Tales of catastophe, sex and squalor from the Alpine Underbelly...

Belle de Neige

Sunday, 6 February 2011

Some Other Mountain Creatures

This season the main protagonists in this little story remain very much in situ. I am still in the company of crackpots. There is of course the strange mountain dwelling thing - E...sans dreadlocks (turns out he’s quite handsome under all that hair, though still unhinged), F-the-Chef, H and of course, the ubiquitous Skater Boy.

But what of the others? The support cast?...well, let me attempt to sketch a few characters and types for you:

The Managers

So we know that Chalet Bitches are in the most part clueless, drunken, louts who can’t cook chicken. But what about these slightly older, more responsible twenty-somethings they employ, to oversee the whole shebang? Are they any better?

To be frank, all you have to do is remember Scruffy-But-Handsome is one of them and your question is answered.

He is a complete maniac who skis around in a stripy red and white Willyfinder onesie looking like a criminal version of Where’s Wally? - and he is not alone.

When I met my colleagues for the first time, they all seemed like reserved, upstanding individuals. But after a week or two of being pushed to boiling point thanks to 15-hour days it all spilled over. I mean what do you expect?

There was Guinea-Fowl – a quietly spoken, affable chap, who had earned his nickname by pressing his naked genitals up against restaurant windows and yelling ‘GUINEA FOOOOOOWL’ at perturbed diners.

Goldilocks and Sasquatch – a blonde bombshell and her enormous, lovable Kiwi boyfriend, who spent most of their time ploughing through most of the store room’s supply of chalet wine and spirits on the sly.

The Geordie Ninja – aforementioned chain- smoking driver with an uncanny ability to disappear under the radar. Usually pops up somewhere the next day looking furtive and hungover....You ain’t seen him, right?

Then there was Rowy, who got so shit faced one night that he genuinely couldn’t remember who he was when he woke up. Although he did vaguely recall some fisty-cuffs with one of his female staff. He spent an entire training day with his eyelids at half mast and a look of apologetic triumph on his face - repeatedly claiming that the only explanation was date rape. Now, I’ve been to some Rohypnol parties but that takes the cake...

Head Office Bots

Tour Operators: there are few that one would topple over oneself to work for - each have their strengths and foibles. This isn’t a well-paid career choice. Until, that is, you sell your soul to the devil. Aka Head Office.

The thing that mystifies me about these HO-Bots is that in the most part they’ve all done seasons at some point. They must, surely, know the score. They must, surely, be feigning shock when they hear one of the Chalet Bitches has been throwing after-parties and ransacked one of their flag ship properties, or has chundered all over a guest.

But as soon as they make it to the towering heights of HO they seem to become nodding, accountancy lapdogs. I suppose it’s because they’ve all got mortgages and live in the real world. Hmm. Sensible people. But in that case why are they so unrealistic?

After almost three months of listening to the same verbal tick at five second intervals over the phone, from one particular HO-Bot it’s a miracle I’m not actually clinically insane. ‘Rightyho’ he says....

‘Rightyho. Glad to hear you’re doing things by the book. Rightyho’.

I can’t help musing as to whether he uses this phrase in the sack.

‘Rightyho. Now if you could just pop down there suck my left ball, that would be super. Rightyho....yes that’s the spot...Rightyho! Ooooh, RIGHTYHO!’

Bar Staff

Pick three:


The Man of Leisure

You may remember I mentioned him once before. I met The Man of Leisure last season when I gave his multisquillionaire Dad a lift to the airport.

He has a Lloyd Grossman accent – the confused and ambiguous upshot of an international education. He is 19 and has his own apartment in Regent’s Park. He works a maximum of 8 hours a week, mainly to give him something to do. The rest of the time he is either hammered or skiing.

Mostly we all just tell this obnoxious fellow to ‘shut up’ a lot. All of his tall tales (of which there are many, mainly involving bat-shit crazy bunny boilers who want to kill him, for whom I can’t decide whether he is a magnet or a catalyst) start with the phrase ‘I was HAMMERED’. By all accounts the Man of Leisure should be a total cunt.

But, as I was reminded when he came bouncing into the pub last night dressed as a frog, he’s awesome, and I love him.

French Ski Instructors

The old ones look like farmers. The young are minted, achingly steezey, perpetually drunk and potentially dangerous. There is one in particular I’m thinking of who prowls the resort in search of prey which he then dribbles all over until it runs off in terror. He’s quirkily handsome, in a goofy, French kind of way, with long floppy limbs and a slightly lopsided gait. He is absolutely adorable, until he gets some Mutzig in him.

Well, he’s currently sporting a restraining bolt, put it that way.

European Snow Bunny

They wear coats that are essentially frighteningly expensive, stuffed bin liners trimmed with feathers from big bird’s arse. And continuing on this ornithological theme, have sharp, terrifying talons to boot. Their faces often look like they’ve been pumped full of KY jelly while sitting on a roller coaster. They top this with a blonde bouffant and enormous sunglasses. They tail it with a pair of (fur lined) vertiginous heels that make pretty fucking useless alpine footwear but look like they’d be rather handy if you fancied braining somebody or poking out their eyes. They are all emaciated - none of them could stop a pig in a passage. And their make-up seems always to have been applied with a trowel.

Ok... they look hideous, but at least they are groomed and neat. Sometimes I catch a glimpse of myself in a glittering boutique window as I’m galumphing past in my grubby boots and ill fitting corporate jacket, bobble hat rammed down over my eyes and held in place with ubiquitous WESCs and my heart sinks. I feel a bit frumpy, in truth...

A demain...

1 comment:

  1. Your posts make me laugh so much, the way you portray these people makes me want to come and see what mania goes on behind the scenes!
    I love how SbH looks like Where's Wally and how and yet he has such a high role! If you're good with your words you can get yourself anywhere :P
    My friend said the creche/kids workers are the drunkest and sleep around the most, any truth in that?
    Guinea Fowl sounds freaking crazy! What a bunch you're working with Belle! But at least your have SbH!
    And you're not frumpy, you're windswept and working :)
    Love the posts, made me laugh as usual.
    Love Phoebe x


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