Wednesday, October 29, 2008

What's the scariest...

part about this time of year????

Libby's Pumpkin

The thought of nearly 6 months without skiing.

Rykert's Pumpkin

hopefully there will be pics of my non-PC halloween costume by next week.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Old school storytime...

Part 2


They say the bonds of brotherhood are never broken. well, I don't know who the hell said it, but I'm sure someone did. Probably that same "they" idiot alleged to be the author of countless other aphorisms, witticisms, and helpful hints. But enough about authorless quotes, for now.

During my time at Auburn, I learned of Alabama's culture, a strong sense of family and a brittle truce between years of prescribed tradition and shift in attitudes induced by an ever-varying demographic, from Jodee and Jay Vick.

Jodee, who believed that freshmen should not be allowed to speak, was the only ski team veteran willing to put up with my eager, yet car less, drive to be a part of the ski team. for Jodee, "if a pig didn't die, it's just not breakfast." Part Jeff Foxworthian prototype, part socialist, he always provided conversation fodder for philosophy and psychology students.

Jay, right or wrong, must have concluded that time-released adrenalin was added to every can of Natural Light. He told me once "without an adrenaline rush every now and then, you might as well be dead." the sensations of speed and flight in slalom and jump, were at the base of his life force, and he sure could drink a lot. Getting drunk required a full commitment, and he often delivered. He was also the type who only missed church if he was jumping at a tournament, or the race began before noon.

They had a bond like JB weld (anyone who has ever used it to repair a trick ski knows what i mean). They lived together, drank the same beer, (natural light, they even converted Chad Kidwell for a time. Of course Chad is an industrial engineer living in the suburbs of Huntsville right now, so natty light is a bit below his present means), voted identically at club meetings, and bitched like blue-haired grannies while at the lake.

They both liked to get drunk on occasion, especially on Saturday night at collegiate tournaments. If we were competing in Milledgeville, they took it to another level (the drinking, that is. Jodee said he never slalomed for shit at Walmead). After the traditional Mexican feast at the El Sombrero (my personal favorite of all the ski-town Mexican dives). The whole team, well, the whole conference was out a a bar downtown. it was the place next to the opera house, and, I confess, I can't remember the name. The usual debauchery followed: drinking, dancing, regrettable hookups, emesis, and loss of consciousness.

Todd Titus of Clemson and Chad Kidwell performed a series of interpretive bodily convulsions, so no one else seemed too out of place on the dance floor. Sadly, neither Jodee nor jay could reach the floor. Whiskey, beer, and a bar blocked their path. near closing time, both were sloshed, fading in and out of the natural world. It was last call, jump comes ealry on Sunday morning, so it was time to go home (motels become "home" when involved in collegiate water-skiing). As usual, the first order of business was to gather up all those who could no longer take care of themselves. That night "those" happened to be Jodee and jay. Christy, usually a very sloppy drunk, stayed remarkably sober (by her own standards, which meant that she did not puke before finishing dinner).

Scouring the bar for the brothers, we found Jodee and Jay seated back-to-back, each supporting the other's now-numb body. Gazing from below, Jodee slurred "where's jay?." From behind, the drunk-tank crew heard Jay gurgle, "we can't leave without Jodee!" Amazing. Their awareness reduced to almost nothing, they were still each other's first priority.

A double in-bar pass out merely catalyzed the memorable part of that night. As always (from 94-98) yours truly was driving the drunk bus (the "drunk bus" was a 1991 mercury tracer, dubbed "the turtle" by Chad Kidwell). With great intestinal fortitude, Jay survived the trip to the motel without puking. After falling out the door into the Milledgeville Holiday Inn (what a great motel!) Jay could last no longer. He sprayed the right rear tire with partially digested tacos and natural light. The river of Jay's rejected caloric input seemed to flow endlessly, from his mouth all the way to the highway.

A few minutes later, Jodi Elliot transported Jodee and Christy to the motel room (officially, only four occupants slept in the room that night). Jay moved a bit more slowly. hauling nearly all of his now-gangly mass, yours truly helped him up the stairs and placed his ravaged body on the second floor balcony. Not wanting to puke on himself, Jay stuck his head through the railing. born with a neck narrower than his cranium, he was stuck. A few exhausted cries for help later, the sober driver hears him, and realized that no one else had a head clear enough to offer help. With a heave that rivaled that of men many times larger, he yanked Jay's head through the narrow space between the bars. Jay lay there all but unconscious. He could neither walk nor crawl across the four feet of balcony that separated himself from the motel room door, and near-death slumber. There was only one thing to do. Just like the caveman after selecting a mate, our sober hero slung Jay over his shoulder, walked him into the room and placed him on the floor. Jay was out cold.

By this time, the room's air conditioner could have given the shivers to a penguin. Jodee and Christy were both asleep on chairs. Lost in the dream of a Metallica concert mosh pit (at least that's my theory), Jodee's head bobbed furiously, but his sleep was not roused. Christy, infested with chill bumps, lay there lifelessly. All were asleep. Our sober hero pushed his way into a bed for much-deserved, (and much needed) rest. That morning, we all heard Jodee's first words of the day: "owwwww! my neck really hurts!" we told him why. Waking up in a cold shiver, Christy, now barely aware of her surroundings, screamed at the top of her lungs "I HATE ALL Y'ALL FUCKERS!" Christy must have believed that somewhere in the ski club by-laws (wherever the hell they are, if they even exist), the is a rule granting blanket priority to the first skier to pass out in a cold motel chair. Christy then stomped across 2 mattersses and the backs of 5 or 6 still-inebriated skiers. Her last step nearly heimliched Robert. After a concussive door-slam, she locked herself into the bathroom.

That was one hell of a tournament. Both Jay and Jodee jumped the next day, posting respectable scores.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Thanks to my College friend...

Robert for unearthing this from his vast archive of floppy discs. It was on the now-defunct Auburn Waterski Team alumni webpage, newly reincarnated on facebook.

This is a story, set in 1996, about nearly running out of gas in Deliverance, Georgia, while in transit from Auburn, AL to West Palm Beach, and that slice of Heaven on Earth, Okeheelee park.

It probably went something like this in Christy's accord:

"I’m almost empty, we'll stop in Columbus. Gas is cheap in Georgia," Christy said

"uhh huhhhhhhh," Jodee acknowledged.

Christy had the first shift, and Jodee was asleep. We took off at midnight so we could have the road all to ourselves. Chad’s jeep had almost half a tank.

"Hey Chad, we can hold out for a while. Let’s not mess with backing the trailer up to the pump." I said.

"Good idea, Rykert. What do you think, trey?" Chad asked.


"What’s taking them so damn long? We could have filled up the car and the boat already." asked Rykert.

"Look. Jodee just walked out. Maybe he wants you to split a lottery ticket with him?" said Chad.

"Shut up Chad!" Rykert snapped.

Christy’s car took off, her engine sipping the precious fuel. "P
"Pull over, you could pay for the entire trip if we stopped in at amateur night"

"Pig! All men are pigs!" screamed Christy!

"If you start running low on cash, don't blame me. I gave you an idea"

Jodee worked the folding seat and tilted the brim on his O’Neill cap. He was asleep in minutes, less than ten.
Ahead, Chad, Trey, Rykert, and 3000 pounds of Malibu response plodded along in Chad's Jeep Cherokee.

"Chad, i could never live in South Georgia. Open spaces are nice, but this is a bit ridiculous. I haven’t seen anything resembling civilization in an hour" exclaimed Rykert

"What are you talking about? This place is great. They play tough high school football down here" screamed Trey

"Trey’s awake!"

Chad's yellow fuel light kicked on.

"Trey, your state sucks, there's nothing down here except peanut farms, and NOTHING is open past 12 outside of Columbus!" explained Rykert

"It’s about time for some gas. Do you know if there's anything around here that is open? My light has been on for the past ten minutes."

"i just saw a sign that said Richland was 20 miles ahead. Usually any town big enough to get its name on a sign 20 miles away will have an all-night gas station."

"I hope so, or else we might have to siphon out of the boat."

"Chad, we ran the gas out of the boat this afternoon when we skied. Remember, the pissing in your wetsuit, Jodee nearly skiing into a bass boat?"

"This is gonna be close, I need to slow down a bit." Flashing trailer lights shook Christy out of her highway hypnosis

"Jodee, wake up, Chad’s pulling into this town. he must need gas. "

"Man, this place looks deserted. Maybe we should stop at this hotel and ask if they have all night gas"

"Chad, this place is a ghost town. It’s like that ray Bradbury story where everything in this automated town still worked but the all the people were dead."

"Yeah, it's kind of spooky."

"There’s the police station, let's pull in there and ask where the nearest place to get gas is."

"Look, there's Jodee and Christy."

The only signs of life in richland and trey all rolled out of those two cars. Rykert walked up to the front door of the richland pd. Then he turned back.

"Jodee, the police station is closed. I can't believe it. Of all the redneck, backwoods blue law southern nowheresvilles, I have never heard of one where the police station closes at night. I feel like I’ve died and gone to eternal mayberry."

Chad interjected "we're screwed, 'cause I’m running on fumes."

"Well, we could steal some of this police station gas. This pump looks like it works."

"What if we get caught?"

"Who’s going to catch us, all the cops are in bed?"

"There’s a light on in the house behind that tree, somebody could be watching, maybe a cop lives there."

"Turn the pump on and see if it works."

"It’s got a lock on it. What kind of tools do we have?"

Jodee studied civil engineering in class, but his dad, a few failed slalom course installations, a pocket knife, and good old fashioned redneck know-how all combined into a remarkable ability to jerry-rig on a minute's notice.

"Ok, here's what we'll do. Chad, you take off and head down the road. I saw a hotel up the road while me and Christy were looking for a gas station. There’s a hose around the side of it. If we park on the side, it's dark and nobody will see us. I’ll cut off a piece and we'll siphon gas from Christy’s car if you run out."

"Jodee, that's not going to work, somebody is going to see you. We don't have enough money to get you out of jail."

"It’s either that or sleep on the side of the road, hoping you don't hear dueling banjos whistling through peanut fields "

"Let’s go Chad, maybe we'll get lucky, I mean, get lucky and find a gas station. Don’t look at me like that!"

Everyone, now wide-awake from 35 degrees of dead Georgia air regrouped to his car.

"I can't believe we've made it this far. The light has been on forever. It’ll be any minute now"

"Just keep it around 40 and don't accelerate going uphill."

"I mean, this place is just dead! I can't believe there is absolutely nothing out here."

"Chad, that's Jodee and Christy coming up from behind."

"I hope he got... holy shit! Look out the window!"

The cars were right beside each other, window down. Jodee stuck out his arm, raising 10 feet of coiled garden hose to the black sky





"Ok, roll the windows up, I’m cold."

"Rykert, I would have given anything to see that: Jodee with his knees in the dirt, cutting as fast as

He could. "

"Yeah, and looking over his shoulder every five seconds. Of course that's not as funny as some of the

Just-in-case excuses that he was trying to invent at the time"

"Yeah, he'll be telling the cop: well, it was either that or steals gas from the police station, but i was afraid they had a neighborhood watch. Oh, what a nightmare that would have been."

About five minutes later, a gas station popped up over the hill. Chad put 20.5 gallons into his twenty-gallon tank.

Jodee and Christy evaded arrest twice on that trip. While driving through west palm, they detoured through an upscale Palm Beach county golf course. Both a little tipsy neither knew their location until they almost ran over a golf ball-washer.

Trey was only awake for about 30 minutes of the entire 14-hour trek. That time must not have included his driving shift through who-knows-where Florida. Chad and rykert were pale and nauseous from fear.

Speaking of Chad and rykert, the trip nearly claimed both their lives. After returning to auburn with nothing to do for a few days, they decided to drive straight through to Chad’s house in Huntsville.

Neither had the energy for the last leg of the drive. They swapped driving duty every fifteen minutes, then every ten, then every five, sometimes stopping to run around on the side of 1-65, at two in the morning.

For all the memories and blunders, no charges were filed.