What would Writing Switch do?

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Young man in modern and casual clothes
Getty Images/iStockphoto | iStockphoto

Solving dilemmas around morals can be difficult when you, ya know, don’t have any. Between snatching babies, eavesdropping on conversations and robbing from the Community Chest in “Monopoly,” we will stop at nothing to get a leg up on life. This week, Ben and Sean propose to each other (and veto a few) circumstances that sort of present an ethical quandry to determine how we’d react.

Scenario: You come up to a fork in the ski run. To the left is untainted powder, waiting to be sullied; to the right is a hot girl wearing a shirt that says “I’m single” (I would say helpless child but we I want to make this hard for Ben) who’s fallen and is about 20 yards below her ski. What do you do?

BW: Like the man in that Biblical proverb or Aesop fable or whatever, I would be tempted to make an immoral choice but would pray for the strength to ride the catwalk of righteousness (and drop into the steep and deep). Ah but alas, my cries to the heavens go unanswered — again — and I swerve toward the maiden in distress. There is more to be sullied than snow here.

Now you may think this is about to become some grandstanding opus about how Ben The Perpetually Uncuffed wooes this poor woman with his generosity and assistance, and they live happily ever after, taking steamy gondola laps and sneaking behind Buckhorn Cabin. You would be wrong.

I charge down to her position and swoop her discarded gear. With a rebel yell and holding my prize aloft like Boromir’s head in “Game of Thrones,” I make a run for the bottom, twirling her ski around like a helicopter blade. I mount it above my sink and drill holes for shot glasses and never end up using it. Hey, Ed Gein didn’t make those gloves because he wanted to WEAR them.

Scenario: You’re swaying over the toilet, taking a midnight whiz after plowing through a six pack of Red Stripe. Since there’s nothing else to do for the next 90 seconds, you scroll through to watch Damian Lillard highlights for the 27th time. You attempt to like another video in your state of decreased dexterity and send your phone clanging off the rim and into the bowl. How do you react?

SB: This has happened to me before but substitute IG for call from my dad and Red Stripes for everyting they served at The Little Nell end-of-season party. I didn’t hesitate to grab my phone out of the piss-laden toilet. If you think about it, beer piss is essentially water anyway.

The phone still worked but I threw away the case. However, in that period between Amazon order and delivery, I needed to use my phone as a flashlight (it gets dark in Snowmass) during a wine-soaked walk home and dropped it, breaking the screen. And the phone still worked but I let my friend convince me he could replace the screen and he could not/finally broke it for good.

Scenario: You’re an elected official driving around Aspen during the holidays, and town is a complete shitshow. You have your phone in your dashboard holder and ready to livestream. You hit record. Do you rant about the traffic or take the brief respite to extol the happy faces about town?

BW: When I become dictator ­— err, elected official — my first act will be to disband the Police Department and Sheriff’s Office and legalize, if not encourage, buzzed driving. In fact, I’m going to impose mandatory roadblocks at the Entrance to Aspen to breathalyze and turn away any motorist who doesn’t have a BAC of 0.10. I’m not exactly sure how roadblocks will work without cops, but by this point I’ll probably have sniveling henchmen to carry out my bidding.

This may seen hazardous and foolish, but actually solves a twofold problem: It eliminates the gridlock of vehicles trying to drive into town and those who make it will be clenching the steering wheel so hard and paying attention that accidents are drastically reduced. And all the brazen pedestrians get to play human “Frogger.”

So when I turn that dash cam on, I won’t be hating on the occupants of our fair hamlet; I’ll be blubbering “I love you, bro” to everyone else in utopia. #BenforAspenking2022

Scenario: You’re accompanying your kid brother home from a monthlong ski trip to Japan that you took using the prize money from the fantasy football league you won three years ago. As you’re passing through security, their version of a TSA agent and a snarling drug dog rifles through his items and wave a cannister of Sticky Icky Icky in your face. “Kore wa dare nodesu!” (“Whose is this?” according to Google Translate) the agent yells. How do you get back to America?

SB: If my hypothetical brother or real sisters ever get caught with weed at the airport, I would leave them under the bus because we live in Colorado so if you can’t handle an international flight sans herb, take some over-the-counter helpers or maybe an in-flight cocktail.

How to find weed in Japan would be the more difficult query. I would be more impressed than mad unless they didn’t share. I would have no problem getting home; I’m not the one in a Japanese jail where conviction rates are — like me coming with hypothticals — extremely high.

Scenario: Construction workers next door to your office have been screwing in the same bolt for five days straight, shaking the walls and your soul. You have access to stink bombs but recently discovered the crew’s Bluetooth speaker. Do you plant the stink bombs, hack the speaker and play “It’s a Barbie World” on repeat all day, both or other?

BW: In case it hasn’t been thoroughly established, I approve of torturing my enemies just as much as the next guy. Playing “It’s a Barbie World” nonstop is too merciful in this case, because it’s actually a really good song and in addition, we — I mean “I” — would have to hear them singing all day to go along with the jack hammering and banging and pounding and screwing. As an aside, why are all the best synonyms for carnal endeavors lifted from a tool box? Masculinity at its finest.

Instead I would steal whatever playlist Safeway had pumping through its sound system in 2009. Nothing like “I’m Gonna Be (500 Miles)” mocking you incessantly while you’re skulking around the store for eight hours trying to avoid your supervisor and customers.

But really, the noise doesn’t bother me that much and I don’t judge the workers for taking their time. After all, I’ve been trying to turn the same bolt for almost 30 years and I think by now it’s probably stripped.

Scenario: Thursday afternoon is here — the equivalent to Sunday morning in your world — and the aforementioned sixer of Red Stripe has you feeling a touch lethargic. It snowed 3 inches last night and the skies are somewhere between partly cloudy and mostly sunny; however, a new muddler and vase are just begging to be used and there are so many Pokemon left to catch. Are you able to gear up?

SB: This is a weekly conundrum minus the Pokemon. Waking up on your Sunday with the slopes at your disposal is nice but so is putting on a robe, making a Bloody Mary and breakfast and burning through trees and theives. However, on my day off I can find motivation to rip through actual trees even if means another trip to the board doctors.

While I haven’t formally given up on the pursuit of a second 100-day pin, I’m nearing the point in the season where it’s still a mathematic possibility but mental impossibility. You know what is feasible, though? Me and Spider-Man taking out Doc Oc for the umpteenth time.

Aspen Times Weekly

WineInk: The 2023 vintage

“2023 predicted to be the Vintage of a Lifetime in Napa Valley,” proclaimed the headline this week in a press release sent out by the Napa Valley Vintners, the trade organization that represents the growers and producers in America’s most famed wine region. If there is anyone more optimistic than winemakers, it is the group that represents them.

See more