Floor Mat Fun

by : Mike Rosania

It's Friday night in a small Oregon town. We are well into winter; currently trapped in the hellish purgatory of this month called February. The temperature has been in the single digits for longer than I can remember. Night comes before I leave work, my gas bill resembles a phone number, and an icy mix of snow and sleet continuously camouflage the landscape with a grayish white blanket. If I want to make it out of this season alive, I need to make my own fun. I rather enjoy skiing, but my days on the mountain usually end mid afternoon because that is when the lifts shut down. And as much as I like having an eggnog or two (or ten), I need something to satisfy my time besides tasty beverages. My friend and I ended up having a lot of fun the other night using nothing more than a set of floor mats.

"Tonight is going real to be fun," I thought to myself as I arrived over at my friend Keane's house. Great, even my simple thoughts are turning sarcastic. Keane is a bear of man; a robust beast lacking any sense for fashion and personal hygiene. I knock on his door and surprisingly he greets me in an unusually well put-together manner. His beard that normally runs rampant across is now trimmed with the skill of a 6th grade boy who got a hold of his father's razor. Light glistens off his dark hair, illuminating the extreme amount of gel parting most of his hair to the left. "What's the special occasion," I ask as I enter into his humble abode. He had a grin pasted across his face that must have been super glued on because it wasn't coming off. "Well, if you're looking for a date you better give me a few drinks first" I joked. I mean, it wasn't exactly Keane's style to get all dressed up for a night at the local tavern. This is the guy who didn't cut his hair for two year to win a $10 bet. "We're meeting Sonya at the pub," Keane managed to get past his grinning jaw. Ohhh. Now it all makes sense. Sonya is a girl we went to high school with, the cute girl who would have gotten the attention she deserved if she could just move out of her sister's shadow. Now Keane had liked Sonya for a while. He never made a move because chasing girls wasn't his style. He'd rather be throwing darts and joking with the guys than sipping champagne with a dame by a fire. But Keane had started working with Sonya a few weeks ago and apparently they hit it off pretty well. Keane had set up a double-date, but without telling me. I couldn't turn down that big ugly mug of his, so we hopped in my truck and headed over to the tavern. The ladies weren't there when we arrived, so we had a few drinks. I guess we should have paced ourselves, but we were nervous. By the time they showed up we were three sheets to the wind. A mixture of booze and nerves took over Keane. I could tell he was putting her off with every syllable that fell out of his mouth. At least he was still grinning; slightly drooling, but grinning nonetheless. We excused ourselves and went to the bathroom and came back to two empty chairs. As I watched the grin fall from Keane's face for the first time that night I said, "Hey man, let's go outside I need to show you something." Distractions tend to temporarily help. Straining for something to talk about, I noticed the steep hill behind the tavern and started reminiscing about all the good times we had sledding; staying out until our toes were numb and blue. Bingo. I pulled two floor mats out of my truck, tossed one to Keane, and started to climb that hill. I reached the top, parked my rear on my makeshift sled, picked up my feet, and hoped for the best. The freezing night created a thin layer of ice above the snow. My sled flew down the hill and I let out a yell as I cruised past Keane. His eyes opened like a kid on Christmas. Before I knew it he was at the top of the mountain and taking a running start. His weight helped him create a lot more momentum and he really started to pick up speed. "Wooooooo," he yelled as he blasted past me in the parking lot. He wasn't slowing down though. His speeding sled was headed right toward main street. I glanced one way. It was clear. I look the other way and see head lights. "Keane! Stop!" Their path's are going to meet. As they near, the car slams on their brakes and stops just enough to barely miss my friend. The driver got out of the car and started screaming, "What is the matter with you?! I could have killed..." It was Sonya. "Keane?" she asked as he walked into the car's light. "What are you doing? I would have hit you if I hadn't seen the light reflecting off your glistening head". Keane just looked down at the ground. "I'm sorry I left, I had to run home, but I was coming back," Sonya explained. "Why don't I give you a lift home?" she asked. From the parking lot I could see the two silhouettes in the headlights embracing. Good for Keane. He nearly died, but it looks like everything will work out fine for him. I'm sweaty, cold, and about to catch pneumonia. Finally, Oregon is getting exciting.