An Informal History of the Ski and Bow Rack


Once upon a time, Old Man Winter Larry Fisher came out of his cave and decided to mail a letter to his darling niece in Pennsylvannia. Unfortunately, the nearest mailbox was more than 100 feet away and buried in snow, so Old Man Winter decided he needed more efficient transportation. He scrounged up some old boards from the cave attic, strapped them to his feet, and pushed himself off towards the mailbox. Turning wasn't as intuitive as he'd hoped, and once he'd disentangled himself from a nearby spruce, he popped the letter in the mailbox, collected his boards, and mused on heraldry as he started the long trudge home.

That evening, Old Man Winter decided on a name for his new sport: efflebobelskiitereping (skiitereping for short.) He also decided that pancakes were best made with home-ground whole wheat flour with proportionally correct amounts of gluten added in by hand.

The next day, he tried efflebobelskiitereping (skiitereping for short) to the mailbox to send another letter about his new discovery to his niece. While he didn't hit the same tree, he still had difficulty turning and hit a different, much larger tree beyond the mailbox. Again disentangling himself from the tree branches and shaking the snow from his mustache, Old Man Winter decided he was cold and that some sort of thin moisture-wicking base layer would probably help keep him warmer on his next venture. He popped the letter in the mailbox, collected his efflebobelskiitereping boards (skiitereping boards for short), and mused on heraldry as he started the long trudge home.

That evening, Old Man Winter played with canting his boots, hoping that would remedy his turning radius woes. Then the thought struck him (ouch!): he could probably sell this to the local yokels in the village by the river. Then he could afford to knock out the back wall of his cave to put in a hot tub. He picked up his tablet (only the best granite!) and began scratching out designs, business plans, and investment letters.

The next day, he tested his canting while efflebobelskiitereping to the mailbox and it worked! He hockey stopped, sending a super-thrilling spray of snow showering over the mailbox and noticed he'd got mail. He exchanged the investment letters for the little pink one from his niece and opened it. It read:  "Dear Uncle Larry, I don't like the name. How about 'Skiing' for short? By the way, I got a pink bunny!" Old Man Winter scoffed at the letter and started home. But the more he thought about it, he found "skiing" had a ring to it.

That evening, he perfected a shaped, rockered ski in his workshop, but decided that was way too much work to do by hand, and sent off for some catalogs to see if he could buy them wholesale instead of trying to manufacture his invention in the back of the cave.

The next day, he tested his shaped, rockered ski on the way to the mailbox. He dropped off his catalog requests, found all of his investment letters returned with boatloads of ready cash, and sashayed his way into the village to speak with a real estate agent. Unfortunately, he skiied in the parking lot and tore up the bottoms of his new skiis. Muttering angrily he strode into the first of the several thousand real estate offices in town. As luck would have it, the first guy accepted his boatloads of cash and sold him a prime location on the river at the edge of town. Old Man Winter strolled quite happily back to the cave, with dreams of drinking earl grey tea (with a hint of lemon) in a hot tub tangoing through his head.

That evening, he decided that since the food pantry was empty, he needed to go hunting. He grabbed his trusty spear and efflebobel...er...ehem...skiied to his favorite hunting grounds. After missing three deer and five elk because his elbow just wasn't what it used to be, he wondered if he could fling the spear with something other than his arm. He thought of a lithium-ion battery-powered magnetized flinger, but decided he probably couldn't find a US based manufacturer for the chips he would need to calibrate the magnets. He thought of a hydraulic-based cannon, but figured  that while the energy-output ratios were fantastic, the trailer he would need to lug it around wouldn't give him the efficiency he needed when stalking an elk. He gave up his search and started the long trudge back home.

The next day, Old Man Winter was still hungry so he grabbed his trusty spear to go back out hunting. Unfortunately, he was so hungry he wasn't as careful as he normally pretends to be and knocked his new fishing-line chandelier from its precarious perch on the overhead beam. Then a thought struck him (ouch!): I should try tying that chandelier to the beam! He looked down at the broken chandelier. One of the long, curved, hand-carved, wooden shafts lay at his feet, fishing line still strung between the ends. Then another idea hit him (ouch!): What if I made a mini-spear that the line could fling forward after I pulled it back? It'd be a heck of a lot easier than throwing this log of a spear by hand...

That evening, he perfected a carbon-core, laminated-limb compound bow, but with flashbacks to his ski experiment, decided against large-scale manufacturing in his cave and instead sent off for more magazines to find a decent wholesale product. He composed a letter to his niece explaining his new ideas.

The next day, he skiied down to his mail box, sent off the letter and found all the ski catalogs his heart could desire. He took them home, grabbed his bow, went hunting, harvested a massive 14x14 elk, and cooked up some delicious elk burgers.

That evening, a name popped into his head: The Boot and Arrow Rack. It was perfect! He spent the rest of the night flipping through ski catalogs and musing on cambers (and heraldry) and used his life savings to purchase a fleet of rental skis.

The next day, Old Man Winter skiied down to the mailbox, picked out the pink letter and half a ton of bow catalogs, and made the long trudge back to his cave. Once inside, he opened the pink letter and read: "Dear Uncle Larry, I'm glad you're opening a ski and bow shop. I think you should call it: The Ski and Bow Rack. Also, I got a purple guinea pig!" He scoffed at the letter. But the more he thought about it, he liked the sound of the name.

That evening, he browsed bow catalogs to his heart's content and spent all the money in his couch to purchase a rack of bows.

The next day, he skiied to town, and built a grand sign with the name "Ski and Bow Rack" received a shipment of skis and bows, and decided he probably needed a building in which to house them. Gathering a few of the local yokels for a good, old-fashioned barn-raising, he built the shop, got it outfitted with the latest boot-fitting technology, and hired his giant nephew for promise of peanuts.

That evening he sat in his new shop, admiring his skiis and bows, and thought to himself, "THIS is the life." Then a new thought hit him (OUCH! For cryin' out loud, stop that!): his feet hurt. So he pulled out his granite tablet and got to work on grinding a custom insole.

The End.