NYR #12

January 27, 2009
It’s snowing in Maryland today and I know the kids will be stoked. Connie told them when they got home from school yesterday that snow had been forecasted. The rest of the evening was spent monitoring weather.com and preparing for the snow-filled, school-free day that would certainly be waiting for them when they awoke. To ensure that snow actually fell, Mack had everyone in the family cross their fingers and toes. I didn’t join in- I drive to work at 5am and had no desire to face a snow-filled commute.

I did however help the kids prep for their snow day. After dinner last night, I went to the garage and filled their snow tubes with air. It didn’t take long for the kids to locate me, hijack a snow tube and sled down our basement steps. That’s the thing with my boys, they have no sense of fear- an honest assessment would be that the sense they are lacking is the “common” type.

When Connie mentioned going tubing, I quickly mapquested local emergency care facilities. I wanted to know how far from a paramedic I would be should I decide to take a day off and go with them. This may sound paranoid, but when you’re Shane it’s a smart precaution. I have lived long and dangerously enough to develop my own formula for the likelihood of massive trauma resulting from fun family activities. It goes something like this: height (H) X weight (W) X slippery surface (SS) X angle of trajectory (degree of slope)= certain bodily harm.

I learned this formula one year when we took the kids to a water park in Delaware. The first day we were there, the kids wanted to go down this huge water slide. Though it looked like a lot of fun, I was content to watch. The trouble was, Cayden was terrified of the climb to the top- so he asked me to accompany him. Here is an unknown truth about water slides, the stairs are only used to go up- you must use the slide to come down.

So let’s apply the formula that I mentioned earlier.

H= 70 inches

W= 210 lbs

SS= water slide

Angle= 70 degrees (ass puckering steep)

70 X 210 X H20 X 70= HOLY SHIT! I’M FREE-FALLING DOWN A HUGE WATER SLIDE AND I CAN’T STOP!

Sitting on the top of the slide before releasing the handholds was the last time that any portion of my body actually touched a solid surface. When I released, my body rocketed from 0 to a million mph in a nano-second. My cheeks blew open like an astronaut going through a G-Force simulator and my testicles disappeared into my abdomen for protection. I may have screamed but I doubted anyone could hear me as I was certainly traveling faster than the speed of sound. Eyewitness statements later confirmed that a string of obscenities were flowing from my clenched teeth, but I honestly don’t remember. When I hit the water, I generated enough force to push every other person from the pool and blow over six beach cabanas. Obviously I survived, but it’s taken me 12-months to get over my phobia of slides.

So if 911 is programmed into my phone or I go to the slopes with my personally owned defibrillator, it’s not without reason. I’m just a little wiser and a little more aware of what being Shane truly means in the physical universe.

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