Sunday, January 15, 2012

Napa Paul. And oh, did I mention I'm an asshole?

A little over 10 years ago, I met Napa Paul.  I was serving a mission for the LDS (Mormons people.  The Mormons) church (please keep the audible gasps to a minimum) and was teaching his sister-in-law, Becca, one of the coolest people in existence.  She and her husband Jeff (Napa Paul's little brother) were always my favorite people to visit and I looked forward to the lessons with them.  With one little exception.  The days when Napa Paul was there.  For one simple reason.

He was an asshole.

Which, normally wouldn't be a problem.  I can handle assholes.  However, my usual way of dealing with them was no longer applicable.  I was a sister missionary representing the church.  I wore a name tag with my name next to Jesus Christ's.  I was expected to act with quiet dignity.

I spent a lot of time around Napa Paul biting my tongue and smiling through gritted teeth.  He and his family were already members of the church so he understood the importance of what my companion and I were there for.  I couldn't understand why he constantly felt the need to act like a dick.  I still have trouble putting myself in others shoes to try to understand what they're going through.  I've found it's always easier to make snap judgements which include a lot of name calling in my head.  It's easier AND more fun.  
Fast forward to now..ish.  I don't even remember how it happened but Napa Paul and I are now friends.  I'd like to think it's because he's grown up and made a lot of changes (which he has) but realistically, I think it's because I'm a bigger asshole than he is now.

He has family in Salt Lake so when he came out last winter to visit them, he suggested I take him snowboarding while he was here.  That suggestion was followed up with a lot of shit talking about how he was gonna ride circles around me yadda yadda.  Not gonna lie, I was beginning to feel a little apprehensive.  I can hold my own on the blue runs and a few tree runs, well, if the trail is wider than my shoulders, but black diamonds are another story.  I tend to side slip my way down those while praying the trees will stay out of my path.  I avoid them if I can.

I worked as a liftie at one of the ski resorts for a season so I could get the free season pass.  I decided to take him there since I was familiar with the resort and knew which runs led to the treacherous terrain I needed to avoid in order to not look like a total ass.

Little did I know I needn't have worried.  Why?  Because.


It literally took us 30 minutes to get in one run down that 1% incline, ski school infested, lame ass little hill.  I spent the majority of the day on my butt in the snow waiting for Napa Paul to make his way down.  It was about noon when I was freezing, patience nowhere to be found and hungry.  Napa had just made it to the bottom and was coasting on FLAT GROUND when he caught an edge and ate it.  He conked his head.  Hard.  If I hadn't already known him before this fiasco, I would have thought he had incurred some mild brain damage.

I needed a break and seeing as how Napa had probably just concussed himself, so did he.  And by needed a break, I mean I needed a drink.  We ate, I had a couple of beers and felt a little less like punching him in the throat.  He insisted he was fine to keep going so I pointed out the next hill we were going to try.  I warned him the initial hill would look intimidating but it leveled off right after that.

We take the lift up.  He eats shit getting off.  I stifle a groan.  We get to the edge.  He looks down and declares he's not going.  I don't recall at this moment what he said.  Probably something about his concussion.  I vaguely remember staring at him through my goggles for a moment trying to decide if he's serious.  Not going down?  He has to.  What is talking about?  I pull my goggles up and look at him.  He's serious.  He's not going down.

I tell him to take his board off, tell the liftie and I'll meet him at the bottom.  I just paid $70 for this.  My friend has a possible concussion and I'm leaving him for the liftie to deal with so I can get at least one real run in.  Because I'm an asshole.

I get to the bottom and no Napa Paul.  I wait for about 10 minutes then take the lift back up.  What the hell could he possibly be doing?  I get to the top and realize what the hold up is.  The liftie is busy helping out with someone else at the moment.  Some wanker has gone and hurt themselves and ski patrol is bundling them up burrito style to get the poor sap down the mountain.  That sucks but that doesn't explain where Napa has run off to.

Oh.  But wait.  Two.  Plus two.  Equals...

I head over for a closer look.  Are you EFFING KIDDING ME???  Yep.  Napa Paul is getting bundled in for his ride down the mountain.  I took pictures.

Because I'm an asshole.

I really don't even know what to say about this.

I wonder what was going on in his head at this point?

I would have walked down the damn mountain.

Okay, sure it LOOKS like a steep drop off over the dude's shoulder but it really did level off.

Ski Patrol let me know where to meet them and headed off towing Napa behind them.  And I got one more run in.

I went to get the jeep, stripped off my snow gear, threw on my flip flops and went to collect Napa Paul.  Ski Patrol warned me about the possible signs of concussion to watch for and Napa wanted one last picture.

This is what I look like when I smile through gritted teeth.  Ten years later, some things with Napa Paul never change.

My left arm was in perfect position for a throat punch.


  1. Why help or offer sympathy when you can take pictures and get jacked about the awesome blog fodder?!

    While waiting in line for bevies at starbucks, I noticed a street bum talking to my girlfriend (at the time). He kept taking her hand and seemed to be making a big sweet fuss about her. She looked perturbed, shocked and maybe just a touch amused. I was ecstatic. I got my drinks and she looked relieved seeing me walk toward her. Until I stopped twenty feet away, put down the drinks and pulled out the camera. I took a dozen pictures of 'Brother John" holding her hand and telling her how beautiful she was. I felt bad that I was laughing so hard the pictures would be a bit fuzzy. Yes, that was fun.

  2. Let's face it, you HAD to take pictures. What were you going to do, create pain reliever from items found in nature? No, you're doing what a good friend does when a friend is hurt, take pictures so you can mock him later. That's what friends are for.

  3. hahaha, you're lucky you had your camera on hand.

  4. Lol I'm still confused as to how you went from hating Napa Paul's guts to being friends? That's okay, though. And dude, how could you NOT take pictures? That would have been the jerkiest thing ever, because now he has pictures to tell about that one time he got a concussion on the bunny slopes. Not sure why he'd ever want to tell that story with pics, but now he can! Awesome, right?

  5. About 1/3 into this post, the phrase "Watch out, Karma is a bitch" entered my mind. As I continued to read, my mind kept screaming "SEE?? SEE??? TOLD YA!"

    Wait 2-3 years, and see how he recalls this story... I bet it was much less traumatic, and he almost died on a black diamond...

  6. I have a "Napa Paul" in my life. He drives me effin' crazy.
    I love him.

  7. I'm still stuck on the mormon thing ... !!!

    Anywho - I'd totally have taken photos and if I hadn't I would have WISHED I took the photos to share.

    That's asshole karma ;0) Bit him back!

  8. My friends would probably be pissed off at me if I hadn't taken photos and blogged about them! It comes with the territory!

  9. In what way was he an asshole? I need examples!

  10. Thanks for stopping by and saying hi! Appreciate it and great to meet you. I'll have to look out for those left hooks!

  11. I didn't know you were Mormon. I served my Mission in England. I didn't really last all that long but I tried. I tried and failed to be Mormon. Oh well.

  12. His experience with snowboarding is surprisingly similar to my own experiences. ._.

  13. Wow- Precisely. Does it make it worse that it was his camera and I just stole the pictures off his FB page to use in this post?
    Your mini story is awesomeness. It was probably time for her to learn the art of self preservation anyway. And really, did she know you at all and still expect a rescue?
    Also, attempting the quarter drop soon as I'm alone in the house. I can't have witnesses for this first attempt.

    Pickleope- Now that you mention it, I suppose I could have tried to numb his headache by shoving his face in the snow. Nah, pictures were easier.

    Jordan- Actually, I'm lucky I insisted on carrying his. He was falling so much I was pretty sure he'd land on it and break it...or a rib.

    Alyx- am I. A lot can happen in 10 years and a lot of drinking can make you forget a lot of those 10 years. Maybe I'll ask him.

    Lost in Idaho- She really really is. And now she's gonna get me for even writing this post.

  14. Dawn- Funny how that works, isn't it?

    Jenn Marie- Sometimes I get stuck on the Mormon thing too. It passes.

    Padded Cell- Ooo good point. They know what they're getting into when they're friends with a blogger.

    Tony Van Helsing- One example. He got a few of his friends to request a lesson from us. We knew it was a setup but we're not allowed to say no just because I don't like a person. He and his friends spent the hour wanting to bible bash mixed with flirting with my companion. You can't date while on a mission and they knew that. They were just trying to make her feel uncomfortable and waste our time. Total douche move.

  15. Stephen- I'm looking into anger management. No, I'm not.

    Not the Hero- Well done. You gave it a shot. It was the hardest 19 months of my life.
    I tried and failed too. Happens to the best of us. And the worst.

    DWei- I somehow doubt you did a lot of shit talking knowing perfectly well you have zero skills. And if you have a story involving you and ski patrol, I fully expect some sharing very soon.

  16. There is so much to process in this post. I laughed out loud (you can ask my husband) numerous times (whenever you were abusive of NApa Paul). I am also resisting the urge to ask you about the magical underwear because I know that would be disrespectful.

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  19. Who is in the picture with the BEAUTIFUL redhead! Thank you and come again!

  20. It only makes sense to get photographic evidence of such a great story. And how could you possibly waste the money you spent by not getting in a couple of good runs yourself? I think you totally made the right call in every situation here. Then again, I'm an asshole, too.

  21. I'm glad you mission taught you all that compassion.....

  22. Mandy_Fish- You laughed! That makes me very happy! I've never equated curiosity with disrespect. I'm more than willing to answer any questions to the extent I feel comfortable answering. What? Did that even make sense

    Paul- Change your mind a couple of times there? :)

    Katie- I'm glad you agree. And welcome to the club. Perhaps we should start an asshole support group?

    Mrs. Tuna- Impressive, isn't it?

  23. Sooo hilarious. I grew up by Big Cottonwood Canyon. My Dad left me at the top of a huge hill when we went skiing. I swear I just rolled down the thing. I always wondered if I made the right choice. After reading this post, now I know I did. ;)

  24. I'm perhaps even a bigger asshole. Because I find people falling hilarious, and I would have been hoarse in the throat laughing every time Napa fell. It almost makes going down the bunny hill worth it, right?

  25. Haha, I would have totally taken pictures too. We're assholes together, lol. I hate those people that get up to the top and can't get down. Just save the rescuers a trip and scoot down on your butt. Lol, too funny!

  26. Elisabeth- Yes, you most definitely made the right choice. We were at Brighton. Right at the top of Big Cottonwood!

    ABFTS- It was funny for the first 17 times. Then I got cold.

    TGFN- My pride would have gotten the best of me. There's no way I'd ride down in that damn sled...unless I was unconscious.

  27. :-)

    It's fun seeing someone get their comeuppance, isn't it!

    Plus, you got a story!


  28. Pearl- Definitely. And most importantly, he's been a good sport about letting me post this.

  29. I would have taken pictures too. That is, IF I were still around at that point. I would have ditched him on the bunny hill and let the ski school deal with him. Going off alone to find another 'single' and enjoy the day. But that's just me.

  30. Pixie- We could have gotten a couple of runs in together!