Challenges of skiing and spider bites | SierraSun.com

Challenges of skiing and spider bites

Bob Sweigert

Not that ski season means anything in the grand gyrations of the universe, but this one is looking like one of the best in a long time.

I have benefited from it more than anyone. A swollen foot, apparently caused by a spider bite, and a hefty case of the Tahoe Crud, or walking pneumonia, has kept me quite grounded and off the slopes. I was supposed to ski the entire President’s Week. Instead I slept, ate a lot of soup, and showed off my swollen toes and foot to as many friends as I could. Nobody was interested, until they actually had a look.

Sometimes you just have to gross people out, especially if they are unwilling. The thought of looking at my purple, swollen toes and foot was repulsive, but all I had to do was whip off my shoes and socks and, suddenly, the ghastly appendage became the most curious phenomenon in the Milky Way. It was truly a beautiful sight.

People just don’t know what’s good for them, so you have to ignore their wimpy objections and shove the terrible reality right in their face.

It’s that, and sacrifices like the ones I made the last couple weeks that build true character. Thank God for brown recluse spiders and viral infections. Where would we be without them? Living in the mountains offers a variety of challenges and obstacles we must preserve and protect for future generations.

Yes, while everyone else has been enjoying the great skiing, I have had the distinct pleasure of missing out on all the fun completely. Been there, done that. I should be fully recovered from my blessings in disguise any day now. Then I’ll trudge through snow up to my neck if I have to, for a shot at some turns down The Kitchen Wall. A ride in a Hummer stretch limo would be too embarrassing, unless it made it all the way to the top.

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Snow removal has sure been exceptionally good lately. It is worth reminding ourselves that area roadways are not used only by die-hard, healthy skiers who don’t have real jobs. Our mountain roads are also used by the elderly, the handicapped, infants and people being transported in emergency vehicles to the hospital with major, life-threatening injuries.

Smooth roads, and well-spent tax dollars, are good for the community. In other words, it’s not all about me. The patient in the ambulance could be any one of us. If it’s me, I would appreciate a ride that is as smooth as possible.

They say no pain, no gain. I say, comfort, ease and pleasure is a plus.

Without snow removal, there would be no skiing. It’s that simple. Good snow removal is as much our life blood as snow itself. Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. OK. Now get that stuff out of here.

A rash of crank e-mails regarding snow removal conditions at major ski areas suggests that a motley flock of cuckoo birds inadvertently quit taking their medication, and more than one flew over the cuckoo’s nest. They missed the point entirely. That’s OK. The social dynamics of a ski town should resemble national politics as much as possible.

This band of narcissist has effectively removed themselves from serious debate simply by opening their mouths. Their immature ridiculing of prominent members of the community, who have an intelligent grasp of the issues, clearly reveals them as gutter snipes. They aren’t interested in how their tax dollars are spent either. After all, they’re going to get a little rebate check from the government soon, so they think they’re in fat city.

Their own mother could be buried up to her oxygen tubes in snow, but as long as they get to ski, who cares? If the skiing is especially good they might just toss her a pack of cigarettes as they head out.

Maybe they’ll get bit by a spider with a social conscience.