When the trail gets cold
By Dom Cioffi
All I had to hear were the words "compound fracture" and "body
cast" and my interest was immediately piqued.
I was at a dinner party when a gentleman (who I did not know well)
began to explain how he ended up with a prominent scar on the back
side of his right arm.
"My parents had just left for the Caribbean to celebrate their
anniversary," he explained. "So they left my brother and me with
You could tell by the way the guy was beginning the story that he
had told it countless times.
"So, being the old school naturalist that she was, my grandmother
forced my brother and I outside into the snow, explaining that we
needed to enjoy nature."
They guy's eyes twinkled as the tone of his voice eluded to a
not-so-pleasant experience that was about to unfold.
"Well, being that my grandmother lived on the side of a large hill,
my brother and I decide that sledding should be in order, so we
grabbed a couple of those traditional red plastic sleds out of the
barn and made our way to a good starting spot on the hill."
By this time, several people at the dinner party had gathered
around as it was obvious that a good story was taking shape.
He continued: "Since my brother was the cautious one, he encourage
me to go down first, convincing me that he was doing me a great
favor since the virgin snow had been untouched and would make for
the purest run of the day."
In a very facetious manner, the guy rolled his eyes and stated, "My
brother was always putting me first."
At this point in the story, the guy started to assume certain
positions to better display what transpired.
"Since the snow on the ground was nice and fluffy, I determined
that the ride would be best experienced standing up with one foot
at either end of the sled. I would then hold the attached rope in
one hand while the other hand waved wildly like I was riding a
The guy became completely animated as he demonstrated what he
thought the experience was going to be like. And I have to admit,
his deliver was genuinely comedic, which only added to the allure
of the story.
He went on: "After a couple deep breaths and plenty of positive
reinforcement from my brother, I took off down the hill with utter
The guy then crouched into position with one hand in the air,
mimicking his decades-old ride.
"Initially things were going pretty well," he bellowed. "But about
halfway down, the direction of the sled changed and I found myself
veering off my predetermined course.
But being the junior daredevil that I was, I was confident that
I could still pull off an epic finish." Everyone was transfixed at
this point, as we all waited patiently for the conclusion of the
story. "Unfortunately, the new trajectory I was heading in included
several large oak trees, and while I initially thought that I might
be able to avoid them, it was not in the cards." The guy then
stopped abruptly, stood up, and looked at the gathered crowd. "I
know what you're thinking, he said. "Why didn't I just bail out and
fall to the ground? Well, the truth is that it just didn't occur to
The gigantic smile on his face brought a round of chuckles from
those listening. "Sure, that would have been the smart thing to do,
but I opted for the one-in-a-million, SportCenter highlight reel
finish… and, sadly, that's not what happened." He went on to
explain that after hitting the tree with brutal force, he lay on
the ground (for what seemed like days) in the white, fluffy powder
and stared at the bright sun, remembering it as a peaceful and
serene experience. Before he realized it, however, his brother was
standing over him and screaming.
The next thing he knew he was in an ambulance and headed to the
emergency room where he would be shipped into immediate surgery for
a baldy fractured humerus, a broken nose and several facial
lacerations. As he rattled off the injuries he pointed to the
still-visible scars with an complete sense of pride. Needless to
say, the guy's parents were on the next flight home, having spent
less than 24 hours in the Caribbean. And to make matters worse, his
fractured arm required an uncomfortable body cast that left him
virtually immobile for over eight weeks.
In this week's feature, "Frozen," you'll find plenty of downhill
winter antics, but none (thankfully) that ended up as tragic as
that story. "Frozen" is the story of sister princesses who spend
most of their lives distressed by an evil curse that neither of
them understands - until an unlikely young man wanders through
their kingdom. Despite commercials and trailers that would have you
believe otherwise, "Frozen" is very much geared towards young
girls. Add in the bevy of song and dance routines (that are
honestly very good), and you have a catchy little tale, but one
that many young boys may not find appealing. This one's more like
"Beauty and the Beast" than "Toy Story," but it's still worth
seeing. Just be wary that junior might get a little antsy with the
A chilly "B" for "Frozen."
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