Modern Living: Skiing

It is a brilliantly blue, bitterly cold winter afternoon, and Joe Downhill is 73rd in line for the chair lift. He shuffles his $200 fiber glass skis and $90 foam-injected Rieker boots, pokes forward a few inches with his $35 aluminum poles, and shivers in his $95 quilted parka, while his $10 all-day lift ticket flutters in the chill breeze and his stomach rumbles from that rotten $2.50 lunchtime ratburger.

If he glances toward some nearby slope, the suffering Mr. Downhill may observe a strange-looking character in knickers and a light sweater striding cheerfully...

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