February 8, 2003

the boilerplate chronicles

Went out to Spirit Mountain for some snowboarding this windy evening with some fine Woochers. Ryan, Sandy and others were taking noble stabs at learning to snowboard on boilerplate. Corey and I headed over to the terrain park to play until I took a fall that almost ripped off my feet. That would have been quite a disturbing scene, what with me lying in a pool of red snow and my snowboard and feet making their way down to the chairlift. We returned to the kinder side of the mountain and I practiced riding switch until I dug my front edge and catapulted face-first into the ground. My body took about a minute to reboot, run scandisk and decide what parts were going to hurt.

I decided to take it easy for awhile and practiced doing spins and landing switch 180s. Despite my obvious mastery of the spin (I got doin’ so many sequential spins so fast I got dizzy, like that board game called Dizzy, Dizzy Dinosaur, where all the kids play and sing “Dizzy, Dizzy Dinosaur! He knocks you out as he moves about! Dizzy, Dizzy Dinosaur! If you don’t run and hide he’ll rend your limbs and kick around your torso like a small child in a soccer riot!”) whenever I fell off a 180 I earned jeers from dorks on the chairlift.

I took their encouragement as a cue to go to the Chalet, thaw my toes and face and eat free nachos. I ate two plates. Ryan ate five. I ordered a Grainbelt Premium off the tap and they served it to me in a plastic glass. It was like drinking at a house party.

After taking a few more runs they closed down the lift on us and we had to find something better to do. Some idiot suggested Perkins. Another idiot suggested Caribou Coffee. We ended up at the coffee shop in Barnes and Noble because it was open late. Sandy ordered a turtle mocha. Ryan drank all their water. I drowned in a mug of coffee. Sandy comandeered part of my coffee and added intense amounts of sugar, cocoa, sugar, milk, cinnamon and honey. She winced when she could still taste the coffee.

Well lubricated, we went to the music section and dialed up Tower of Power, Phantom Planet, Wilco, Spacehog and Badly Drawn Boy on their handy little machines. Eventually we drifted about the store and ended up loitering in the Teen book section, where they cunningly mixed teen magazines into the non-fiction section. After some gentle coercion the shelf read YM, Teen Life, Teen Prom, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Communism, Seventeen.

My head eventually got eaten by the sci-fi section and Sandy fell asleep under the bestsellers table and the employees decided it was time for us to leave. Outside the store we found two Walgreen’s shopping carts. I climbed aboard one but was unable to get the straps to fit around my chisled figure. I got out. I stared at the cart and pondered riding it down the ski hill. Ryan suggested holding one of the shopping carts for ransom, calling Walgreen’s and making demands for its safe return.

“I don’t know, Ryan. We’ve made an awful racket already, and security is bound to show up if we try to steal a cart.”

“Well, we don’t actually need to steal it. We just need to call and tell them we stole it.”

“Ryan, maybe you don’t understand. If we do that we won’t have a shopping cart. The whole point here is to gain a shopping cart.”

We abandoned the plan in favor of moving five people and all their downhill gear from Ryan’s car into my own. We found that my car doesn’t hold five people and all their downhill gear at the same time, so we needed to take two cars to get everyone home safely. Nevertheless, my car still managed to be packed with gear and flesh tossed about.

“Dane, please drive safe.”

“Don’t worry, I always drive safe.”

And then I pulled the emergency brake and threw the car into a spin. We made it back to campus without incident and I tossed the gear and flesh down the campus baggage claim. Properly unburdened I drove back to my apartment, and took my car to the back parking lot through the service road that is for “UMD SERVICE VEHICLES ONLY ALL OTHERS WILL BE SUBJECT TO INTENSE SLEDGEHAMMERING”.

When I moved into my apartment 3.0 years ago they merely frowned upon apartment citizens that used this road illegally. 2.5 years ago they finally got fed up with our unlawful bizzyness and put up a fancy radio controlled barrier that could only be raised by UMD SERVICE VEHICLES ONLY. 2.50001 years ago citizens still used the road but drove around the barrier and tore up the grass something fierce. 2.50002 years ago UMD put down a hell of a lot of huge rocks that made it impossible for cars to drive around the barrier. 2.50003 years ago a student stole the barrier. 2.0 years ago UMD replaced the barrier. 2.00001 years ago a student broke off the barrier. 1.0 years ago UMD replaced the barrier. 1.00001 years ago a student broke off the barrier.

This Monday UMD replaced the barrier.

This Thursday a student broke off the barrier. God bless that selfless citizen.

I parked my car, collected my gear and headed for my apartment building. As I jostled my gear around trying to find my keys I saw that a thoughtful drunk accidentally dropped his glove in the entryway and jammed the locking inside door open. I grabbed the door right as the glove gave way and entered unhindered.