Or, And The Gold Medal For Clumsiness Goes To…
The last big event of LawyerCon 2015 was a visit to Park City, home of the 2002 Winter Olympics. The highlight was to be a ride down the same 4-man bobsled course that the Olympians did in 2002.
Once again, Laurie had signed us up for this in advance. She was so excited. “Riding in a bobsled on an Olympic track? This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience!”
Laurie’s very big on once-in-a-lifetime experiences, especially ones that involve climbing up a mountain to see a lake or careening down a fiberglass chute in a metal coffin.
My bucket list is more like “go to Comic-Con” or “eat a burrito in all 50 states.”
I know my limits.
Still, riding in a bobsled sounded like fun. Until we got there.
Back on the bus, back down the mountain then out several miles to Park City. We didn’t make the first round of people to go up the hill and ride the bobsled so instead we hung out in the Olympic Museum where Laurie tried her hand at simulated ski jumping. She was pretty good at it. There were people walking around with appetizer plates but nothing looked too appetizing.
Andrew did some downhill skiing and then looked a bit stressed so we found a quiet room and played with the iPad. It was time to eat but I didn’t want to eat before careening down a fiberglass tube in a metal coffin, so I said I’d eat when we got back. Eventually the bus came to take us up the hill.
The first thing when we get off the bus is they herd you into a room where they make you sign a waiver that you will not hold them responsible for your upcoming concussion, abrasions and who knows what else. Is this a joke? Oh no, they were not joking. In walks Jeff Spicoli in snow gear. As usual, the lawyers were all talking and laughing it up. Jeff would have none of it.
“Listen up, people. This is serious. This will be the most extreme, intense thing you have ever done. If you don’t do everything just right you will be injured.”
He then proceeded to list all the conditions you shouldn’t have if you’re going to ride a bobsled. I only had two of them. No, I was not pregnant. Now I’m getting scared. I thought this was going to be a fun little amusement ride. They’re making it sound like some kind of dangerous sport.
I don’t need this. But I can’t wimp out now. Again. Not two days in a row. My manhood card already looks like it’s been through the wash a dozen times. How much more can it be tattered?
But I really don’t want to die. Not in a bobsled. Why is my wife out to get me?
““Honestly, officer, I can’t believe this happened! Who knew he had low kidney function and high blood pressure? He never tells me anything! He just kept saying how this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and he just couldn’t miss it. Oh, tragedy! How will I go on?”
I’m looking for an out. He’s sitting right next to me.
“You know, I really don’t think we should put Andrew on this. He’s not going to understand the rules. He won’t know to keep his head up and his arms a certain way. I’m afraid he’ll get hurt.”
“We’d better ask the experts.”
“Dammit. Well, I don’t want you to miss out. I’ll stay up here with him.”
“Are you sure? It’s a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“Well, I’ll admit I’m disappointed, but you deserve it more than me.”
Laurie finds a team that’s short a person, grabs a helmet and joins them. I sigh with relief and go sit on the picnic table with Andrew.
Sigh. Well, I’m up here and I’ve got nothing better to do and at least this way it will look like I did something. So I bravely go up and join two younger, stronger men behind the bobsled. We start to run. I forget that I don’t run. The sled pushes off, I lose all sense of balance and slam into the cold, hard surface below.
Needless to say, I was the only person injured that night.
Eventually it was Laurie’s turn to ride. I managed to get off one shot before it was out of range. She came back all giddy. “That was the best thing ever!” she said. I smiled and nursed my bleeding knee.
When we got back down the hill the food was mostly gone and mostly cold. They had some professionals put on a show where they ski jumped into the Olympic pool. It was pretty entertaining.
Afterwards it was time to go home but first we had to stop at the gift shop (The Olympic people were smart enough to know to keep their’s open. And did they make a lot of money? You bet they did.) so Laurie could buy a shirt that brags about how she survived the bobsled ride.
“I was going to get one for all of us but now I can’t,” she said.
I was fine without one.
Tomorrow: The anti-climactic conclusion