Sunday, December 18, 2005
"...like a soccer mom on crack"
Ah good God! What a busy weekend, and I am horribly underprepared for going home!
On Friday, I was supposed to be going night boarding with Nate, but it fell through cause the skijo was closed. :( So me, Nate and Joe went to dinner. Nate and Joe ate tempura garlic cloves (smelly!). Hung at Lindsay's for a wee while, then Joe and I went back to mine. Watched Buffy. Slept. Woke up, felt cold, room smelled like garlic. Went to city. Read musical script with a bunch of people.
Came back mid afternoon, met by Nate at train station, and BOARDED! What an epic. We left Miyoshi at 4.30pm totally fired up, thinking we'd arrive nice and early, eat our conbini dinner in the car, and be on the slopes promptly by 6.30pm, when the night session starts. HA!
The trouble started about halfway up the mountain, when we ran into the back of a queue of cars, all stopped for no apparent reason. We got out, and managed to pick up that the ski bus was coming down from the day session, and we had to pull off the road to let it past. Ok. We pulled off the road... and got stuck in the snow! We were in a teeny weeny k-plate car, and hadn't put chains on yet. So we needed a push to get started again.
Not 10 minutes later, we ran into ANOTHER line of stopped cars. Again, out we got, and it seemed another bus was coming down. Ok. We figured we'd put the chains on this time. We silently cursed the huge 4x4 monsters, and their smug drivers as they pulled away from us, and set about wrestling the chains onto the front wheels. Well, Nate wrestled. I held the torch. :) The bus came down the hill, and we waved to it as it passed. Probably the filthiest, most suprised looks either of us had ever received from Japanese people. Chains on, we were good to go!
Now we were second in a line of cars, ahead of us a Ford pickup, which looked like it could handle anything. Not so, it would seem. It looked like the car had no snow tyres or chains on (suicide on this crazy-ass road). Time and again, we would start to go up a bit of an incline, and time and again, we would see the back wheels of this beast spinning furiously, while the front ones refused to budge. Tsk. Back wheel drive. (Nate taught me about the difference between front and back wheel drive while we were sat waiting, so I feel quite justified to tsk) Nate finally got fed up with this, and at the next hill, got out to see what was up. When he got out, the drivers behind followed his lead, and between them, they managed to get the pickup up the hill. By this time, it was getting late, and we were getting rather impatient to still be stuck out on the road.
Yet again, though, the Ford struggled at the next hill. We watched incredulously as the driver tried and tried to gun it over an icy pothole, and failed time and again. Once again, the other drivers got out. This time it was game over. Nate reported that the concensus was that the truck should pull off and let everyone pass. They had been "voted off the island". Hee hee! Nate got in, put the car in drive... and we listened in disbelief to the unmistakable sound of tyres spinning without finding traction. Nate eased, off, tried again. Nothing. WTF?? We've got chains! We've got snow tyres! What's the deal here?! We looked at eachother, horrified at the thought that WE had become the roadhogs, holding everyone else up. We tried again, and this time I heard a different noise. The noise of a "soccer mom on crack".
Let me describe this concept to you. In the UK, we have PTA parents. You know the type. They stay in the Wimpies, they drive Rovers or Vauxhalls. Their children are named Sarah or Kevin. They like to push their kids. They help out at the school sale, or disco, or play. In the US, they have soccer moms. Moms who drive huge station wagons, whose sons are on sports teams (soccer) and who go to every game, screaming their little darlings on. They're probably on the PTA too. I bet they have names like Joyce. Or Shelley. Or Bree (Desperate Housewives, anyone?).
Well, Nate's strategy for getting his tin can of a car moving again was to scream at it like, well, a soccer mom on crack. It's ear shattering. "COME ON BABY, COME ON BABY, BABY YEAH, WOOO HOOOOO, COME ON BABY, ALLLLLRIIIIIGHT, WOOOOO HOOOOOO!!!". And you know what? It worked. The car found the bite, and we edged forward. Awww yeah! Let's hear it for the soccer mom (that's him showing off his ski wear)! We edged past the stuck truck, and I got a look at the occupants: two girls, looking far from happy. Bloody Kagawans. They should stay in Kagawa. Safely on the road again, albeit with a severe case of tinnitus, we made good progress up the mountian. We rounded a bend, and were confronted by what can only be described as a pile of snow boulders. I actually thought at this point that we had been defeated, but Nate found his inner soccer mom again, and the car shuddered sort of over and around the obstacle.
By this time, it was past 7pm, so the order of the day was "Screw the food, find a toilet, and get on the slopes!". Which we did. I had an excellent first board of the season, and for a near-first timer, Nate is a fantastic boarder. We had one unfortunate incident, where my board got wedged where the sun don't shine (that would be Nate's, not mine), while his board decided to beat my elbow up, but apart from that, we were beautiful. I even managed to do a wee jump, which felt good. Haven't really hung out with Nate for a while, so it was nice to chat away with him while having tonnes of fun.
Tired, somewhat sore, but very happy, we called it a night just before 10pm. Sadly, the mountain hadn't finished with us, and not five minutes after we took the chains off, we had a bit of a bump. Nothing serious: I have a wonderful purple knee today, and the headlight casing of the car got smashed, but we were otherwise fine. Except that the car was a lender whilst Nate's own car was being fixed after a crash earlier this week. Eek.
It was snowing heavily even down in town. On the drive home, I saw a lady walking in the snow, lit by the sodium yellow glow of a streetlight. I was reminded of one night years ago. I think it was Christmas Eve. Me, mum and dad were still up, late into the night, and we had switched off all the lights apart from the Christmas treee lights. We had opened the window blinds, and were watching a blizzard outside. I remember seeing a family from down the street, bundled up against the weather, on their way home from the church watch night service. I just have this one image of their forms, and the only light being the street lamp they were walking under, and I remember feeling so safe and warm and happy inside, sitting beside Dad, watching the crazy weather. I'm going home on Thursday. :)