Monday, February 10, 2014

Winter Carnival of the Insane

I was on a hillside in Russia, having decided to take a short hike in the snow, and that's when I saw him. He was dressed in a skin-tight orange and green leotard and he was carrying two long skinny boards. I had never seen his like before, so I just had to find out what his story was. I walked up to him and engaged him in conversation.

"Hello! Is the circus in town?"

"Excuse me?"

"I was just... um... admiring your outfit and I was wondering if you might be with the circus."

"The circus? No. I'm with the Estonians."

Ah, a religious cult! That explained the odd clothes. I continued my enquiry.

"What are you going to do with those boards?"

"Well, do you see that ramp over there?"

"The one that ends in mid-air, some fifty feet above the ground?"

"Exactly. I'm going to strap these boards to the bottom of my feet and then propel myself down that ramp as fast as possible. When I reach the end of the ramp, I'm going to jump."

"What! Don't do it, man! Think of your wife and children!"

"My wife and children? They're down there at the bottom of the hill."

"Well, then, you just turn around right now and walk back down to them, then thank your lucky stars someone came along and stopped you from killing yourself."

"Killing myself? What are you, insane? This is what I do for a living!"

"Not if I have anything to say about it! Where's your keeper?"

"My what?"

"The man who feeds you and gives you your medication and makes sure you get back to the home safely whenever you escape."

"Feeds me? Medication? Oh, you must mean my trainer. He's over watching the skeletons."

"Skeletons! Where are they?"

"The next hill over."

I raced as fast as I could through the snow. I had to find this man's doctor before he could carry out his suicidal plan. I came upon a long stretch of frozen ice and told the first person I saw what had happened. I asked him where I could find the Estonian's doctor.

"Oh, do you mean the trainer? I'm him."

"Oh, thank God! I was just over at that hill and..."


"Good Lord! I think that was a man!"

"Well, yes, it's the skeleton."

"No, no. That was a living person with a horrible grimace on his face and he must have gone by us at 80 miles per hour!"

"79.6, actually. Too bad. He's out of it."

"If he did that on purpose, he certainly is! Aren't you going to do someth..."


"There goes another one!"

"Ah, much better. 83.2 miles per hour! He's got a good chance."

"I don't think so! You say you're a doctor?"


"And you're just standing here watching these poor souls go hurtling by and you're doing nothing more than timing their hellish descent with a stopwatch? Your name wouldn't be Mengele, would it?"

"What are you jabbering about? This is the skeleton run."


"I suppose so! The bones must be piling up gruesomely! You fiend! I've got to find the police!"

I ran as fast as I could, looking for a sane person to direct me towards the nearest police station. I came upon a lovely young girl of perhaps 15 or 16.

"Excuse me, miss. Where is the nearest police sta..."

I then noticed that she was only half-dressed. The poor child. She was obviously indigent and had had to wear the same clothes for many years and had outgrown them.

"Um, I don't mean to be indelicate, miss, but your panties are showing. Here, take my jacket and wrap it around your waist."

"Get away from me, you pervert."


"I don't have time for this. I have to get to the show."

"Show? What sort of show?"

"The ice show, of course."

"Ice show? What's going to happen there?"

"See these boots I'm carrying, with the skinny iron rods attached to the soles? I'm going to put them on and attempt to maneuver around a sheet of ice."

"Uh-huh. Wouldn't it be easier if you didn't have the metal rods on your shoes?"

"Duh! I don't have time for this, Grampa. I have to meet my partner."

"Oh, you have a partner?"

"Yes, he helps me around the ice."

I wanted to say, "Wouldn't he be more of a gentleman if he helped you home, where you could put on some decent clothes and a sensible pair of shoes?" However, she seemed rather determined. I asked her what else her partner did with her on the ice.

"He picks me up and spins me around and then he throws me in the air with all of his might."

"What?!? The brigand! I'll brain him! Where is he?"

She pointed off to her left, but the only person there was a rather slight fellow dressed in an ill-fitting sky-blue waiter's outfit. Not to be too indelicate, but he appeared to be the sort of man who wouldn't find touching a woman especially pleasing, so perhaps this explained his aggression towards the waif. I went to have a word with him.

"Excuse me, sir, but do you intend to forcefully lift that young lady, twirl her in the air, and then toss her away like yesterday's rubbish? I swear I'll not see it happen!"

With that, I raised my walking stick, fully intending to bring it down upon the top of the rascal's skull. However, as he started to run away screaming, someone grabbed my cane from behind. I turned and saw a member of the local constabulary. Thank goodness! Now I could finally get someone to stop these many asylum escapees from doing harm to themselves and others!

"Come along, sir. There'll be no more of this from you."

He placed a pair of handcuffs on me!

"Wha.. What are you doing?!? There's a man over there throwing himself off the side of a cliff while his wife and children watch! A madman with a stopwatch clocking how long it takes for a living human to slide down an icy mountain! A poor defenseless underdressed urchin being forced to undergo physical trauma at the hands of a deranged waiter! Let me go! Let me go!"

As the policeman was dragging me away, I heard large crowds cheering. The last thing I remember seeing was a man sliding a large rock down a sheet of ice while two other men with floor mops feverishly swept a path in front of the rock. The man who had slid the rock was yelling, "Hard! Hard!"


"And that's when I awoke, doctor. I fear I may have gone insane. No one in his right mind should have the sort of dreams I'm having. What's wrong with me? What should I do?"

"Shut off your TV before you go to sleep, Jim. Or, at least, don't leave it on NBC all night."


Buck said...

Heh. Well done, Sir!

I have my own bit o' madness going, in that I set my alarm for 0300 hrs this morning so I could watch the USA women's hockey team dismantle the Swiss, which they did. Handily.

I'm in love with those ladies.

Lil said...

I never have understood the allure of strapping a pair of boards to one's boots and throwing oneself off a mountain...

Pat - Arkansas said...

Love it! :)

Janet said...

Brilliant, as always. Thank you, sir!

Char said...

Well, if someone HAS to do it....I'm glad it's not me! :)

silly rabbit said...

Ha! Good one.

Jackie said...

I agree with Janet. Brilliant!

messymimi said...

Somehow i think most sports, if viewed by aliens who had no idea what we are doing, would look a a lot like this.

Suldog said...

Watching curling now on NBC - USA vs. Norway. I really do like this sport, a lot. Great strategic game.

Juli said...

Love this!! We were just saying that those people must be INSANE to do the long ski jump!

But what I want to know, is how do you learn how to luge? I mean, come on... what parent in their right mind is going to put their 12 year old (they must start early if they compete at 16-20) on an iced over water slide armed with only a helmet and pointy booties, going an excess of even 30 mph? And seriously... 85 mph? Why would you even bother with a helmet?

Juli said...

BTW... you're the 3rd person today to tell me they LOVE curling. My husband is one, my "work husband" is the other.


Michelle H. said...

I was watching the curling today too. All I could think about is that I could clean those red and blue circles off the ice with my Swiffer mop better than them ;-)

Hilary said...

That's kind of how most sports looks to me. ;) Very funny though.. well done.

(not necessarily your) Uncle Skip said...

A direct quote from my niece:
"Went to lunch. Curling is on. God obviously wants me to be happy."

I have no idea what any one of those statements has to do with the others.
But they were all in the same paragraph so there must be some connection.

The main advantage curling has over hockey is the curling puck moves slow enough you can actually see it.
Curling also kind of reminds me of shuffleboard and bocce ball.
Both of them seem to require the players to hold an adult beverage in one hand whilst playing.

Jackie said...

Congratulations on Post of the Week!

The Broad said...

Great stuff! And the Olympic aren't bad either!

Daryl said...


congrats on a POTW!!!

Jeni said...

Loved, loved, loved this post, Jim!

Chris said...

Today's the day I've been waiting for, opening day of Men's Hockey. GO USA! Quick in the net, go for the GOLD!

Tabor said...

too much of a good thing, I take it?

photowannabe said...

I think you have won the Gold Medal for this post!