Flesh and blood at the Cushing Classic | SierraSun.com
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Flesh and blood at the Cushing Classic

It was pure, simple, creative kicks at the Cushing Classic Pond Crossing in Squaw Valley last Sunday.

Millions of Americans entertain themselves by watching NASCAR and other auto racing events that waste thousands of gallons of gasoline just for fun. In Squaw Valley we don’t have to flaunt our wanton waste of fossil fuels in the face of poverty stricken Third World countries. All the simple folk here in the mountains have to do is dress up in outrageous costumes and try to get up enough speed on skis and snowboards to make it across the frigid waters of itsy-bitsy, little-old Lake Cushing.

Not a drop of gasoline is required, but there are always plenty of spectacular crashes.



Yes, all the necessary ingredients were there for wholesome family entertainment. There was even blood at this year’s pond crossing. One contestant ” a meaty hunk ” sped down the steep hill, dropped his outer clothing going into the left turn to expose his (or someone’s) leopard skin thongs, ended up in the back seat and came down ” hard. While skidding across the slushy, granular snow he tried desperately to hold his plump behind above the snow crystals, but there was too much weight and exposed skin.

No matter what he did, some body part was going to drag and tear. When he stood up, both of his very large rear cheeks were cherry red, and it wasn’t from embarrassment. Several layers of blubber had been removed and he left a large red spot on the snow.



The crowd threw snowballs at him while he was down, then, mysteriously, the collective sentiment of the masses telepathically reversed itself and they began calling for the highest possible score from the judges. Apparently they felt sorry for the guy, or liked his thong, which doesn’t say much for their sense of fashion.

I was impressed but did not share the sentiments of the crowd. This is Squaw Valley. If you crash 30 feet before the water, in the flats at the base of the mountain, you don’t deserve a score, no matter how generous you are with your flesh. One thing is for sure, that guy will not be able to sit down for weeks. He will have scars the size of basketballs.

My favorite pond crosser was the guy dressed as a terrorist, machine gun and all, who deliberately drenched a large portion of the crowd with a big turn of his skis. He took out a lot of innocent people, all without committing suicide. That’s my kind of terrorism.

Some of the contestants were able to soak the crowd and still get across to the other side of the pond. Some in the crowd got a little stupid with their snowball throwing, unable to get across an intelligent thought from their brain to their hand.

Bombarding the contestants with snowballs at the very moment they attempt the critical transition from land to water is mean spirited and juvenile. Throwing snowballs into the crowd is not cool.

Speaking of flesh, blood and violence to living beings, there was a letter to the editor recently recommending we all become vegetarians (an old Indian word for bad hunter) because cow manure is somehow bad for the environment.

I was confused. We had horses and donkeys where I grew up. My brother put a garden in the old corral, a half acre rich with manure. You should have seen the edible bounty he produced. We had tomatoes, squash, corn and a variety of other vegetables coming out of our ears, so I am not sure I understand the problem with manure, although eating food grown from it could explain a lot about me.

If the premise of that letter was correct, it makes more sense to convert vegetarians to carnivores. If cows are bad for the environment let’s just eat them all. It will only get worse if we let them live and reproduce. But what do I know about logic?

Too bad we can’t eat certain kinds of people while we’re at it.

Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, experienced ski instructor and commercial driver. He’s lived at Lake Tahoe for 25 years.


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