Top ten things that a ski patroller should NEVER say

February 8, 2012

OVERHEARD IN THE SKI PATROL TOP SHACK:  “Mr. Alford, I just read something, and I KNOW it’s true because it was on the Internet.”

I spend an unusually large amount of time each week at work lying in the snow.  No, I’m not bored, and no, I don’t get mugged every day.  I am a ski patrol instructor, and much of the time that means lying in the snow.  For a long time.  Waiting to be rescued.  Truth be told, instead of listing my profession as “a Spanish teacher who also teaches ski patrollers,” it might be better to describe myself as “a ski patroller who also teaches Spanish classes.”

So there I was, lying in the snow, pretending to be either severely concussed or in shock (I can’t remember, because in truth all I became was mildly hypothermic), and it hit me.

No, not the snow that my student patroller inadvertently kicked into my face; the idea for this Glog.  Why not say the unsaid?  Why not go out on a limb and go where no ski patroller has gone before?  And by that, I don’t mean “off of the back side of Sunday River” because I know several patrollers who have been there.  I mean, why not share the truly weird things that we ski patrollers say when we think no one is listening?  After all, since we spend so much time carefully, professionally editing what we say in front of skiing guests, there just HAVE to be some things that come into our minds but…well….we just CAN’T say them.  Things like:

  • “Bruins Starter jacket, huh?  Mmmmm…that must keep you REALLY warm.”


  • “Lady, if I could afford it I would pay you NOT to ski.”

Things like that.

So I did some extensive research (asked a few kids riding the chair with me), and we came up with a top ten list of things that a professional, or at least professional-looking patroller REALLY shouldn’t say when conversing with a patient on the mountian:

10. “WOW!!! That must HURT!!!”

9. “Can you take your own pulse for me?  Touching people gives me the heebie-jeebies.”

8. “Do you take any medications?  Would you like to buy some?”

7. “Can we continue this assessment tonight, say 7:30?  I’ll bring the wine, you bring that arm.”

6. “I think I’m gonna be sick.  Can you wait right here?”

5. “No, I’m not a ski patroller, but I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night.”

4. “YOU’RE sore?  You should see my back!”

3. “What’s that thingy sticking out of your arm?”

2. “I’ll be right back with your wallet, just keep good pressure on that.”

1. “OOoooo! I’ve never seen THAT before!  Can I take a few pictures for my Facebook page?”


Of course I would NEVER say any of this to a patient.  But just in case….don’t give a ski patroller your wallet.





2 Responses

  1. Avatar Marc LeBlond says:

    It’s my first day ever. Why do you ask?

  2. Avatar Matthew Alford says:

    “Do you take medication? Oooo really can I buy some?”

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