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Fighting the onset of offseason ennui

Michael Cleverly

Rifling through the catalog bin at the post office, I’m trying to convince those around me that I need the Victoria’s Secret catalog for the articles. This is low.

Offseason is creeping up on us and the ennui is already taking hold. For those who have toiled all winter, tending to the needs of wealthy tourists, offseason means one of three things: Going back to where you came from, giving mommy back the keys to her SUV and getting on with your life, or vacation.

Me, I’m not going anywhere I can’t get to in a handbasket. I haven’t been doing much toiling in the tourist industry this year. None, actually. The rewards are commensurate. I’m reduced to handbasket travel. I’d drive somewhere, but I can’t afford gas. I put $20 in my Jeep the other day and was thrilled to discover that it got me up to half a tank.

I’m beginning to think there might be some connection between the skyrocketing price of gas and the fact that Exxon Mobil is No. 2 on the Fortune 500 list. As a non-stockholder in that corporation, and a consumer, I can’t help wondering if maybe those executives couldn’t live with being No. 3 or 4 on the list, and drop their prices a little. I suspect they feel otherwise, and will consider it a price-raising challenge to make it to No. 1 next year.

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In the past, we victims might have hoped that our government would look into this sort of thing, re gouging, but since Chevron has just named an oil tanker after Condoleezza Rice (no kidding), my instincts tell me there might be some sort of coziness between the Bush administration and the oil companies. Egads, any decent human being would sue the pricks if they named a stinking tanker after her. I’m sure that in the spirit of consistency with the breathtaking arrogance of the rest of the administration, Ms. Rice thinks it’s really cool.

Anyway, my travel options are limited. I was thinking of heading up to Aspen to a movie. I see that “Dawn of the Dead” has usurped the similarly themed “The Passion of the Christ” as No. 1 at the box office. I’m not usually one for documentaries, but I’m thinking that either one of these films might be a good bet. This because I still haven’t fully recovered from the debunking of Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster.

One thing that still puzzles me about the Loch Ness thing is that, back when mainstream science was still entertaining the possibility of the creature’s existence, one of the possible explanations was that it was a giant sea slug that somehow got trapped in this landlocked body of water.

What? A GIANT SEA SLUG?

Forget Nessie. This implies that there actually are giant sea slug dudes sliming around out there in, I guess, THE GIANT SEA. Do they have these things at Sea World? If so, I’m not sure I want to see them. I know that I don’t want to encounter one in the wild. Escargot, yecch! Maybe just a picture in National Geographic ” you know, a huge slug with a tiny scuba guy swimming around it. That’s as far as I’ll go. At any rate, I’m starting a rumor that a giant sea slug has been sighted in Ruedi Reservoir and I’m sure we’ll have more information on the critters soon enough.

Somehow all of this has put me off the idea of going to a movie. Perhaps I’ll go skiing. There’s still a couple of weeks left. The problem here is that, if I go to Mt. Buttermilk, then I hook up with a bad crowd and drink too much wine (not complaining, guys). I love Aspen Mountain, but there are few young people skiing there nowadays, it’s positively geriatric. I know I’m no spring chicken, but at least I don’t look like an evil CEO getting in one last run before he’s taken on his perp walk. They might be wearing hideously expensively ski outfits, but all I see are orange jumpsuits. I prefer shredders to those guys any day. Most of those CEO types couldn’t buy a decent turn with a truckload of Krugerrands. What the hell, I’ll go with the steeps of Buttermilk and the wine.

It’ll be a long offseason. We’re all going to have to keep coming up with new ways to amuse ourselves. In Woody Creek we’ll be performing same-sex marriages at the tavern. This, hopefully, will help dispel the belief that Woody creatures are a bunch of ignorant bumpkins with no idea of what’s going on in the world. Also it could provide us with a tidy little income. I realize it’s the sort of thing that could conceivably get us into trouble with President Bush, but as one Woody Creeker stated the other day, “There might be an easier way, but that wouldn’t be the Woody Creek way.”


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