Clarence, the human ski net |

Clarence, the human ski net

During the majority of time that I taught at Alta, there was a particularly lecherous old instructor named Clarence. Clarence considered himself quite the ladies’ man and instructed the ski school office to “Give me all of the middle-aged, rich women.”Over the years, Clarence developed a number of “tricks” to use when teaching attractive women. One of his most popular techniques was to take them up to terrain that was slightly beyond their capabilities.Convincing them that they could handle it, he would ski down 15 or 20 yards and tell them to ski down to him. Knowing that there was no way on God’s green earth that they would be able to stop, Clarence would ski out in front of the lady, open his arms and legs into a “human net” and catch them like a disabled jet fighter on a carrier flight deck.There would be much laughing and crying until the woman regained her composure. When things finally settled down, Clarence would say, “That was wonderful. Now, let’s try it a few more times.”- Deb Norum, Alta, UtahStrict sales pitchSki instructors are called upon to wear an infinite number of hats.One moment they’re trained technicians and the next moment they’re outdoor guides. They could be a baby-sitter and the next thing you know, they’re a concierge.But no matter which hat they’ve got on at the time, they remain professional salespeople, constantly on the lookout for opportunities to enhance their income.One warm, spring afternoon I was sitting outside the base lodge soaking up the sun and watching the skiers finish their day. Several feet away, I overheard a private ski instructor chatting with a young boy. The boy was obviously his client and was absorbing the instructor’s summation of their lesson.The instructor leaned over to the boy and asked, “Jimmy. Did you have a good time today?” The young boy nodded yes.”Would you like to ski with me tomorrow?” Once again, the young boy nodded yes.Pressing the sales pitch a bit further, the instructor said, “Wouldn’t it be great if just you and I could ski together? All by ourselves?” Once again, the young boy nodded yes.”Well, Jimmy. You tell your mommy that tomorrow, you want to ski with just me and nobody else. And if you can’t, you’re not coming out of your hotel room for the rest of your vacation.”- Anonymous

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