of Christmas lights were large red things called "Wreath Holders."
Round, plastic discs!
For just $7.97 (after a 75% discount) we'd found our sleds, and communed with one of history's greatest inventors. Next we drove to a mountain by a library.
Okay, it was a small hill.
|There were even some authentic kids there.|
Our Wreath Holders traveled about ten feet, then ground to a halt. On either side of the hill, appropriately aged adolescents whizzed by, cheering and laughing death in the face. I considered offering one of them $50 for a real sled. Only Friend advised against it.
|Only Friend sits on the hill.|
It wasn't so bad, though. We sledded. Sort of. For five seconds at a time each of us really, uh, plodded? Drifted? Just kind of coasted at a slow, walking pace. The Wreath Holders did their best, until my feet went numb and I coerced everyone to run back to the car.
But I have no regrets. Neither does Benjamin Franklin.
And so I leave you with a timeless bit of advice (Benny Franks-style):
Get to a Wal-Mart early, if you want to go sledding. And wear thick socks.