Double shifts and 60-hour work weeks were common at the Park. It was the only way to rack up enough hours to qualify for an unlimited ski season pass and besides, all your friends were at the Park, so what else were you going to do? Might as well come to work.
One day, my friend Mark* and I were pulling doubles at the top of the Bungee Tower. It was well into the afternoon and neither of us had had a break. Mark got on the radio and tried to get someone to relieve us, but we were short on jump masters that day and it was going to be awhile before anybody would be able to come up. A few minutes later my sister Anne Marie came back from her break. Mark called down for her to come up because he needed an orange soda. Anne Marie put on a harness and made her way up the tower. Mark jumped down and took off towards the Lodge. A few minutes later, we saw him out in the parking lot, walking toward his car. Confused, I yelled out to ask him where he was going. Mark made a vague gesture, got into his VW and drove away. All the way to his mom's house in Florida. For the rest of the season, the orange soda was our rallying cry anytime we felt exploited or unappreciated.
Fast forward 10-plus years. Mark and Jen, his girlfriend, showed up at my last birthday party, said hello and promptly disappeared. I later found out that they left after waiting at the bar for 20 minutes without so much as a nod from the bartender. Jen's all, "We can't leave! We just got here! It's Therese's birthday!" Mark's response, "She knows about the orange soda. She'll understand."
*Mark T, not to be confused with Opposite Song-singing Mark B.