One unavoidable thing about traveling is that you learn about people living in other places; all the more so if you drive and your passengers have smart phones to look up facts about things you pass on the roadside. It is especially true if you go to mundane places and stay with your in-laws and end up immersed in the ordinary life in a town that was designed to live and work in instead of somewhere to escape to.
This is known as a "trip" as opposed to a "vacation" and there is something good to be said for it if you assume a good attitude. Free from the constantly promoted distractions of doing, seeing, and experiencing, we are free to hang out with one another. If you have chosen your family wisely, it works out nicely. If not, it's amazing how you can hone the skills of arguing and nitpicking in a mere week's time. It's self-improvement at its worst, but it's a close cousin to self-expression, right?
At any rate, visiting for extended periods of time lends itself well to reading lots of other people's magazines; the kind you have been interested in, but would never bother to subscribe to. Making eye contact is overrated in familiar chitchat, so flipping through a periodical with your eyes cast downward works. It's kind of funny, this relaxed conversation. You can actually lie on the sofa, legs stretched and feet crossed, perusing short articles, and appear engaged in idle palaver.
It's how I learned about an interesting new business idea I think would work superbly in Base Village. It came while discussing the merits of the United Nations taking a stance on the legalization of pot in Colorado. I can't remember the name of the outfit, but what they do is
blow-dry women's hair over a glass of wine or cappuccino; blow your mind and the area surrounding it with fermented juice and hot air.
My guess is that this is one of those things that most men won't understand in principle. I only began to understand its appeal when the piece covered the bottom line. It was bold and black. Apparently there are a lot of women who will shell out 40 bucks to have their hair shampooed and blow dried by someone else in a public place. There is no point in discussing the merits of this. It's a cash cow!
If this business is a stunning success in L.A., it will be a sure-fire hit here. Think of a long day of skiing in a place known for its glitzy nightlife and you will surely picture a bad case of helmet head. I bet there are plenty of women, and a few men who still obliviously sport pony tails, who would make the blow-out over a cocktail their apres-ski routine. It would likely be the same in warmer months, too; think sun hats, bike helmets, and frizzy golf visor hair.
Another crazy idea I came across is the 24-hour gym. I actually got to experience one of these, but it was at two in the afternoon so it seemed a lot like an ordinary old fitness club to me. I have to say it was really hard to imagine being there in the wee hours of the night doing chin-ups and bench presses when you could be sleeping, but I imagined the potential for people who aren't into that sort of thing.
I thought of all the people who work and play late into the night around here. What better way to unwind afterwards than a three-in-the-morning core-strengthening routine? I suppose the idea could take a page from the Blow Out business plan and serve wine or beer with the exercise. It doesn't sound completely awful to sip a glass of cold beer while doing hot yoga, or take a shot and a beer before a personal best attempt at a clean-and-jerk. I bet you could build a glassed-in spectator area and people would pay to see this while taking care of the late-night munchies. Who knows?
Of course there is very little connection between any of this and the ghosts of Snowmass Village - past, present or future - so I better let go of it here. It just goes to show how hard it is to write while you are getting your hair blow-dried in the middle of the night while you are drinking.
Roger Marolt is going for the feathered effect this week. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.