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A Week in the French Alps

Madness in Val Thorens |

Special commendation to Richie for organizing this trip for us, and Steveo with helping me remember everything that happened.

20 of us flew into St Etienne, we weren’t there for 5 minutes before Mark Modrich had a sniffer dog giving him grief and had to head off for a quick ‘how’s your father’ with the Custom’s Officers.

Private charter bus up to Val Thorens on New Years Eve. Drinking in the Chalet before heading out to the bars. Various antics included:
Superrichie saved a cat that was stuck in a tree, with a bit of assistance (check out the photo, although both the cat and tree are not shown),
Craig and I went powder diving, the sister sport to hedge diving (resulted in Old Man Winter effect seen in the photo).
I fell down some stairs in a bar and broke my camera.
Dan Bruton embarked on a display of air guitar and crowd diving that had a large portion of bar in a frenzy. The same bar later in the week had a Meatloaf look-a-like on the piano guitar. Check out the photo!

First day of skiing was pretty good. Great powder - helped to have a soft landing for the first morning. The face plants became increasingly painful as the week progressed.

The crashes culminated in a wipe out in thigh deep powder off piste. Not such a problem on the face of it. Until I tried to get out. I was pushing my board out and clambering through the snow. One push of the board too many and I saw it suddenly take off downhill, while I was still stuck in the snow. I yelled out and some random people chased my board down the hill. They eventually caught up with it about 300m down the hill and I ran down the slope and found it sticking in the snow. Michelle had been waiting at the bottom of the slope for 15 minutes.

Second night, back from the Irish pub downstairs, a wrestling match in the lift resulted in us breaking the lift and running up the stairs with 6’4’’ French security guard chasing us armed with garlic breath and yesterday’s baguette. Mike lost his phone in the ensuing Mêlée and Craig thought Richie was the security guard.

4th January was Michelle’s birthday, and Fondue was the order of the day. More cheese than a Disney movie. Mike challenged Mark to drink the rest of the cheese in the Fondue. Equivalent to 1 imperial pint (photo). Not one to shy away from a challenge involving eating or drinking, or drinking stuff you should eat, Mark accepted, with 20 euros and the adoration of a room full of cheese-loving women the prize. He easily completed. The waitress was aghast "I have never seen anything like that before. I am going to name a drink after you. What is your name?" (frenchie accent).
Mark: "Steve"

The bladder-affecting capabilities of liquid cheese have been called into question, by Matty K, given Mark was on the top bunk that night and Matty woke up in a soaking sleeping bag “I was so soaked. I thought I had pissed myself. It wasn’t until I heard dripping onto my bed I realized it was coming from above.”

In an incident that was glossed over due to the aforementioned internal pipe rupture, Steveo discovered that vomit does not always contain carrot, and corn is not limited to appearing in your crap. The fact he had just eaten a tin of corn may have influenced the contents, which were displayed ‘buffet style’ all over the stairs for two days.

One night Craig decided a game of elimination shithead was the order of the day. The rules were – first person eliminated had to give the winner a blow job, second had to be the fluffer. Through an act of karma reminiscent of the time Ed Massey had one spicy meal too many in Nelson and repainted a toilet cubicle, Craig was the first man out. Jeremy was second. After systematically purging the game of pretenders, Caroline and I battled it out, and it came down to one card….Craig was brushing his teeth for 40 minutes.

Steveo was up to his old antics again when he convinced a drunk Jim that Craig and Richie had put toothpaste in his sandwiches. I systematically went about putting toothpaste in everyone’s sandwiches. Turns out they didn’t put any in. Oh well.

Richie pain was only increased when Craig and I gave him a ‘tag team wedgie’ and lifted him off the ground. It wasn’t a good night for Richie. Whilst dancing on the table Mark walked up to him and threw the remainder of his pint all over his crotch (photo).

On the final day of skiing it was decided a race would take place. A race that would decide the fate of a nation. Or at least who was the best. Skiers were ranked. Teams formed. I’m not sure who won. I recall crashing into Laura instead of passing her the team scarf. I’m pretty sure that means we didn’t win.

Some smart arse French fool with small man syndrome decided it would be a good idea to pick on Jeremy, Mike and Richie. It was somewhat a surprise to all of us that He ended up unconscious as a result of Richie. Who smashed his head into a wall.

Everyone was a little wasted by the time we got to Lyon. Jeremy fell asleep on the bus and was the recipient of a ‘facial’ from an unknown assailant . Lyon was a little disappointing, not really anything to write home about. Although it seems that’s exactly what I’m doing. The French tourist information were about as friendly as a…French…information center...for tourists… A few of the group went a restaurant in Lyon called Carnivore. Caroline couldn’t understand why they couldn’t cook her a vegetarian meal.

Taxi was picking us all up at 7.45am the next morning to take us to the airport. Craig advice for catching the taxi’s - “every man for them self”. Almost backfired as we were only woken by Richie banging on the door at 7.43am. Fastest turn around ever.


Michelle: “The hot water is running out” (with 2 people yet to shower, including the sweatiest man alive)
Craig: “That may have something to do with me having a bath. Man that bath was hot. I’m still sweating.”
Richie: “Dick”

Craig: “I can be quite arrogant.”

Hannah: “Don’t talk shit Craig, there’s no such place as Central America!” and “Oh yeah, that’s where Cincinnati is.”

Steveo’s take on Craig having to give moi a BJ: “Well Craig, at least you’ve still got your arrogance.”

Steve: “I put a dirty tampon in your drink and tricked Jim into putting tooth paste in your sandwiches, but since you had a bath we will call it even.”

Hannah was pretty gutted that her boots had gotten all dirty during the week:
Hannah: "Look at my boots. They are all dirty. Would you still wear these?"
Steve: "No. But not coz they're dirty but because they're ugg boots"

Richie and Steve managed to score some double happies from a firework store in town – the banned firework of choice from our youth.
Katie: "Are those whizz poppers?"
Matty K: "Yes quite. Come along Stephen, lets light the whizz poppers and then have lashings of ginger ale.”
Burn on the English.

Locations Visited: Saint Etienne, Lyon

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