Writing Switch: Into the (w)ri(d/t)erverse | AspenTimes.com

Writing Switch: Into the (w)ri(d/t)erverse

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith

As members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, we firmly and rigidly believe that there are an infinite number of universes. And thank God or whomever, right, because anything is better than this! But as we were discussing with other pastafarians what our parallel identities were up to, we realized it’s most likely that we are the last versions of ourselves left alive. Hypothetically speaking, then, which little tweak to Ben and Sean would create the most interesting alternate reality?


SB: When my pals come out for a ski vacation, I like to show them the second side of Aspen. After getting a couple of runs in on Fanny Hill — don’t want to do anything too steep because no one wants an unnecessary visit to the ski fairy — I like to unwind at Woody Creek Tavern.

It’s a locals spot that was frequented by the irreverent gonzo journalist/writer Hunter S. Thompson. Margaritas and Mexican food, oh my is it a prime spot for locals.

For my friends who don’t ski, there are other outdoor activities to occupy your alpine getaway. Perhaps snowshoeing up to Pine Creek Cookhouse for a bite sounds like a delight. It’s a great place to take in a view and a Rocky Mountain oyster or two.

Can I interest you in ice skates and s’mores? Try the rink outside Limelight if want to slide instead of ski. And for a family treat, make sure to catch the Hershey Highway to the free s’more show.

And you can’t get much more Aspen than a horse-drawn carriage ride around the core, so bundle up in blankets and take in the array of holiday hues. The magical illumination is the kind of eye candy that will capture kids’ attention — and hearts.

For the culinary inclined, the Italian food at Casa Tua will have you saying “Per favore” and “Prego” in a parsec. Try Creperie du Village if you’re looking for authentic alpine fare, featuring the best FUN-due you can find.

So say “bon voyage” and meet us in the mountains.


BW: Sunday — my favorite day of the week. I’m giving the reading at the 8 a.m. service, and I enjoy screaming on the pulpit like a firebrand Sigma from “Overwatch” (who’s basically a young Salieri in “Amadeus,” for you non-gamers). “If you have hate in your heart, let it out!” the six-fingered pastor chants as worship comes to a close. “Hail!” we reply in unison.

We stop at Chili’s for breakfast before my 4 o’clock manager shift begins at Slaveway. Some may find it condescending to stack yogurt and exchange rolls of quarters for a living, but I make more money than Primary Ben so f–k you.

I also have a bangin’ wife that I met in PUBLIC SCHOOL and three children who are my WORLD. My exorbitant wage allows me to progenate, and even though I’m in my 20s I’m still fertile because I’ve never touched a drop in my life!

The only thing lacking is my favorite baseball team winning a World Series. They’re in the playoffs, but win or lose, it doesn’t really affect my life as long as they’re having fun. It’s not like people in Washington, D.C., have any power over my day-to-day routine.

Regardless, I’m still completely out of debt. I still have my doggos to walk. I still have to figure out how to dispose of that translucent cricket that crawled through my shower drain and found himself under a Mason jar for three weeks. That was two truths and a lie — go! The point I’m trying to make is that the success of other camels in leotards ultimately won’t mow the lawn for me, hee haw.

I feel the same way about voting and politics. Every little bit counts, and it’s my civic duty to burden myself with the concerns of the universe and ultimately it is I who empowers everything surrounding my happiness and well-being, even if I can hardly handle that and oh god I’m 12 years old and what is this?


SB: The night is cold, and the winds are strong. This isn’t anything new for a weathered Aspenite who’s been driving cattle since before Highway 82 was four lanes. It’s an interesting thing, technology. I like to hand write my pieces before sitting down in front of the ever-present screen.

The only time I can escape from iPads and iPods and iPhones is when I’m out in the field with my steed, good ol’ Willy. He’s a little hard to control and gets excited easily but he calms down after a few strokes.

Everyone is so caught up in their phones that they miss oppotunities provided by Mother Nature. I walked up hill to and from school, I never miss a chance to take a hike in the backcountry or nap under an oak tree. An op-ed in the Liberal Times recently stated, “Polluting is to nature what devices are to our brains.”

Getting old is darn hard, but not as hard as my hands from decades of manual labor. I remember when I had to go to town and order from the soda jerk for a glass of sarsaparilla. Now you can’t find the beverage anywhere. There’s Redbull, Bang, Monster and other energy drinks that have more pep than an untamed bull ready to mate.

Man, am I old but I can still stand the weather. Rain turns to sleet, sleet turns to snow, snow turns to ice but still I persevere. You know what won’t perservere? Cold temperatures and mountain lifestyle. If we don’t use every part of the buffalo, then the buffalo goes extinct. But with this planet, there is no endangered animal preserve to nurse it back to health. We’re burning the candle at both ends, and at on end of the wick is carbon pollution and at the other ISIS.

I can’t remember where I’m going with this, but then again I can’t remember much these days. I think I’ll watch the sunset and try to remember the time when my past self could throw bales of hay with ease. Hey, maybe that’s why they call it one’s “hay day.”


BW: “Stupid and frankly sophomoric.” “Even for the internet, that’s pretty bad.” “We’re not ‘Saturday Night Live.’” “I wouldn’t want my name attached to this.”


bwelch@aspentimes.com sbeckwith@aspentimes.com