David is thinking about the meat faerie (zoomardav) wrote,
David is thinking about the meat faerie
zoomardav

Yet another Seattle snow post...

At the first sign of snow, they close the major street on Queen Anne Hill near my house. At an 18% grade, it is one of the steepest high traffic roads in the US. It snows so infrequently that the city of Seattle really doesn't do anything to clear the snow away. Today, after it was closed, something different happened than the usual pedestrian grumbles and minor accidents from people ignoring the signs. The road closing turned into a party.

All day, people have been out sledding, skiing and snowboarding down the hill, an empty lot became an offleash dog park and people have been walking around with cocktails in large plastic cups.

When Nancy and I took Roscoe out, we heard what sounded like a stadium full of people cheering. Just a few hundred feet away, a huge crowd had gathered at the base of the hill and they were clapping and yelling as each crazy person slid down the hill. The closer they got to getting hit by the traffic on the open road 20' from the base of the hill or getting in a messy spill, the louder people cheered and the more strutting they did after they finally stopped. Visually, the best vehicle was an inflatable whale pool toy, but it turned over at the slightest lump. People with the traditional two runner "Rosebud" style sleds had the most control.

One guy went down the hill on a non-stick cookie sheet. It looked great from the side because the cookie sheet was invisible under his parka and it looked like he was sliding down on his butt. Those cookie sheets really moved on ice. He held his arms, drink in one hand up in the air, up in a victory stance as the crowd parted to let him through. People withheld applause until he smacked into the over full metal city trash can on the sidewalk. I couldn't see him actually hit, but a huge shower of orange Cafe Ladro cups shot up in the air in a rainbow arc. It was a crash landing worthy of Wile E Coyote. He stood and took a bow as the crowd whooped it up appropriately.

The most impressive sled and landing was the group of guys that had what looked like a refrigerator box with a layer of that thick plastic you use to insulate windows on one side of the cardboard. They all sat toboggan style on the cardboard holding one another's shoulders, the front guy holding onto plastic. I have never seen speed like that from any sled. I think the fact that it was twirling and out of control made it seem like it was going faster, but they were passing everybody on the way down. People rolled off their sleds to avoid being crushed by these guys. It was obvious that they weren't going to be able to stop at all, so the crowd parted and waited to see if they would get hit by a car on the open part of the road.

When they hit the bottom of the hill, the crowd yelled and screamed. The last guy on the chain wisely bailed and rolled off the cardboard. The remaining two tried to steer into the curb to stop themselves from entering the traffic less than 10' away from them, but that wasn't helping. That was when the crowd realized that they were going to hit the police car. I don't think anyone was really waiting for someone to hit the police car, but as soon as people realized what was going to happen a ripple of excitement passed through everyone.

The impact was exciting, one guy hit the side of the tire and the other kind of half-stood and ended up hitting the side of the car. There was a collective intake of breath and then a grand slam home run worthy ovation. The policeman was sitting in his car with a fresh cup of coffee. He wasn't getting out of his car for anything. He looked over to see if the guys stood up. After he saw they weren't hurt, he leaned over and tapped his knuckle on the passenger window until they looked at him. He shook his finger at them like you do a puppy that peed in the house and then went back to his coffee.

I think we're heading back down later tonight.
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