Written by Jack Benham
We left early Friday morning. But the traffic had already started. It started on the Bay Bridge and never relented. It took so many hours to go so few miles. Plus, nobody knows how to drive anymore. Back in the day, everybody was a courteous, attentive, and pleasant driver. Not anymore.
We arrived at like around midnight and pulled up to our condo. The condo looked like every other condo. We couldn’t get in. The Airbnb host had accidentally smoked the piece of paper with the code for the lockbox on it and was too high to remember the code.
The hotels couldn’t accommodate us. The motels didn’t have any vacancy, and the lean-tos were slammed. We ended up spending the first night in my car. There were twenty seven of us all packed into the back of my station wagon in a parking spot in front of the condo.
We were all about to salvage a few hours of sleep, when a bear broke into my car and mauled us. Tore us up. Killed about four. She smelled a Snickers bar my friend had in her pocket. Now my friend is dead and the Snickers bar is gone. Car totaled.
We walked to the hospital and by the time we got there, it was closed, so we went back to the condo. The complex manager was standing by my car, yelling.
He yelled, “Do you think you can just drive up here and bleed wherever you want?”
He yelled, “What do you think this is?”
He yelled, “Do you think I’m your mother?”
“We’re not sure,” we replied.
The next morning, the traffic on the way to the mountain was so bad and the parking also so bad. We were turned around at the entrance to Olympic Valley and ended up in an auxiliary lot in Sacramento. They sent a shuttle. We crammed in.
First we had to stop for gas, then we had to stop to let off my friend Frank. He’d bled out from his bear attack wounds. We dropped him, limp, on the side of I-80. People just aren’t what they used to be. Because of the gas and Frank, by the time we made it back to the mountain all the lifts were closed, so we ended up just going to the bar, which was packed, and we couldn’t get a drink for the life of us, and when our friend Willie got to the front of the line, the bartender shot him in the face. Right between the eyes. Willie dropped like a sack of potatoes, so I had to step over him and ordered us pitchers.
A couple of us volunteered to go back to Sacramento to get the car. It was getting late, and they still weren’t back, and we were trying to get reservations somewhere but we couldn’t get reservations anywhere, and we didn’t want to go to the grocery store because we still didn’t know if our Airbnb host had found the lockbox code, which meant that we didn’t know if we’d have a kitchen to cook in, and even if we did get the code and get into the condo, we really didn’t want to have to cook and clean during our vacation, and the whole time we hadn’t been able to charge our phones, so were down to our last phone and that last phone was down to 1%, and we finally had a restaurant on the line that would take a group of 23 at 8 PM on a holiday weekend when the phone died. A few of us walked off into the woods and haven’t been seen since.
Our friends with the car didn’t get back till way later when we were already over at our other friends’s condo, which was much sicker than ours because it had a hot tub on a porch and they’d brought a speaker, which is so much sicker than not having a speaker and just having to play music off your phone. Their condo was also sicker because their Airbnb host hadn’t smoked the lockbox code.
On Sunday morning, we were so hungover from the night before that we didn’t get up till even later than on Saturday morning but by that time the traffic actually wasn’t that bad, so we got on the hill pretty easy. The sun was out, which was cool, and there was tons of fresh snow, coming down. It was snowing out of the clear blue sky. Free refills and bluebird at the same time, which I guess was the first time in the history of the world that it’s ever been completely clear and snowing at the same time, but I feel like I’ve experienced that before but anyways it was sick. Sickest day of the season so far, maybe top ten sickest days of all time. Probably sicker than any skiing you’ve done recently…
At this point in story the listener grabbed the narrator’s arm and said, bluntly, curtly, looking right into his eyes, “Shut up. Shut up. Shut the f%#$ing f&!k up.”
“But it was a dope weekend.”
“But it really was fun.”
The conversation’s dissolution into ‘yeahs’ confused the narrator into silence. Then the listener said, “You are the most insufferable—
—But what’d I say?”
“Your stories suck, too.”
“That’s why I don’t tell them.”
“That’s your problem.”
“I’m going to cut your tongue out and piss in your mouth,” said the listener.
The narrator laughed, and then, because he wanted to win this argument and make her even more mad and not allow himself to be hurt—never allow himself to be hurt—he said, “I’d probably be into that.”
With the help of a bartender, the listener pinned the narrator to the bar. She sat on the narrator’s chest, squeezed his cheeks to keep his mouth open, and took a pair of scissors to his quivering tongue.
Nobody saw what she did with the tongue. Some say she ate it. Others say she put it in her pocket. Still others think it went down the bar’s garbage disposal. But everyone saw what happened next. The listener pulled down her pants, and squatted over the narrator’s face, and let’s just say he wasn’t that into it and leave it at that.
Subscriber Jack Benham lives in San Francisco, California. He hears a lot of epic Tahoe weekend stories.