Friday, December 10, 2010

Forget it Jake, it's a Snow Fort

One of the things I miss most about living in Michigan is snow. Not driving in it, or shoveling it, but just watching it fall or playing in it. If there's one thing movies somehow manage to capture well, even when they completely manufacture it, is the beauty of falling snow. George Bailey running through the snow yelling Merry Christmas, the doors opening to reveal that first snow fall in White Christmas, the snow in A Christmas Story. All of it paints the perfect picture of a winter wonderland where an angel gets its wings or you get that bb gun you always wanted for Christmas.

But this isn't a story about the magic of falling snow, or a story about Christmas. This is a story about trying to build a snow fort and having my nose sliced open by a shovel.

After a particularly heavy and wonderful snowfall one year, around age 7 or 8, my brother carved out a chunk of our backyard into a militaresque snow nest. He and his friends made a wall of snow next to the sidewalk from our back porch which butted up against the fence, with the gate as a back wall. It was a great base, and my friends and I loved to play in it, trying to perfect it further.

I'm not sure what we were trying to do, but it involved shovels. We were trying to scoop up/scrape up additional snow, either to make snowballs or add to the wall. I was kneeling down in the snow, scooping at the frozen snow. Meanwhile my friend was pushing the shovel into the snow, also trying to scoop up snow. He had worked his way towards me, and was moving to swing the shovel upward. Sadly, I was tilting my head and body forward at the same time.

My nose and the shovel's metal edge connected quickly and we both pulled away quickly. I remember it hurting a little, and my friends were all shocked. But there was nothing immediately wrong. Until I checked how my nose was doing. I lifted my mittened hand up to my nose, held it for a moment, then looked at it. A small line of blood was visible.

"OHMYGOD I HAVE TO GO INSIDE!" I cried. "EVERYBODY HAS TO GO HOME!" I tore inside crying for my mom while my friends filed out of the backyard through the gate.

Mom looked closely at my nose. She never told me at the time since I was and am a bit of a hypochondriac, but there was a definite cut running up the left side of my nose. This was going to require a hospital visit.

And here's where the most bizarre movie reference my mom has ever made occurred. Little backstory first though:

At the time this all happened, I loved the movie Aladdin and the Genie was my favorite character. I loved all the voices and characters the Genie did. One of my favorites happened to be the Genie's impression of Jack Nicholson.

Check the clip below at :13

I used to run around doing that impression in my best Robin Williams doing Jack Nicholson voice that I could muster, being a 7 year old girl. My mom thought it was adorable.

So when we were driving to the hospital, I was feeling pretty down about having a hurt nose. It wasn't fun, and it threatened the chances of going to see a show that night with all my friends. So, to cheer me up, my Mom said roughly the following:

"Hey, you know what's kind of funny? You know how you like the Genie and Jack Nicholson? Well, dad's favorite movie is Chinatown, and Jack Nicholson's in it. And he gets his nose whacked just like yours. We'll have to tell your dad about this when we get home."

She of course never told me HOW and WHY Jack Nicholson's nose gets sliced open.

Shovel not shown to scale.

All I need was a little sticky bandage on my nose that I wasn't allowed to get wet for a few days. It would fall off on its own, and my nose would be whole again. No scarring, nothing. You wouldn't even be able to tell it had happened.

I was lucky.

That was easily the fastest ER visit in my lifetime. We were in and out in about a hour. Even the doctor was surprised how fast it was all going. But he bandaged me up and got me on my way. We made it to the show just fine, and for about five days, I had the perfect Jack Nicholson impression.

We did tell my dad about the Jack Nicholson connection, and he nodded to himself, saying, "Huh, I guess so. That is pretty funny."


  1. This isn't the snow fort that beget the "Invading Belgium" game, is it? (By the way, this is Emily :) )

  2. I have no idea actually. I don't recall Geoff playing "Invading Belgium," but it wouldn't surprise me in the least.