It’s Kellie’s World, and that usually means I do as Kellie desires. When I ignore that simple rule and neglect to conform to my wife’s wishes, I usually find myself imperiled, as I did during a skiing and snowboarding trip to Squaw Valley several years ago.
We awoke to light flurries on day three of our vacation. Kellie, who prefers to avoid winter sports in any kind of precipitation, suggested that we forget snowboarding and visit the mall instead. Since I rather die than go shopping (a fate I almost achieved), I led the family in a minor mutiny and we coerced her onto the slopes.
After a couple of hours on the bunny hill, Kellie wanted to summit and attack a few black diamond runs. Lacking the requisite skill, I demurred, but Kellie, an expert skier, goaded me into agreement by using the one tactic that only wives can employ: she promised to wax my board, later.
As the chairlift ascended the mountain, conditions deteriorated rapidly. The snowflakes grew bigger and the wind blew harder. Visibility dropped. Other skiers were taking no chances and rode the lift back to the lodge. Kellie refused to follow their example. I was in trouble.
We jumped off the lift and headed down. I didn’t get very far, upright, but I covered a good distance flopping downhill like a rag doll, alternating between face-plants and butt-plants. Frostbitten and hypothermic, I regained my stance and plucked the snotsicles hanging from my nose, grimacing with pain as the frozen mucus mass proved to be very effective at removing unwanted nostril hair. My glasses were encased in a thick layer of ice, forcing me to navigate the mountain with 20/800 uncorrected vision. Kellie urged me to keep moving downhill, but I was exhausted from dozens of poorly executed front flips and double McTwists. I told her to go on without me and to send the ski patrol back to retrieve my frozen corpse.
Kellie took off and quickly disappeared into a swirling haze of snow. Looking around, I saw nothing but white in every direction. Listening intently, I heard nothing but the wind howling in my ears. I did the only thing a naval commander like myself could do in this situation: I pathetically yelled for help.
The mountain rescue team located me quickly thanks to my strong, manly vocal beacon. They swaddled me in thermal blankets, packed me a rescue stretcher and slid me to safety. When I emerged from my cocoon, I was greeted by a chorus of teasing and taunts from my wife and her brothers.