How many of you remember the sleds with runners? I saw one here the other day in a catalog. Man, did that bring back some memories! We got our first runner sled for Christmas way back in 1962. We were told to share, but my sister was more interested in some dumb old doll, so I pretty much had the sled to myself.
The street out in front of our house had one of them hills that you could run faster than the sled could slide. And I could only get the sled to slide maybe about 15 feet or so and then I would have to push it again to get it going, then again would go about 15 feet. This went on for several hours and the rest of the kids were passing me like I was setting still, which I was pretty much doing anyway. I could not figure how to make the sled go. I mean, the others would pass me and they were not going all that fast, but they were at least getting down to the bottom of the street.
Then I just happened to see the bully kid of our street put something on the runners of his sled. When he did he could push his sled about 10 feet, hop on his belly, and sled to the end of the street. It took me like two weeks trying to find out what everyone was using. Of all things, they rubbed soap on the runners! I had asked my Dad why my sled would not slide, and he asked me if I had put any soap on the runners. I guess I gave him my stupid look or something. He rolled his eyes and went and got this bar of soap from the bathroom. It was one of those bars that just kind of sets in that little dish thing by the tub. You know, it always slimy, and it kind of mushes in your hand when you hold it.
Now, how in the world am I supposed to carry this slime thing on me? You can't put it in your pocket. I found out that just makes your pocket yucky. And if you put it in a lunch bag, you cannot get that sucker out if your life depended on it. It is like using liquid soap. You try to rub it on the runners and it just kind of runs down your arm more than on the runners. When you get this soapy yuck on your hands do not (I repeat, do NOT) rub your face or get it near your eyes or try to rub your runny nose. Bad, bad idea.
If you get it in your eyes, they will never quit watering and you can't see. It burns like crazy and, if it is really cold, you end up with these little icicles hanging off your eye lashes, and the corners of your eyes. What's really bad is if you get this stuff anywhere near your runny nose, you get these little frozen snot bubbles. I'm not kidding now. I swear that I saw a kid with them. Man you get those and you can kiss your nose goodbye. A fellow could get his nose frost bitten real quick. And if you're one of those kids that kind of has his tongue sticking out whenever they do anything, you can freeze your tongue to your lips, and then the girls make fun of you.
So, there I stood, slimy soap in my hand, 'cause now it is frozen there. And I have these little icicles hanging off of my eye lashes, and the ones that are stuck to the corners of my eyes have kind of run back towards my ears. My tongue is stuck to my upper lip and I can't talk. Then, to top it all off, I have this little frozen snot bubble hanging out of my nose like some little shiny Christmas ornament. But you know what? I made it to the bottom of that hill. Man, what a thrill! I must have made a zillion runs on the street that day. Only one person gave me a hard time about it and that was my grandmother, when I came in to thaw out. She said that I had enough soap on my face that I would not have to wash my face for a week.
So, that pretty much sums up my first sledding adventure. After that I kept my nose hair trimmed way back and would only use a new bar of soap for my runner sled.