Ski­ing can be fun

The Covington News - - Newton At Play - Lewis Griz­zard Colum­nist Lewis Griz­zard was a syndi­cated colum­nist, who took pride in his South­ern roots and of­ten wrote about them. This col­umn is part of a col­lec­tion of his work.

DEER VAL­LEY, Utah — Ski­ing can be a lot of fun. My fa­vorite parts are tak­ing off those heavy boots at the end of the day and get­ting some feel­ing back in my hands and feet sev­eral hours af­ter I have left the frigid slopes.

But snow ski­ing does have its an­noy­ances, and peo­ple should be made aware of these be­fore they de­cide to take up the sport and go out and spend a lot of money on equip­ment and air­line tick­ets to take them to such ski re­sorts as Deer Val­ley, which is lo­cated in the ma­jes­tic Wasatch Moun­tains, 50 min­utes from the air­port in Salt Lake City where all those Mor­mons live.

As a pub­lic ser­vice to those who may think they would like to join the grow­ing hordes of snow-skiers, I thought I might men­tion a few of the prob­lems one should be quite fa­mil­iar with be­fore de­cid­ing to travel 2,000 miles to freeze half to death in a $ 400 ski out­fit.

LEARN­ING TO SKI: It is easy to learn to ski. All you do is point your skis down­hill and off you go. What is dif­fi­cult to learn is how to turn on skis and how to stop on skis.

I saw a man ski into a con­do­minium once be- cause he had not learned to turn or stop. He was fine af­ter they turned his head back in the right di­rec­tion, but the condo owner’s wife, who was giv­ing a Tup­per­ware party when the in­truder skied into her liv­ing room, was never quite the same af­ter the in­ci­dent.

SKI­ING CAN BE A HAS­SLE: The pain-inthe-neck fac­tor in ski­ing is one of the high­est in out­door sports.

You have to carry your skis a lot, and they are heavy and un­wieldy.

You have to learn to walk in those boots, which hurt your feet and an­kles, and you have to wear long un­der­wear, which itches. If you don’t like heavy lift­ing, your feet and an­kles hurt­ing, and itch­ing from long un­der­wear, I would sug­gest you for­get ski­ing and take up bowl­ing, where the only bad part is wear­ing those silly look­ing red and green shoes.

FALL­ING: Ev­ery skier, no mat­ter how ad­vanced he or she be­comes, oc­ca­sion­ally will fall into the snow. This can be painful, not to men­tion hu­mil­i­at­ing. When you fall, it is best to feign a heart at­tack so no­body will think you are so unath­letic you couldn’t find the fin­ger­holes in a bowl­ing ball.

FIF­TEEN-YEAROLDS: The most dan­ger­ous thing on a ski slope is a 15-yearold boy go­ing flat out who doesn’t care if he gets killed or if he kills some­body else. Why no­body has been able to find the abom­inable snow­man is be­cause he’s hid­ing from l5-year-old boys on skis.

THE COLD: Sane peo­ple go to the Caribbean in win­ter.

SKI IN­STRUC­TORS: All the male ski in­struc­tors look like Greek gods. Your wife and/ or girl­friend will spend hours star­ing at the male ski in­struc­tors in those tight, male-ski-in­struc­tor pants.

Fe­male in­struc­tors, on the other hand, look weather-beaten and are for­mer col­lege field hockey play­ers.

THE MOR­MONS: The Mor­mons are in charge of ev­ery­thing in Utah, in­clud­ing the state’s liquor laws, which are so com­plex it’s eas­ier to drive to Wy­oming to pick up a six-pack than it is to stay in Utah and try to fig­ure out which day it’s not against the law to or­der a vodka tonic if you’re left-handed.

If you still want to take up ski­ing af­ter read­ing this, good luck. If you don’t, I’m glad I warned you. If you have de­cided to join the Mor­mon church, re­mem­ber, Brigham Young didn’t ski ei­ther.

With all those wives, he didn’t have the time or en­ergy.

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