Sledding with Rage

This is a story submitted via email by a close friend and details the story of sledding during a snowstorm. Any edits were made to clarify the account.

To set the scene, there was our group of four of us, and there was another group of three adults and two kids. There were about three different paths that all converged at a dip and a jump at the bottom of the hill.

The other adults started out fast, going up and down the hill a lot, and as the night wore on, they started taking more and more time to reset and go again. To be fair, the same was true for us. After about each of our tenth times, we were starting to chug going back up the hill, and we were taking longer and longer breaks between runs. This coincided perfectly with the youngest kid of the other group, because as he gained confidence, he was going down the hill faster and hitting the jump harder so he’d land hard and take about 40 seconds to get his wind back and regain his constitution for his next climb.

It was a good excuse for us to take a couple more seconds before flying down on our own. By the time we were winding down, John was sitting at the top of the hill catching his breath before sliding down, and the kid flat out laid still on the other side of the jump. Mind you, none of us are ready to move again, I’m literally sprawled out in the snow, just trying to breathe at that point, and Christa’s passing me her saucer to take her turn because she doesn’t want to go up the hill again. We’re sitting there, chit-chatting (making jokes like we always do) about not knowing if the adults of the group were going to go down the hill, and if we should wait for the kid to move, or just plow him over. You know, nothing too serious, because we’re very rarely serious.

The adult female –that I assumed was the kid’s mother—thinks that he’s getting tired, and asks if he wants to stop. She says, “Come on up here, and we can talk about it.” So me being me, I say to Christa, “Sure, make the kid climb the hill so you don’t have to go down and climb back up.” We chuckle, and this guy that’s with them gets incensed. If this were happening in an old cartoon, his face would have morphed into a steam whistle, and he would have been erupting.

“You got a fucking problem, dude?” the guy says.

I’m still laughing at my awesome joke, so it doesn’t click that he’s talking shit to me. He continues on with, “Hey, asshole, you got a fucking problem? Leave the fucking kid alone, shithead.”

I realize he’s directing this toward me, and I say, in mid-chuckle, “Aha, what?”

“You know, you could not be a fucking asshole, and just shout down to ask him to move, you know, like a fucking human being, instead of picking on the little guy. [You’re a fucking piece of shit.]” The end of that was lost in me laughing at this scrawny shithead talking to me that way, so I’m paraphrasing based on what I heard as I started laughing more.

I start to say that my joke was actually intended toward the lazy fucks at the top of the hill, but Christa pipes up and blocks me out, “You know, that kind of language is not necessary, and it’s really obnoxious in front of the little kid.” She turns to me and starts to say something about how it really bugs her when parents talk that way in front of their kids, and he cuts her off mid-sentence.

“I was actually directing that at you,” as he glares at me. “There’s plenty of hill here, man, there’s no reason for you to be a dick about it.”

I doubt you’ve ever heard me get annoyed, but when I do get a deep ass voice. My sister calls it my “big brother voice” because I subconsciously slip into it whenever she introduces me to a guy that she’s friends with for the first time. She says it intimidates them, so she always yells at me to not use that voice when I meet and interact with her guy friends. Anyway, as my voice gets a little deeper and louder, I say, “You’re absolutely right, and it’s not like there was a problem to begin with.”

“Yeah, well just leave the kid out of it. You got something to say, say it to me,” the guy says.

I’m getting fairly annoyed now, and I say sternly, “I was actually directing my little joke at you guys, for not wanting to go down the hill to talk about leaving… That you wanted him to walk up to you.”

He keeps glaring, I go back to laughing. As a big guy, I’m sure you do the same thing I do whenever you look at another guy. You have that split second thought of, “oh yeah, I could break you,” and you’re never worried about what you say because you know that you’re bigger and stronger than 90% of the dudebros out there. But yeah, I was so nonchalant about this scrawny dude’s “threats” that I didn’t even stand up while he was trying his best to berate me. It was a non-issue to me. I just wanted it to end before it started to affect my good night.

Earlier I made the connection that he must be the mother’s boyfriend but not the kid’s father, because he was going out of his way to be super nice to this kid and do whatever he could to encourage him to get going down the hill. My analysis is that he was just overly defensive of this kid to impress his girlfriend, and I could give two shits less. I’m fat, asthmatic and tired, and I still know that I would snap this guy in half. They decide to go down one last time and head out for the night. As they start going down, we start waxing poetic about how absurd the last few minutes of our lives were, and start to laugh at it.

The guy slams his sled in the snow and glares. They stand at the bottom of the hill just looking back up at us, and slowly start walking toward their car. We continue to laugh at how strange it was for this scrawny guy to “ack a fool” out of nowhere, especially when we were confident that he’d wind up getting hurt pretty bad. John starts doing wrestling moves with his saucer, like he’d smack it over the guys face, and we’re saying how great it would have been to beat him up and roll him down the hill, and how he might wind up like a big snowball at the bottom.

Pretty uneventful, but it was incredibly entertaining. After they left, we had the entire hill to ourselves for about half an hour, and we had a great time.

I didn’t make it that night because of my own insecurities about the weather, but, had I been there, things might have gone just a little differently.


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