The Evansville

"Joe Aarons's Morning Assignment made him the Evansville Courier's superstar for many years.

He won many awards including the National Headliners Club award for writing the best local interest column in the country in 1962. In 1977 his fellow Tri-State Journalists honored him with with the first Distinguished Service Award.

He is the author of five book: A Pig In The Gray Panel Truck, A Dandelion in Winter, Day of a President, Just a 100 Miles From Home, and The Journey in the Red Jalopy.

He worked for newspapers in Santa Fe, N.M., Monett, MO, Beckley WV, and Memphis, TN. He began working for the Evansville Courier in 1957.

Aaron was born in Cone, Texas and reared on a farm in Portales, NM. He attented the University of New Mexico where he graduated with honors with a degree in journalism.

Em-Bare Ass-ment on the Ski Slopes.

A story from the chronicles of T.H.U.D.S - The Hapless Underdog Society - those who are bedeviled by uncontrollable and generally humiliating incidents

by Joe Aaron

Whatever flaws you may have detected in my character, whatever shortcomings you may hold against me, whatever loathsome sins may be written down beside my name in the Book of Life, you must at least give me credit for one thing.

THUDwise, I have never let you down. THUDwise, my behavior has been above reproach.

When it comes to THUDs, those unfortunate members of The Hapless Underdog society who are bedeviled by uncontrollable and generally humiliating incidents, I have pursued my goal with a single-minded indefatigability that has seldom, if ever, been equaled.

I have told you of THUDs who accidentally drove smack through the garage door, under the misapprehension that the car was in Park, and THUDs who sleepily confused the Deep Heat with the toothpaste and set their mouths on fire.

I have even told you of the thieving THUD who once broke into a car in a parking lot and slyly made off with what he believed to be a partial bottle of Kentucky's finest bourbon, only to discover, belatedly, that it was a urine sample the car's owner was taking to her doctor.

I have told you of them all, and of dozens more, and I had frankly believed there was not a lamentable condition of the human experience that I had not chronicled.

Ah, but I was wrong. Indeed I was wrong. I had missed my guess by a country mile, and I have before me a letter from Mrs. Mickey Suttle as proof.

Her story, to tell it properly, is going to call for, how shall we say it?, a certain delicacy of approach that is alien to me, but I believe if we watch ourselves carefully and fight off our baser inclinations, we will succeed without offense.

Well, we have got to try. That�s all I know.

So it came about recently that Mrs. Suttle�s niece, who lives in California, went skiing with some of her friends.

Two of the girls in the party, skis strapped onto their boots, took the ski lift to the top of the slope.

And when they arrived there, one of the girls discovered that�and how shall we say THIS, I wonder? Yes, I know. She discovered that she had to go to the bathroom. We may as well be forthright about it.

She had to go to the bathroom and the lodge with its facilities was several hundred yards back down the mountainside.

Her friend, eager to have the bracing winds of winter in her face and averse to delay, persuaded her to conceal herself behind a bush.

Which she did.

She slipped down her heavy clothing and dropped into the proper stance for the business at hand.

Then, quite beyond her control, her skis began to move downhill, and she along with them.

And the next thing SHE knew, she was careening down that ski slope at speeds approaching 75 mph, her clothing dragging in her wake and her denuded bottom glistening like the diamonds from the Kimberley mine.

Well, as I expect you can easily visualize, she was fighting frantically at her uncooperative clothing, trying to hoist it back into an attitude of maidenly modesty, and trying at the same time to chart a safe course down the mountainside.

But she was unequal to the twin task and she eventually wrecked. I suppose that is the word for it, and went tumbling painfully through the snow, contorting and abrading herself and coming to rest feet-first, eventually, in a snowdrift, where she hastily finished dressing.

At about that moment, so Mrs. Suttle's letter informs me, the ski patrol, always prowling the slopes for skiers who have gone amiss, came by, saw her lying there and told her they would return presently with a litter to carry her to the bottom of the mountain to see if she had broken any bones.

They soon did return, in the company of another team of litter bearers who were carrying a young man with a crude, spur-of-the-moment splint on his leg.

They were carried side by side down the mountain toward the first aid station.

Suddenly the young man turned his head toward her and said, You'll never in a million years guess what happened to ME, she replied, I'll believe ANYTHING. So what DID happen to you?�

Well, he explained, he had been skiing down the slope, enjoying the crisp beauty of the day and at peace with the cosmos, when a young woman, all hunkered over in a most unprofessional way and, now this is the strange part, he said, her bottom birthday bare and her clothing kicking up clouds of snow, came zipping past.

I was so fascinated by the whole thing, he said, that I couldn't take my eyes off of her.

And I ran into a tree and broke my leg. So what happened to you?

But she wouldn't tell him. I suppose she thought he knew enough of her secrets already. .

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