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I was there.
I was only wearing my multi-colored Hawaiian bathing suit and a pair of flip flops. The sky was so bright, I couldn't tell where it ended and the ocean began. And while being mesmerized by the swaying palms, I stepped on the jelly fish, and the sting brought me to my knees.
I looked to make sure it wasn't a man of war, but I was lucky it was only a common jelly fish. But it hurt.
As I sat down to examine my foot closer, I sat on what must have been a large colony of sand fleas. It wasn't long until I felt them crawling into my bathing suit, biting as they went.
I jumped up, and on one foot hopped liked a madman all while flailing at my suit, and without thinking too much I hopped into the water, stepped on a seashell and fell head first into a crashing wave.
The wave took my suit right off my body.
There I was, naked, stung, bitten, bleeding from the shell, and then someone on the beach yelled, "SHARK".
I knew a shark is attracted to blood in the water and they were known to come into very shallow waters for their prey.
I jumped up in a panic, and a lady on the beach screamed and pointed, and all the eyes were instantly upon me.
I covered my privates while hopping on alternate legs, and someone tossed me a large beach towel, which I wrapped myself in while trying to get off the beach, but I stumbled and fell and that is when the flock of sea gulls took off over my head and covering me in sea gull droppings.
Then a kid kicked sand in my face, I apparently fell on top of the sand castle he had spent all morning making. Getting up, I was blind and couldn't see where I was going when I fell on top of the kid's mother who was also the lady who screamed a few moments earlier.
Even though the beach wasn't crowded, the sparse pack instantly gathered around me in various stages of laughter, amazement, disgust. Kids were crying, women were shrieking, men were howling.
It was my first day in paradise.
And that is why I am here, at Valley View Ski Lodge, the sun dancing off the fresh fallen snow, the pristine slope awaiting. The fire crackles in the lodge, a cup of hot chocolate awaits my return. The hot tub in my room bubbles away my coldness.
This year, embrace your cold. And don't forget to bring your Parka, the soft berber fleece lining, the 200 g Thermafil, and the detachable hood and of course, the quality of Eddie Bauer.
See you on the slopes.
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