We took our 6 kids and my father to the snow this past Christmas Day to enjoy good old fashioned sledding and snow ball fights.
It was California snow, so we had the benefit of doing all of this while the temperature amazingly never fell below 48 degrees. I know, NOT a real winter, right?
But hey, we've woken up to 25 degree mornings recently, so we aren't THAT thin skinned.
What we observed in the couple of hours that we were there absolutely HORRIFIED us. Actually, DISGUSTED us is a more appropriate term.
We were surrounded by idiots who insisted on NOT FOLLOWING THE RULES.
There was a woman, injured on the ground and surrounded by paramedics.
You would THINK that common sense would kick in and the other sledders would hold tight and build a snowman or something until the scene was cleared.
Then you thought WRONG.
Why should an injured woman who couldn't move her back or feel her legs stop anyone from having FUN?!?!
So the sledding continued. At moments, mere INCHES away from where the paramedics kneeled at the woman's side. I had to turn away a few times because it looked like the woman was going to get run over by idiots who weren't raised right by Mom and Dad.
I can't IMAGINE how people get HURT at these places!
But watching children sled completely unattended by adults and adults smashing into trees at speeds that should have cracked their skulls in 20 pieces was nothing compared to the idiocy we witnessed on the OTHER side of the slope.
For hundreds of yards, a frozen lake bed stretched into the distance.
I guess it COULD have been mistaken for a MEADOW, but you DID have a worker WARNING PEOPLE it was a frozen lake bed and to not sled or walk or jump up and down on it as some of these Neanderthals were doing.
Ok. True. Most of these people at the snow park were immigrants speaking foreign languages and might not have understood the man's warnings. But don't you think RUNNING WATER along the sides of the LAKE might speak a UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE?!?! Is there any culture on earth where a man yelling and waving his hands horizontally back and forth and wagging his fingers means YES?!?!
And yet down onto the lake bed they slid on their sleds. Children with adults, without adults. Adults who SHOULD have known better running onto the frozen lake and jumping up and down like drunken fools. Maybe they thought it was Wisconsin where you can drive SUVs onto the ice with no worries. But this was CALIFORNIA. And never mind perception. When a guy tells you "DON'T GO ON THE ICE...IT'S A LAKE AND YOU MIGHT FALL IN"...you flipping LISTEN to him.
The ultimate scene of the death of common sense, though, came when a young couple (my guess, late teens or early 20s) walked to the MIDDLE of the frozen lake! The MIDDLE!! What idiocy! The water at that point would have been VERY cold and deep enough for DISASTER should that ice have cracked and broken.
Not only did they put all their weight into their scenic photo op, they did the unimaginable.
They walked BACK to the shore along the EXACT SAME PATH! They retraced their heavy steps ALL THE WAY BACK!!
Common sense, again, would dictate that you don't compromise the integrity of the ice by further weakening it on your way back. That you at least step on STURDIER ground on your return.
But then again, if they apparently weren't ingrained with an OUNCE of common sense at birth or else they wouldn't have been out there in the first place.
We honestly thought at ANY moment, we would witness a tragedy.
I talked to the employee on our way out. I thanked him for his hard work and told him that he wasn't getting paid his weight in gold for having to deal with such stupidity.
He had been dealing with such people on a weekly basis for over 11 years he told me. We both agreed that it was morons like this that would disregard multiple warnings, fall into the ice, injure or kill themselves, and then turn around and sue because a friend or family member DIED. This is the kind of stuff that makes a mockery of not only common sense, but our legal system as well.
I told him HE should have gotten the Nobel Peace Prize.
He chuckled and thanked me and the gleam in his eye showed how grateful he was to be dealing with someone with a brain. The wrinkles in the corners of his eyes as he smiled told me that he didn't run into that very often.