Every year my father and I do at least a dozen magic shows at the Alta Ski Club. After a long day of skiing, they have a little get-together for the adults and a party for the kids. We are hired to come entertain the kids. A.k.a., the super-ultra babysitting job.
Last year, mid-December, we were ready to go up the big, steep canyon. The huge turns and upward driving was endless. This night, this particular, strange night, was snowing so hard, blizzard is an absolute understatement. But, the show must go on, so we set out on our journey. The storm only got worse. By the time we started up the incredible canyon, you couldn’t see two inches in front of you. We only had two hours until show time.
Two hours of wondering if you are going to live through this. Two hours of the high anxiety my dad has and genetically passed on to me. So here we are, driving up the canyon like a married couple. There’s no barrier to save you from the hundred-foot drop if you fall of the edge. The ice was getting thicker. You couldn’t see any cars coming; you couldn’t see the road, nothing. It was pitch black, clouds covering the moon and stars.
I glance at the clock. 6:22 p.m. One hour thirty-eight minutes. Could we make it? Suddenly, Dad harshly swerves and my heart skips a beat. I hear everything crash into each other in the back seat. Who knows if the animals are still alive? Who knows if we’ll ever get there? Who knows if risking our lives is worth entertaining 47 kids? I swear I have whiplash from the sudden jolt.
“Dad! You’re going to kill us!”
“Sorry, what I supposed to do, stop the storm?”
“Yes.” I express sarcastically through my teeth, with are gritted together like cemented concrete. We both sigh and go back to looking at the road. Well, what road we can see. We never blink, we never breathe. I take a nano second long glance at the clock. 6:52 p.m. There’s no way. And now, here it comes. The great big “S” turn. We’re going to die; no way we going to survive this.
My dad has knuckles white as a sheet on the wheel. Here it comes. 3, 2, 1. . . Eeeerrrrttt! Loop one. EeeeeEEErrRRRtttT! Loop two. Phew. 7:02 p.m.
Closer and closer we emerged in the storm thinking about what a wonderful life we’ve had. I’ve had a great childhood; everything in my life’s gone pretty smoothly. I guess my sister and my best friend could split my clothes 50/50, and my allowance can go into my parent’s bank account. I had an essay due on Monday, also some math homework that wasn’t finished. I guess that wasn’t going to happen. My grades have been good, I have no regrets. I think I’ll leave a pretty good impression on people, never been extremely rude or offensive to anyone in particular.
Was there anything I hadn’t accomplished? Well, I’ve never parachuted, fallen in love, eaten a snail, seen Dumbo, been on the Colossus; my list continued endlessly when we came to a stop.
My head jerked up so fast for a moment I thought we had crashed and I got whiplash again. But to my amazement, there it was; the Alta Ski Club. It was 7:47 p.m. We had made it; by some miraculous event, we had lived through the entire drive up, and here we were, about to go on stage in approximately 13 minutes to make kids laugh and amazed.
Now we were supposed to let all that stress go and go put on a show. The peace within me was overwhelming. It was like being inside a house that was on fire, and fireman has just extinguished the entire thing. The wonderfully cold water fills up your body as you feel a trillion times better. So, there it is. The statement “The show must go on,” is very fierce burning belief in my father's heart. This is the precise reason that I was the next three years to last at long as it possibly can. I am not one bit excited to drive a car. I think I’ll just stick with my bicycle.