Unfortunately, Pierre and I are so out of it that we did not realize that the Winter Olympics was just an hour's drive away over the border into Italy, a distance short enough for the athletic endorphins to travel and infect the two other couples we were vacationing with and their accumulated four children. We knew we were in trouble when on the first morning the kids filed into our room at seven a.m., already wearing snowsuits, shaking us awake with chimed threats. "Time to ski! Time to ski!"
As I brushed my teeth, I started getting images of a giant snowball with a Philippine flag stuck to its side. It would be me, accidentally pushing my ski professor off a steep ravine so that I was left to my own devices and out of control, rolling down the slopes, gathering speed and packing up snow. Reaching ten meters in diameter, I would flatten entire families of French tourists. Forever their death screams would haunt me: "Merde!" "Putain!" "C'est quoi cette connerie?!" Screaming as well inside my prison--"Putangina!!!!!!!"--my alien vocalization would cause an avalanche and cut the town off from all major roads. After they'd run out of wine to maintain the joie de vivre and cheese to make a proper fondue, the survivors would have to walk home (school break's almost up anyway). The chic would curse me for making them look ridiculous, wearing those tennis rackets they strap on to feet and call snowshoes. Nonetheless, they would attempt to sashay and strut, the three surviving Parisians actually managing it.
I would be deported encased in ice and shame, and Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo would have a lot of explaining to do in front of the European Community. Afterwards there would be an international ban against all Filipinos: any one of us even attempting to step on snow would be instantly shot.
Fast forward to now: We're back home and a coup attempt is the headline at inq7.net. We survived, but barely.
Waking up in a cold sweat, we have nightmares about spending the rest of our lives required to get up all chirpy at dawn. Pierre cracked a rib because he forgot that he wasn't twenty years old anymore and went up on the steep red slopes the first time he ever tried snowboarding. I managed to ski just fine, but fell too many times ice-skating and even got myself kicked on the calf by my husband's metal skates so that I was limping for a day. The holiday's triumph: Angie was chanelling the spirit of her countrywoman Shizuka Arakawa, gliding after just an hour on ice skates.
Adrenaline pumping anew through his aging body, Pierre threatens to bring us up again for another week, at the end of which he says I have to be skiing down the red slopes with him. Make a petition to stop him, please. It's for the national good.