Writing Switch: A game of Aspen Would You Rather
We’re faced with difficult choices every day. Do I wait in the Silver Queen Gondola line for 45 minutes or hoof it over to Lift 1A and have oil sprayed in my face during the ride up? Do I really need an ounce from Silverpeak or should I keep it calm with an $18 eighth? Do I want to train for this marathon I registered for or get a sandwich at Annette’s for the third day in a row? This week, Sean and Ben play one of the liveliest high school party games, Would You Rather (logistics weren’t right for Spin the Bottle), posing to each other hypothetical questions that nonetheless border on feasibility.
Would you rather: Get stuck for three hours behind a 24-foot RV with Texas plates on Independence Pass or stand in line at the Aspen post office with three fragile packages 24 hours before Christmas Eve?
SB: I was leaning toward the Independence Pass route because it’s a three-hour-plus drive regardless and at least you’re theoretically going somewhere. However, if it’s 24 hours until Christmas Eve and 48 hours from Christmas there’s still X-Mas day gondola laps at the end of the tunnel. I’ll go with the post office because it’s the unknown evil, and my delivery-driver night terrors/extensive experience behind Buicks on the pass is already evoking PTSD.
Would you rather: Take your chances with brown, oxidized discount-bin mystery steak or a bar-mat shot at the end of a busy X Games night at Escobar?
BW: My insides have been pickled long ago by a consistent diet of Canadien whisky, Tyson crispy chicken strips and buffalo burgers resurrected and reheated by George Foreman after spending five months in a carcinogenic state. I’m a veteran of looming over the almost-expired meat section, and all you need is a bottle of barbecue sauce, crockpot and shot glass of ranch to concoct a gourmet dinner. If I wanted to chug puke, piss and spilled well liquor, I’d just drink from the Hyman pedestrian mall fountain/sewer overflow during peak season.
Would you rather: Lick the walls clean after the 2:45 Cloud Nine seating or take on a 30-rack challenge of This Season’s Blonde?
SB: I’d rather lick Veuve and $40 fondu off the walls than try to drink the Aspen ABV equivalent of Natty Ice. Stopping by the ABC tap house leads to rolling blackouts like a California heat wave. Also, the only way I can afford/get a table at Cloud Nine is by volunteering to slurp bubbly wrung out of rich people’s hood furs.
Would you rather: Snowboard KT Gully with dust on crust and no visibility or showshoe up to Pine Creek Cookhouse with your girlfriend and her parents on a powder day?
BW: This year I’m happy to sacrifice one of many powder days to cop a free meal. It’s a lot of effort shoveling out your barely alive car every other week to drive to Lift-Up. I hate working up a sweat, but viewing the ram heads and mounted jackalopes while consuming their flesh is worth post-holing along and listening to advice about investment portfolios, or whatever else happens at Pine Creek. Risking life and limb to experience the steep-not-deep in bindings susceptible to spontaneous combustion can be saved for my final runs of the season.
Would you rather: Be caught shoplifting $5.99 white bread sandwiches from City Market or get found out for ghostwriting dozens of letters to the editor?
SB: Where are these $5.99 sandwiches at City Market you speak of? The only ones I can ever find are the Hormel ham and cheese numbers with a nice, rubbery piece of lettuce. If I could pay $6 for that, I may as well be stealing. And I’ve never ghostwritten for anything other than the few slideshows I put together for Bleacher Report 10 years ago. Jack Stevens has since been removed from the archives but I wouldn’t be opposed to getting a few dozen people to describe me as “electric,” “colorful” and a “transcendentalist” on my way to public office.
Would you rather: Let your buddy who got too drunk and puked on your sofa stay at your house, or my buddy who got too drunk and used my laptop as a urinal puck stay at your house?
BW: I would rather let them both stay at your house. Not even the ReStore would accept that couch.
If your chunks are too large to get waffle-stomped down the shower drain, make a conscious effort to aim for the toilet. I don’t know why it’s so hard for these guys to make it to the porcelain throne in general. Sometimes you rouse in the bathroom and think “I don’t belong here,” but rarely does one awaken in a sleeping bag and conclude, “This is the best place for me to vacate all bodily functions.”
Would you rather: The Lift One corridor not be developed, or get Square Grouper and Finbarr’s back?
SB: If you throw in the Weinerstub and Bentley’s notorious (yet foreign to me) Bloody Mary bar, the developers can pave Buttermilk for all I care. Is there a way we can trade another Limelight to bring back Mountain Dragon? We should just officially segregate Aspen so the tourists know where the wine list turns from 147-plus options to red or white.
My official answer: The Lift One corridor and its soon-to-be-sparsely attended ski museum can kick rocks.
Would you rather: Take the Vomit Comet to Snowmass after the Apres Ski Cocktail Classic pub crawl or battle an entitled trophy wife and her hulked-out husband for a prime blanket spot at Maroon 5 during JAS Labor Day?
BW: Nobody wants to be asses to elbows on a sloppy bus ride downvalley, unless you’re trying to discreetly join the Mile High Club on the back of a Veloci RFTA. On the other hand, swingers make up like 10 percent of the attractive population, and being a member of that club myself, why deny me the possibility of canoodling with a cougar? If Adam Levine’s “woah-OH! woah OH!” warbles don’t sufficiently turn her on, I’ll show them how I’ve got the moves like Jagger. She will be loved, indeed.
Would you rather: Have to earn $500 in tips on the Escobar stripper pole or be tied to the Wagner Park rugby posts and forced to watch while hundreds of bottles of alcohol are dumped out at the conclusion of Food & Wine?
SB: I’m not too sure what’s more shameful: getting s—canned and using the community stripper pole as a release during your YOLO Aspen trip or the amount of gluttony/waste involved with Food & Wine. There’s as much room-temp octopus terrine wasted over that June weekend as hot dogs sullied at Nathan’s Fourth of July competition.
I’d have to go with the stripper pole, though. When you’ve been deemed — not self-appointed — The Aspen Times’ best dancer after multiple impromptu dance circles, twerking out five C-notes from disorientated tourists can’t be that hard.
Would you rather: Take a dab from a metal-tipped glass straw with a chipped mouthpiece or shotgun Infinite Monkey Theorem rose at Wine at the Mine during the length of the Smuggler tour?
BW: This sounds like the kind of rig that after splitting your lip will give you a second-degree burn when the tip falls into your lap post-blowtorching. On the other hand, IMF was made to be consumed indefinitely — it’s even in the name. The worst thing that can happen is my drunken alter ego makes an appearance, slaps on a big ugly headset and joins the silent disco, proving that it is actually he — I — who is the best dancer in the office, and maybe the entire universe. I might spend all the next day in bed with a hangover, but it’s better than looking like a Christian Rex Van Minnen print for the next three weeks.
Would you rather handwash Ben’s bathtub full of dishes, or Sean’s basket of ski socks? firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com
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Many locations on Basalt Mountain were barren as recently as two months ago. However, nutrients unlocked during the Lake Christine Fire and a wet winter have sparked a remarkable recovery. Aspen Center for Environmental Studies is leading fire ecology tours to discuss the changes.