Best Of: Play Cat Stevens, and You're Dead!


Well, almost nothing. There's promiscuous teens frolicking by a darkened lake, cross-eyed children in fields of corn, and white kids in mountain towns who have cornrow hairdos and manufacture their own crystal meth. But those are subjects for another time. The thing about group ski weekends is that they require the kind of close-quarters interaction that first invites madness, and then, far too often, rage. While time spent upon snowy mountains engaged in all manner of winter sport is an unassailable joy, time spent in aggressively priced condos with friends/family/strangers padding about in a grotesque array of long underwear can be significantly more trying. This winter, to avoid being kabobbed by your bunkmates with a ski pole, do consider some of the following (clip and save!):

Not a soul on this planet is even remotely as interested as you are in 1) the evolution of your form and skill; 2) how much safer you feel wearing a helmet; 3) what a great deal you got on your Arc'Teryx jacket; 4) how you justify owning an SUV; 5) how you got out before the Internet bubble burst; 6) how any of these things relate to your children; 7) your children.

One of the wonderful things about being alive, and not incarcerated or enlisted, is discretion as it pertains to the hour of one's waking. Are you the sort who relishes the crack of dawn, a mug of coffee, and first tracks? Good on ya! But keep in mind that some in your party may be hungover, or recently paroled, and would appreciate a couple of extra winks.

Make bacon every morning. Bacon tastes good.

Unless you have been the subject of a fashion-magazine photo shoot in the last six months, change in your room. Always.

Try to at least feign casual tolerance when engaged in discussions about the merits of various mountain sports. Would you sooner gnaw off your big toes than accept a good-natured invitation to try snowboarding? Are you a snowboarder who's issued a fatwa condemning all those who use poles (even to pole vault) to eternal damnation? Do telemarkers just plain freak you out? Fine. It happens. Telemarking is weird. But remember: The best place for these issues to be aired, and settled, is not in an overpriced condo with deer-antler chandeliers, but within the confines of nations such as Thailand or Ireland, where laws concerning human combat are lax, at best.

Just because the resort at which you're vacationing "has totally turned into Disneyland," doesn't mean you need to repeat it to the group several times a day. As with bacon, people like Disneyland.

Unless it's the middle of the night, and you've coupled up and are definitely going to have sex, do not go in the hot tub naked.

If you do have hot-tub sex, don't tell anyone until at least one month after they've used said hot tub and there are no reports of a spike in antibiotic use amongst your party.

Yes, you can play "Moonshadow" on the guitar. Just not here. Ever.