Sunday, April 20, 2008

The Night of the Buck

March 29th

Up late. Slept late. Imagine that. Cooked up eggs while people still struggled out of bed. Made McMuffins. Drank lots of coffee. Around noon as Lats recovered, he was put in a rowing unisuit and ski goggles, and physical challenges were handed out amongst the lads as we sat around the fire. Jonno juggled. I handed out leg lifts. Earl gave him dips. Josh held logs and then the picture frame came out. It’s just an empty frame that, well... frames pictures. Once Lats was suitably worked, we moseyed out to the ski town and grey skies. We picked up some spuds at The General to add some carbs to our meat-fest that night. The General sits a km down from the main ski village. It’s the worker’s bar. It’s got flavor. During the day, it’s a restaurant, coffee shop, general store, post office, has a wireless cafĂ©, and manages to be comfortable in all of these. We would find its moonlight personality later that night.

Walked back to the warmth of the chalet. Cooking began and meat fest part deaux, this time with potatoes on the open fire and even some greens (not a lot). We sat together at a long table and lit candles for earth hour. I found out then from Lats and Peter (his dad) that his mom is very superstitious and would always set a 14th spot if only 13 came. I was the 14th. Lats and Peter figured it was a good omen. We drank wine and port that had been aged over 35 years right from the bowels of the Latreille cellar. Dessert was cheese and pistachios.

It was just about the time for sleep or action when, as you must on a night celebrating the Buck, we chose action and headed to the General. It was snowing, and I was cold in my light clothes. A large group of local girls had heard a rumor that Bucks might appear that night and decided to make a showing. Lats was required to wear his unisuit, and the staff insisted they take a picture of him in front of the store in an old time strong man pose. It took a bit of time to achieve the right balance of boys to girls to good times, but eventually the night just stepped it up a notch. The frame came out. I felt accepted by the Aussie tribe.

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