Sin Dignidad

I write this sitting in the kitchen sink. It’s undignified as fuck-all, but there you go. If I were the kind of guy who had a crest, a coat-of-arms, a sigil (and there I go revealing the depths of my nerdery), the inscription would be Undignified.

Have you ever gone sledding on a lunch tray?

Seriously, you should. It’s a rush. You smuggle a tray out of the dining hall, toss it down at the top of the hill, and whoosh! you’re off. We were just going to get in a few runs after lunch before the physics lecture series opener. It was going to be a good one, a Serbian physicist and philosopher giving a talk about entropy. The Disappearing World. The lecture hall was at the bottom of the hill. It was a win-win.

Except that my roommate is crazy. We slide the trays out of our parkas and he pulls an aerosol can from his pocket. The kid has more weird shit in his pockets.

“Dude, my Mom uses that crap when she bakes cookies.”

He only grinned. Because what’s faster than plastic on hard-packed snow? Greased plastic on hard-packed snow.

So the minute my ass hits the tray, I’m off. Hurtling down a three-hundred foot hillside on snow that’s been hardening and compacting for three days—I swear to god my face is flapping like they do in cartoons, and I realize that they plowed the sidewalk that bisects the quad at the bottom of the hill.

I’m getting ready to bail, but some asshole (and let’s remember, it my lunch tray) has left something sticky on the tray and my jeans hang on. How often do you wear a belt for a lecture? Me neither.

Laundry day is tomorrow. I didn’t figure commando was going to be such a horrible exercise in poor judgement.

I hit a bump, my skinny legs can’t keep the pants on, and I skid, bare-assed over the cold, freshly plowed concrete.

I’m screaming like a little kid, my butt is chafed—I’m pretty sure I’m half-naked and bleeding in front of the advancing girl’s rugby team—and what does my animal of a roommate do?

He picks me up in a fireman’s carry and rushes me, mooning classmates and passing faculty alike, back to our apartment, where he dumps me unceremoniously in the kitchen sink.

Just before he hits the shutter button on his phone, he says to me, “Dude. I’ll get your laptop. You so have to blog this.”


This piece was inspired by Eric’s Master Class meme, which offered up the opening line to Dodie Smith’s “I Capture the Castle” as a starting point.





36 thoughts on “Sin Dignidad

    Oh my, I’m snickering and remembering, my heart is so full of MEMORIES of the crazy shit we did in College.
    you made it so RUNNING WITH SCICCORS meets oh I don’t know, Catcher in the Rye meets FRIENDS.
    it was glorious.


  2. This is hilarious! I pictured this happening at my little college in the mountains. Sounds like something our little snowboarders would have done. Of course they did make a half-pipe out of snow one winter. Not sure any of them ended up bare-assed because of it.

    1. Heehee. I went to a small college on a hill in Vermont, and while this incident didn’t happen as told, there are elements of truth sprinkled here and there.

  3. “this incident didn’t happen as told” ?!?!?!?!? What the hell?

    This totally sounds like something I would do..except the part where I was anywhere near snow. Gah, how I hate the stuff. Well, except when my kids are absolutely amazed by it.

    1. I’ve tray-sledded, but the poor boy with the chafed bottom lives only in my imagination. Now slightly geeky, clever boys with raucous roommates? I knew plenty of those. 😉

      And oh, snow! Proper great piles of it!

  4. I have a memory in my head of my youngest son pushing a McD’s high chair up the wheelchair ramp, climbing in and Wheeeeee! Right down til his head hit the hard floor. (Hes okay and we had a good laugh about it afterwards). This was too funny!

  5. Shit. My boy is going to do something like this one day, isn’t he? Reminder to self: pack the giant tube of Neosporin when he leaves for college.

    I love this Cam. It’s hilarious and you nailed the voice.

  6. Can’t stop laughing. We went lunch tray sledding while at UT in Knoxville. The Hill behind the tennis courts was perfect for a snowy, break-neck slide. Thankfully, we never suffered ice rash. Awesome imagery, I could feel the chilly air.

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