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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Dec. 31, 2007 / 22 Teves 5768

Safe on the slopes

By Dave Barry


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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | Here's a fun winter vacation idea: Why not go skiing?


If you answered, "Because I don't want to spend the next two years in a full-body cast," then I have good news: Thanks to modern, high-tech ski equipment originally developed for use by U.S. astronauts, 72 percent of all skiers are able to walk with assistance in less than 10 months!


Yes, things have really changed since the early days of skiing, a sport that traces its origins back to 16th Century Switzerland, where, according to legend, a man named Hans lived with his family on top of a mountain. One day, Hans' daughter became very ill, and his wife, Bernice, told him to go down to the village immediately and fetch the doctor. Hans, knowing that it would take hours to walk down the mountain, noticed two loose barrel staves that happened to be lying around, and suddenly an idea struck him. Using some leather thongs that also happened to be lying around, he attached the staves to his feet, grabbed two poles that also happened to be lying around, aimed the staves down the mountain and gave a shove. Within a matter of seconds, nothing had happened.


"Hans, you moron," explained Bernice. "It's July. There's no snow."


And so Hans had to walk manually down the mountain to get the doctor, who cured the little girl in five minutes by threatening her with leeches. But this incident got Hans to thinking, and the next day he started tinkering with some chairs and huge steel towers and powerful motors and several thousand feet of cable that happened to be lying around. By dusk, he was finished.


"Look, Bernice!" he said. "A person can ride all the way up the mountain on chairs dangling precariously from this cable!"


"If you think I'm getting on that," said Bernice, "you're crazy."


"I'm not talking about us," said Hans. "We'll stay safely on the ground and collect large sums of money."


And thus the modern ski industry was born. Today there are thousands of ski areas and, as of 8 o'clock this morning, every single one of them had excellent skiing conditions, as measured by the Official Ski Area Rating System, in which each area objectively rates its own conditions on a standardized scale that ranges from the highest possible ranking, Extremely Superb (defined as "snow or at least cold mud clearly visible in places") all the way down to the lowest ranking, Very Good (defined as "This ski resort is located in Puerto Rico").


Because different skiers have different abilities, ski resorts offer a variety of slopes, which are color-coded according to degree of difficulty, as follows:


GREEN: Steep


BLUE: Steep


BLACK: Steep


If you're a beginner, you want to avoid the steeper slopes. I would rule out Colorado altogether. One time I went skiing at the swank Colorado resort of Aspen, and the ski slope there turned out to be basically a cliff. Not coincidentally, Aspen is the home of a world-class knee-injury clinic. It's located right at the base of the mountain; the surgeons just stand around the operating room, scalpels in hand, chatting about golf, and every few minutes there's a scream, and a new patient comes crashing through the roof.


Of course, to reach that level of expertise, you'll need to take lessons. Most ski areas have ski schools, where an instructor will assign you to a class of students who are of approximately the same age, skill level and athletic ability as you, except that they are all secretly members of the Olympic slalom team. You'll see what I mean: The instructor will get you all up on top of the mountain, then say, "Follow me!" and start skiing sedately down, making graceful turns, totally under control. Your classmates, after exchanging the secret Olympic wink, will follow the instructor, making it appear as though they have never done anything like this before. Some will even fall down, but they'll get right up again as though it's no big deal.


You'll think, "How hard can this be?" So you'll push off and within seconds you'll be going so fast that your ski outfit will burst into flames from friction with the atmosphere. You'll hurtle straight down the hill, a human comet, penetrating the ski lodge directly through the wall, rocketing past the wise veterans who have elected to spend their ski vacations indoors, and coming to a violent halt in the cafeteria when you slam into the salad bar with such force that surgeons will later find individual chickpeas embedded two inches into your forehead. As you're lying there, face-down in the vinaigrette, you'll hear, from way up on the mountain, hearty Olympic laughter, plus your instructor's voice advising you: "NEXT TIME, KEEP YOUR KNEES BENT!" They encourage this because it makes you go faster.


The important thing is not to be discouraged. Remember: Everybody falls at first. The real winners pick themselves up, dust themselves off and signal for the cocktail waitperson. Remember to keep your elbow bent.

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Previously:

Why-oh-why-oh-why-oh…
A gross national columnist
Mr. Language Person: Weird word
I (cough) was a teenage smoker!
Frogs hop into the headlines
Great American turkeys
Mr. Fixit strikes again
‘Einstein Gap’: It's all relative
Lost in space
The Trojan Twinkie Caper
MR. LANGUAGE PERSON: WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE!
Feeding your worst fears
Sock it to 'em, sartorially
The rubber band man
Does public art make sense?
Needling the birthday boy
On calamities (in the sky and on your head)
Modern medical mysteries
Bored games
Dave's Field of Nightmares
Lewis and Clark stepped here!
The ultimate water gun
Poetic license, with no rhyme or reason
Great moments in science
This won't hurt a bit
One giant leap for frogkind
My visit to Nether-Netherland
Smile and say cheese
Shooting carps in Wisconsin
The perfect storm
Stickup in aisle 3
Please don't feed the tourists
Land of the Frozen Earwax
The birth of wail
Honk if you're married and can't cope with anger
Rabbit ears get poor reception
Percentage of frogs in food jumps
Night of the living roach
Mr. Language Person: Some words of wisdomality
Mind your P's and Q's and teas
Loose lips sink sequels
NOW WE'RE COOKIN'!
The right to Bear clubs
Science: It's just not fair
Road warrior specials
Where's the beef? (Low fat)
There is nothing like a male (guys)
MOTIVATE! THEN FAIL! NEW YEAR'S RESOLUTIONS
Rooting for the midgets of the Midway
Revolt of the rodents
He can drive any truck named ‘Tonka’
All bets are off
How do you spell S-A-T?
Sour grapes and mud
Pro golf: A game of non-stop boredom
Guard-dog vigilance is nothing to sniff at
Warm and fuzzy Cold War memories
The funny side of ‘Beowulf’
HOLY HEAT WAVE, BATMAN!
Abs-olute madness
Beware of brainy bugs
I'm in a sorry state
The frog plague: The inside story
If she had a hammer….
Keeping an eye on crime
Camping and Lewis and Clark
When in Iowa, don't forget to duck
Junior takes the wheel
Growing old with Dave
Sites for sore eyes
Beware of sheep droppings
Ireland, land of bad Elvis
Mr. Peabrain's misadventures
When they're out to get you, keep cool
Mothers of invention
Kill 'em with kindness



© 2006, The Miami Herald Distributed by Tribune Media Services, Inc.

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