taking the passive out of passive-aggressive

Sunday, January 23, 2005

When I think of sledding, I think of gentle rides down sloping hills, children laughing, and hot chocolate afterwards.

This is not how it goes at Suicide Hill.

Every town has a Suicide Hill, but I doubt any of them compare to this half-mile-long, half-mile-wide straight drop, where your starting speed is approximately 30mph. Going down Suicide Hill is a great deal more like lugeing than sledding, and only the toughest survive.

Our attempt was short-lived, to say the least. First of all, my idea of really good winter attire is jeans with tights underneath, a puffy pink jacket, combat boots, furry white gloves, and Hello Kitty ear muffs. Within a few minutes of stepping outside, I felt like I was in a Jack London story. Amanda was better prepared, with snowpants and aa ski jacket and waterproof gloves and snowboots, but even she began to cry as the 60mph winds gusted into her face (and this was BEFORE we started sledding).

Trying to be tough, I said, "Oh, come on, let's go down once. We'll wrap our scarves around our faces and we'll be fine." We climbed onto the little red sled, her in front, and set off. Within milliseconds, ice crystals had formed across our faces and we were both screaming and weeping. At the bottom of the hill we lay in a heap, toes and fingers and noses in serious danger of frostbite. Amanda said tearfully, "I wanna go HOME, this is NOT FUN!" I agreed.

The problem was, we had to walk all the way back up the hill to the car. That walk was the longest journey of my life. I felt sure we'd end up in the hospital getting our toes amputated. At one point, Amanda fell into a snowdrift and lay there, as though she'd given up. I wished we had sled dogs to pull us along as we lay, unmoving. "Just a few more feet," I muttered hoarsely. "Don't give up. Don't give up!" The Hello Kitty ear muffs kept slipping off my head, and my gloves were wet and cold. Would we make it?

At the top of the hill we ran into Jameer and his mommies, cheerful and ready for their first ride. "That was a great run!" they shouted cheerfully. I guess they didn't notice that our entire faces were covered in a sheet of ice and my mascara was dripping down my cheeks. "Um, yeah," I said, "But I think we're done."


At 7:13 AM, Blogger XLT said...

As a kid I remember our "Suicide Hill" was actually on the undeveloped property behind my house. It was just known as "the weeds", and it was an undulating mass of turf that backed into the street behind us, perched on a massive hill. It even came complete with a rickety set of wooden steps to cut through.

The benefit of our "Suicide Hill" was that every Summer the local redneck brothers took lawnmowers and cut lanes into the weed patch. These were perfect for them doing daredevil tricks on a Sting-Ray bike. They even cut a ramp into one of the short mounds for extra danger.

So, every Winter our neighborhood sledding run was ready to go for all the kids from Longport Drive to Deerfield Road. We'd grab our Flexi-flyers and cheep plastic saucers, tromp up the steps, and make runs until our asses were numb.

At 9:40 AM, Blogger sweetney said...

nice new look, spanky!

At 9:57 AM, Blogger The Cybrarian said...

It is a hot new look! I like!


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