March 07, 2002
Headline (by popular demand): Test Monkey Pulls Groin

Headline (by popular demand): Test Monkey Pulls Groin

“Gosh Scott, it’s almost time for the ski trip and Banger hasn’t tried to do something stupid to get himself in trouble.” Laura inquired.
“Well, come to think of it, we did get a bunch of strange answering machine messages” Scott replied. “And he did call from Apres Ski in the Austrian Alps to rub it in.”
“I’m not buying it.” Said Laura suspiciously.
“Yeah, me neither. Keep your eyes open.”

My plan was to get to the condo before heading to the airport, to set a few traps, but my Munich flight was delayed, so I got a late start. The arrival was fine, other than Bill and Scott maliciously jumping on me in the baggage claim area. I also was abused for waking up Scott at 11:30pm to verify flight info the night before. What a wimp.

After an hour drive, with a stop for food and such, we arrived at the condo. There was a ping-pong table, pool table, multiple kitchens, lots of porches and a killer view of the lake. (Hey Fat Bastard! Two washers and two dryers!) The required hot tub on the deck was, amazingly, working but it was as cold as Laura’s personality (You and I know I’m kidding, but what are the odds I’m gonna eventually pay for that comment?) Paul (Perry’s brother) showed up to take us out on the town. We ended up at Steamers for food before heading back and praying for snow. Praying for snow. Yeah, right. That’s like me hoping for a vacation where no one picks on me.

As we packed up and headed to Heavenly, I tried to crawl into the rear seat. Scott and Laura thought it more appropriate if I were jammed in the rear floorboard. It’s amazing that (with enough force), a human can actually be stuffed into such a tiny space. So tight was the space that the pressure on my Camelback caused it to free flow under my jacket and soak my shirt. I still wonder why I call them friends.

On the slopes, conditions were dismal. At least we have each other! (group hug). The best run may have been on inner tubes. The first one down, Chris, had it easiest, but the last one, Perry, wasn’t so lucky as a barrage of snowballs came down on him. Without Super Soakers, this crowd can always improvise. But this time, Perry didn’t do something stupid again, like dive into the SnoCat and break his collar bone…

But what’s a vacation without an injury? Banger and his groin. Here are three versions of what happened. You make the call:
A) I was attempting a 720 off a cornice on a double black in Mott Canyon. In an attempt to avoid hitting two dumbass skiers (Perry and Scott) who stupidly cut in front of me, I purposely ditched, choosing to injure myself rather than hurt others.
B) On the cat walk between the Nevada and California sides, I unclipped and tried to push my snowboard forward on a flat slope. I was going a bit too fast and I slipped and pulled my groin.
C) There was no injury. I faked the whole thing. It worked, as I continually suckered Laura into always giving me a tow on flats and uphills. What a sucker!
If you chose “A”, you were correct. “B” is what I’m sure y’all will claim had happened and if “C” were true, I’ll be dead a few minutes after Laura reads this.

Regardless of the answer, a happy hour with sushi at the base lodge and then the Jacuzzi under the stars was a great way to wind down. We opted to eat in that night, with shake n bake. Later, most of the group hit the Casinos to see what they could lose. No real damage, but we still had a few days to kill…

For Friday, Bill and Denise decided to hit Heavenly as the rest of us packed up for the long drive to Squaw. Although it was a very scenic drive, and a beautiful ski mountain, there was no snow. Arg! Time to kill Banger!!! How about we send him down the icy slope to see if it’s doable? (Hence, the birth of the Test Monkey) Not much to report on the slopes, except for Perry trying to relieve himself and realizing that his zipper was frozen. Small things tend to freeze pretty fast, don’t you think? We wrapped up early and hit Apres Ski before heading home.

We almost didn’t make it to dinner that night, as Bill and Perry decided to race to The Cantina. It started out with Bill almost taking out Bary and Caroline as they were arriving at the house. Then there was Bill and Perry running red lights, and swerving through traffic freaking out other drivers. Even in the parking lot, Bill decided to hit me! Uh, hate to admit it, but Perry won…

Bary and Caroline showed up just in time for dinner, and to add fuel to the “How else can we make fun of Banger” fire. But we had another distraction at Rojo’s Bar later that night: The Game Stranger. “Whales tails, Prince of Wales…Nay…” Nuff said. He did manage to pawn some beer before we all bolted. Some of us snuck off to Mulligan’s for a couple of pitchers to end the night.

Saturday was our break day. Denise, Lisa and Val hung out at the cabin, while most of the gang went snowmobiling. The snowmobile adventure was boring (i.e. put-put), as the tour group included others (i.e. families) that slowed down the group. Glad I passed on this event! Chalk one up for Banger!!! And not much to report for the rest of the day, as Lisa headed to San Fran for business, and the rest of us went shopping in town, and lost a few bucks. At least we got a free round of drinks at the California Bar. We had fajitas at home that night and rested for the long drive to Kirkwood. The drive would’ve been shorter if Bill’s SUV wasn’t stuck behind Mama Bigelow’s suburban. We passed the time by playing Viking from van to van. Don’t you just love those 2-way radios?

Kirkwood was a good ski day. There was even a snowball fight, which lead to violence, and eventually property damage (Hey Bill. Nice racing pole!). Test Monkey sure earned his keep, as he was sent down slope after slope, injured groin in tow. If his board made loud scraping sounds, the run could be aborted and Test Monkey could be left on his own. If it sounded like soft snow, everyone followed. You guys are ruthless!

Back home, a few activities (Pool, hot tub) got going. A nail-biter beer pong game was the highlight, with Scott and Bill beating Chris and Banger, 30-29. Actually, a second game, uh, (whew!) broke out, which involved ping pong paddles (and a hot tub cover), but used for a different purpose. In my opinion, Chris’s “quality” far outweighed Scott and Bill’s “quantity”. All worn out, I headed to my bunk, only to find it filled with snow. So, I jumped up to the other bunk, only to find it also filled with snow. No wonder Bary and Caroline were wide awake (busting out laughing), and Scott was suspiciously walking around. Well, the evidence (a vial of snow-making chemical) was soon found in the kitchen. That’s what I get for setting Scott’s alarm to 4am.

So, our final ski day at Heavenly was probably our best, as conditions seemed to be getting better. Test Monkey was on strike, but to no matter, as most of the slopes were doable. Except maybe for one, where Bill held his own yard sale. And I mean yaaaard sale (He’s got the bruises to prove it). In the end, we were back at happy hour, with a surprise sighting of “The Game Stranger”. Luckily, we all managed to dive under the tables for cover.

After a short break at home for some hot tubbing, ping-pong, pool and to shower up, we were off to Hoss Hogg’s for our final dinner. I’d say it got quickly out of hand, as Perry folded the placemat into a, uh, uh, something that Denise felt inclined to take home. And I won’t recite the conversation that night, but phrases like “artichoke nipples”, “Suck the bone”, “Nice Head, Caroline”, “Moist towelette” come to mind. And then there was Laura yelling “Shut the Bang! Shut the Bang!” in the parking lot, trying to avoid a stranger (no, not the Game Stranger) from jumping in our vehicle. Maybe it was due to too much laughing at dinner, but that night, in Caesar’s, it seemed everyone lost. Blackjack, Wheel of Fortune, Val hitting on the dealer…nada. (Just kidding, Val).

At home that night, I walked into the bedroom, suspiciously listening to Bary and Caroline trying not to laugh. Something’s up. Alas, I discover my bed has been short sheeted, kind of. Seems the whole house is in on these pranks. Bary and Caroline were meant to protect me (Gosh, I pay them enough), not be adopted by y’all as partners in crime!!! Money just can’t buy loyalty when it’s so much fun to join the other side…

The next morning, everyone was up early for the drive to Reno. Paul showed up with breakfast, everyone packed (including filling my car with empty beer bottles and pine cones) and just like that I FINALLY GOT OUT OF THIS NIGHTMARE!!!

“Gee, Scott. Do you think Banger learned that he can’t win against us?”
“Probably not, Laura. He’s stupid enough to try something next time we see him. Keep your eyes open.”

March 2002

Posted by mbang at 12:52 PM