Soiling the hearts and minds of several of God's precious children just out for an innocent sled ride in the Pennsylvania countryside. It wasn't my fault! You try taking a futuristic toboggan manned by an out-for-blood child of God careening into your kidneys at forty miles an hour and not utter some kind of inappropriate something. Shit. They're lucky I didn't come out with Captain Fuckstick or something equally hostile to young ears. Besides. It was like a public service, my cursing. Kids need to know what not to say, right? Imagine all the "Mama, that lady said a bad word" conversations I likely sparked that day. I'm a hero, is what I am.
I have my eye on this woman and her two kids from the get-go. Not only because the enormous sledlike toboggan contraption they're using looks like something Gene Simmons would use if he took a notion to hit the slopes in full KISS regalia accompanied by a cloud of smoke, but there are rules to sledding, you know? If you're on the same run as other folks you wait until someone gets to the bottom before you take your turn so you don't slice open their face before they have time to get out of your way. And when you're tromping back up to the top of the hill you walk along the sides of the runs, not up the middle because, you know, we're at the top waiting to go and you're lollygagging all over the mountain so move you fuckchop, move!
Note that we, being the sled law abiding civilians we are, wait to take our turn even though this woman and her two children are flagrantly violating every ordinance known to sledding and probably could use a good, swift sled to the shins as a lesson.
After several awkward minutes of us staring at them as they meander up the path, directly in our way, the mom and her two daughters finally get back to the top of the mountain which clears us for take-off. Violet and I gear up to take a run but the hill is so steep I decided to hike down a bit, reducing the amount of territory we'd be covering on our journey downhill. This effectively puts us halfway down the mountain, preparing to take a run like so:
Except I am where Serge is in the photo and he and Henry are cavorting somewhere out of our line of sight. I have just settled onto our sled, digging my heels into the ground to keep it from prematurely whisking us away, and am adjusting Violet in front of me when I hear the bone-chilling screams of several people above and behind me.
I barely have time to swivel my head to see the older (bigger!) of the two aforementioned daughters zooming at me in her heavy toboggan. Slow motion scenes from a movie begin to unfold. Zoom in on me as my eyes widen. Cut to her eyes widening. Back to me again as I note her speed and every muscle in my body tightens in anticipation of impact. Cut to her as she starts to scream and flail uncontrollably. Captain fuckstick, indeed. The last thing I remember are giant boots atop the Gene Simmons sled, barreling toward my gaping eyeballs. I just have time to whip my head forward and wrap my body around Violet, clenching ass cheeks so veal-like they can barely clench, to absorb the impact.
The crash, when it comes, is painful. I've been hit by a moving car before and that was nothing compared to this. My back takes the brunt of it and my body is jarred and flipped so violently that the sled, with my little daughter on it, is sent rocketing down the hillside.
As I watch my screaming daughter disappear in an out of control sled I will my body to stand and chase her. It doesn't comply. Even though the impact of the crash knocked the wind out of me I manage to shout a single word, the first word that takes shape in my mind, a word I can apparently vocalize even when all wind has been torpedoed from my system by virtue of a 40 mile an hour kick to my back and I am verging on broken spine territory... Which takes us back to where we started.
Only I didn't say fudge. I said the word. The big one. The Queen Mother of dirty words. The F dash, dash, dash word.
Like the scratch of a stopped record player in a bar signalling trouble, the word instantly silences all sledding merriment and seems to echo continuously around the snowy valley for what feels like years. Everyone stops. Everyone stares, including the girl who just tried to sever my spine with her toboggan. She is looking at me in horror. Her mother, at the top of the mountain is looking at me in horror. In the distance an eagle caws. An icicle drips a droplet of water onto the snow. I hear God sigh in disappointment, yet again.
Slowly, in the same way you hazily become aware of your ringing alarm in the morning, I realize Violet is screaming in terror at the bottom of the hill and immediately launch myself in the direction she had been thrown. She has taken a bumpy, bruising run down the hill, ending up in an area filled with rocks and scratchy weeds, but she is okay. Scared, but okay.
SCENE OF THE CRIME MOMENT BEFORE THE CRIME:
Serge appears from somewhere with Henry at about the same time I reach Violet. I'm hugging her and whispering consoling non-curse words while noting the mother of the girl who slammed into me is making her way toward me. I ignore her because I'm mad. Why did she send her kid down the hill right into me and my daughter? Because she's a flagrant violator of sledding policy, that's why. But I'm also ashamed. Embarrassed that I violated the parenting code which, pursuant to section 3,453, specifically states that under no circumstances are you to curse around other people's children. Not only had I cursed around other people's children but I had indirectly cursed at someone's child, which is like a violation of the Geneva Conventions, or something like that.
My back is killing me, my kid is screaming and God is disappointed in me again. The woman, when she approaches, simply apologizes for the crash. Well, her mouth says sorry but her eyes tell me I deserved it because I am an F-word using heathen. Which, of course she's right but, well, I still think that kid who swiped me in her Gene Simmons toboggan was out for blood. I can't be positive but I think she winked a split second before impact. So you know, according to the Geneva Conventions I'm totally justified in calling her Captain Fuckstick if I take a notion to. And I just might. God is already disappointed in me, what've I got to lose? And, as any good sledder knows, she's a flagrant sled law violator and obviously deserves every Captain Fuckstick lobbed in her direction, adorable dimples or no.