The Ozark Mountain Hill Slide

Slip-sliding his way to hilarity, a daredevil farmer creates a new competitive event: the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.

| January/February 2007

  • The daredevil famer hits the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.
    The daredevil famer hits the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.
    ILLUSTRATION: BRAD ANDERSON
  • Animals run during the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.
    Animals run during the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.
    BRAD ANDERSON

  • The daredevil famer hits the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.
  • Animals run during the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.

Learn about the daredevil farmer and the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.

If that sissy sport of curling can be elevated to the status of an official Winter Olympics event, I think the Olympic Committee should sanction the more exciting sport of bringing home groceries in an Ozark ice storm, known as the Ozark Mountain Hill Slide.

The last time I competed in this event, I was way out in front of the pack when the storm actually hit, having bested most of the other participants in the obligatory shopping round. Like compulsory figures in a skating competition, frantic shopping errands seem demanded of everyone any time a winter weather advisory is issued. I deftly whipped in and out of the grocery store for the provisions I required. Spectators gasped audibly at the bold maneuvers I performed with my shopping cart, cutting off slower participants in nearly every aisle and beating out a child for the last bunch of decent bananas.

I felt confident enough of victory that I used up valuable seconds making one more stop for bird seed, and another, almost fatal one as it turned out, to buy a couple of gallons of paint. (After all, what better way to celebrate a win than to hotdog home with not only essentials, but also heavy objects completely unnecessary to surviving the storm?)



Just as I turned off onto my dirt road, a downpour of huge raindrops began. The shower was over by the time I had driven most of the two miles remaining to get to my house, but I felt like I had taken a wrong turn and come out on Big Rock Candy Mountain. Even without any sunlight coming through the clouds, every tree, twig, rock and blade of grass dazzled my eyes. Time itself seemed to freeze, encased (like everything else) in a quarter inch of glare ice.

I tried to coax my truck up the gentle rise leading to the last hill above my house, but I ended up backwards in a ditch. I abandoned my truck in that unorthodox parking place to compete the rest of the way on foot.





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