Sunday, December 09, 2007

Toboggan of the Beast

The tall man stood sentry at the end of the long driveway. He held a long pole, marked in red with sequential numbers spaced evenly every 12 inches.

He was the master of the estate, the patriarch of this small semi-agrarian venture. He greeted me warmly and gave a quick guided tour of the acreage. Somewhere in the shadows of the dense tannenbaum forest, one of his sons was gunning the motor of the chainsaw.

I, however, had my own handsaw in hand. I wasn't about to let some long-haired teenage hooligan harvest my tree for me. Not, at least, in front of my daughter....

"Daddy, why is that skinny greasy-haired hippie cutting down our tree?"

No, not in a million years. I mean, sure, the father was a strapping lumberjack-like man with a sensible haircut. So, I suppose he probably could have adequately operated the saw... but as usual, I digress.

I wandered through the semi-mystical rows of towering Christmas trees. Many, long since rejected, yet never harvested, were now far taller than they should ever have been allowed to grow. Small clearings emerged, where saplings had been started. The missus followed behind with the boy strapped along side. The girl, in her "adventure boots" and "action pants," marched along beside me.

As we hunted high and low, something, I noticed, started to change. The temperature dropped, the air grew still, and a silence fell upon us. All at once, from the sky, began to fall soft white flakes; slowly at first, but it quickly gained momentum.

Initially, it didn't stick, but soon a thin white coating began to cover everything. Perfect, really, if you think about it.

The small snow fall reminded me that this is supposed to be a snowier-than-usual winter in Oregon, which reminded me of the slippery slope leading to my house last year. And, while we had plenty of food, water and heat last year, we were woefully unprepared in one significant way: We had no snow toys.

Sleds, to be specific. Nothing for sliding down the long smooth steep incline out my front door.

Today's snow soon melted, but promised, like Frosty, to be back again some day. So, in the spirit of being fully prepared, the girl and I hit Fred Meyer this afternoon to seek our own personal Rosebud.

Proudly, we sailed through the store with our obnoxiously-long industrial-grade black plastic sled protruding like the bow of a frigate from our shopping cart. The girl was gleeful. I felt like an adequate dad, now having purchased the requisite family sled.

Or, "Toboggan," as the label read. It is apparently handy, according to the same label, for both sledding and carting goods through the forest to go ice fishing. I think, though, that I will stick to sledding.

Then, as we waited for our turn in line at the check out counter, I noticed something peculiar, something that had to be intentional. Printed in bold, in the middle of the aforementioned label, it read: "Model #666."

"Hmmm," I thought to myself, "It's the toboggan of the beast..."

Now, we just have to wait for the snow.


  1. I wonder what Model no. 69 looks like?

  2. Wow... if ever there was a reason for me to buy a sled - that would be it!

  3. You should glue some horns on the front.

  4. other7:01 PM

    Last time I used our toboggan was to move sod, dirt, rocks, and bamboo. Did a great job! Not sure when it last saw use in snow.


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