So I’m that guy, standing in an icy ski resort parking lot wondering how his truck is now 70’ from where he parked it and now attached to a school bus.
So the day started out pretty okay. I was taking my daughter to her ski lessons at the local ski resort and I was going to get to ski in my brand new boots I bought myself for my birthday a few days earlier. It was a warm day and was raining a little.
We got to the hill, and I began my job as the designated pack mule hauling all my daughter’s gear and accessories up a slick parking lot to the lodge. After I got her all situated with her class, I was able to get myself ready.
I buckled into my new boots, amazed at how perfect they felt. At the lift line I went to click into my ski bindings, but no click. The boots were smaller than my previous pair so the bindings were not adjusted correctly.
To make a long story short, 30 minutes later I exited the ski rental shop with a pair of boots from the previous century that were 2 sizes too big. I was devastated, but determined to make the most of the ticket I had bought to ski that day.
I clicked into my bindings and scooted my way to the lift to head up the mountain. As it came my turn, I glanced at the lift operator’s station and there was a small dry erase board that read, “If you are the owner of a blue GMC Sierra, with the license plate number ****** please come to the office.” I looked at it once and turned away, then it started registering that I did drive a blue Sierra. Of course I don’t know my own license plate number, but it looked likely to be mine. So rather than starting my way up the hill, I pulled out of the line at the last minute to check things out.
I released my bindings and started walking toward the parking lot. With the old, ill-fitting boots, the walk was very difficult. I arrived a large metal stairway over the parking lot and just as I grabbed the hand rail on top, both boots slipped out from under me and I went down hard. From here it was all slow motion. There was a small family starting up the stairway, I felt the need to reduce their alarm at my fall and mid way through I yelled, “I’m okay!” I wasn’t, it hurt bad. I landed on the metal grate of the first step.
Immediately I had to prove my previous statement by bouncing right back up with the assistance of the handrail. With my tail bone bruised, and my pride shaken as well, I stood over the parking lot and immediately recognized that it was my truck and that it had collided with a school bus in the parking lot.
Not knowing how to process what I was seeing, I hurried down the stairs and walked across the ice sheet of a parking lot to see the damage. My pickup had slid about 70’ on the slightly inclined parking area and hit the rear wheel and fender of the school bus. There were no witnesses other than the school bus driver who stated, “It slid out of its parking spot and slammed into the bus. I jumped out and couldn’t believe there was no one inside.”
Luckily, the bus had no damage but a small scratch on the rear panel. My truck on the other hand had quite a bit of damage to the bed and rear bumper. This should have been a Kodak moment but I only wanted the situation over, so I moved my truck to another part of the parking lot and went back up the mountain to ski.
After my first mediocre run, I rode the lift up with two other men. By then I had calmed down somewhat and decided to try laughing at the situation. The ride started with me saying, “ So you guys want to hear about the worst morning ever?” I started my story and as soon as I got to the part about my truck hitting the bus, the guy next to me says, “So you’re that guy?” I replied, “Yes, I’m that guy.”
It was all downhill from there. The ski day was horrible because of conditions and weather, so I convinced my daughter to head home early. My tailgate fell of when I tried to put our gear in the back and I had to kick it to jam it back into place for the trip home. When I turned it into insurance I had the distinct impression that they did not believe my story but after 4 weeks and $6,000 worth of body work, my truck was as good as new.
It was a small price to pay for the story of a lifetime, and the new identity of “that guy.” Growing up most kids want to be Superman, Spiderman, or Batman. But I like to say to myself, “So, I’m that guy.”