Baby’s On Fire

When I was in high school, one of my favorite albums was Sammy Hagar, Standing Hampton. I made a tape for my car and listened to it at least a 10 times a day when I wasn’t listening to Journey or Styx (please click on the Styx link and look at the band photo. Ooooh. I can’t stop laughing.) or Triumph or some other awesome guitar rock.

I saw Sammy live my senior year, at the Fabulous Forum with rockin’ opening band Night Ranger. Was there ever a better time to be a teenager than the early 80’s?

With all the recent Van Halen whoo-ha in the news I heard Sammy Hagar on the radio and I tried to remember the last time I heard Standing Hampton. It’s probably been 20 years and I’ve been yearning to hear it again. But I don’t want to buy it. I already did. I just don’t know where it is although I’m sure it got the boot during a move. Lugging records around was always such a pain. I want to see if it sounds good now even though I couldn’t have even told you the name of one song on that album. Until last night.

Last night as I shuffled out of my yoga class there was a old but shiny Honda Accord with the windows rolled down cranking “Baby’s on Fire” in the parking lot. Right in front of the yoga studio. Do you love it? I need to get my hands on that album.

Meanwhile, that song brought back another long and deeply repressed memory of going skiing with my lame high school boyfriend (“bf”) and his family. Sometimes memories of my own person lameness startle me. It’s making me shudder to even type this story. You know when you’re out doing something and there’s a group of people who are so stupid and clueless that even years later you’re still talking about it? That was us on this ski trip. I’m probably going to have to turn out the light and sit back with a washcloth on my forehead when I’m finished with this.

I’d never been skiing and bf had been once. His parents got a cabin in Big Bear and I was invited to join them for a ski-tacular weekend. We rented our gear in the Valley somewhere and I got whatever they recommend for beginners. I didn’t know what I was doing.

Since the bf had already been skiing once, he advised that I didn’t need to take a class. I could just learn from him. I had no ski clothes, so I was wearing jeans and a sweatshirt. No hat. No gloves. I put on my skis in the parking lot and scraped along until someone noticed the stupidest and most clueless person alive and advised that perhaps that wasn’t the greatest idea and I should take the skis off immediately, aim the pointed ends to my chest, then fall on them.

I never did catch on to the idea of getting off the lift so I went straight from the chair to a full frontal face plant. Every single time. I spent the entire day falling down. My jeans were soaked. I was cold. Why do people like this? I wondered. I exaggerate little when I say I hated every single second of it. I did manage a very basic snow plow down the bunny hill and then to stop: face plant. I never did figure out where the enjoyment was.

Back at the cabin, the bf decided to light the fireplace. WHOOSH went the gas. I can’t get this lit. Can you get this lit? How the hell do I get this lit? He sticks his head into the fireplace with a lit match and WHOOSH. The fireplace is lit. So is he. He was not hurt but his eyelashes, eyebrows and top of his head were singed to a stinky crisp. Thus: Baby’s on Fire.

The second day no one skied and his mom and dad were mad because we wasted such a great opportunity for so much fun. Then we sat in traffic getting out of there. Why do people do this again? For our final act of stupidness we didn’t have a ski rack so, I kid you not, we had the windows opened a crack and the skis stuck through perpendicular to the car and sticking out the windows on either side. At one point a police officer followed us and yelled at us over his PA. It wasn’t worth stopping us. He probably hoped natural selection would finish us off.

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