Barry Smith: Irrelativity
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado
By the time you read this I’ll be in Canada. You remember Canada, right?
Given the miracle of writing my column early, I’m not in Canada yet. But it’s a trip that I’ve done twice now – 30 hours of driving, alone – so I think I have a pretty good idea of how it’ll go. Kinda like this …
Hour 0 – All packed up. The open road beckons. I’ve got a variety of listening devices that begin with a lower case “i,” a cooler full of food and drinks, and a van that I can sleep in. I’m well rested and enthusiastic. As I pull away from the front of my house I know that adventure awaits. What? Why are you laughing? They have adventure in Canada, you know! C’mon, be quiet! Canada can totally hear you.
Hour 2 – Made some phone calls. Did a few “notes to self” in the little tape recorder. Made some more phone calls. Yep.
Hour 5 – Bored. Bored. Boring. Bored. I made the mistake of only bringing along music that I’ve never heard – purposely NOT bringing any of my favorite music – as a way of shaking myself out of my groove. This was a bad call. I like my groove. I’ve spent years carving out this groove. Why would I want a new groove? What’s wrong with this groove? Groove. Groove. Groove. Sounds weird when you say it a few times, doesn’t it? Groove.
Hour 6 – Groove. Groove. Groove. Is that even a real word?
Hour 8 – Eating road food isn’t for me, so I packed enough sandwiches to get me to my destination. That’s sandwiches for three days, lunch and dinner. Well, they’re all gone now. I started eating them, one after another, around Hour 7. ‘Cause I was bored and had no music to listen to.
Hour 8.5 – I decide to call everyone whose number is in my phone. But I’m gonna do it randomly, and without looking, so I won’t actually know who it is that I’m calling, I’ll just have to figure it out when I hear their voice! Yay! A project!
Hour 12 – Find rest area. Sleep in van for the night. See? Adventure.
Hour 13 – Made the mistake of listening to one of those Classic Oldies radio stations. They just played that “Brand New Pair of Roller Skates” song. Hope I don’t have that stuck in my head for the rest of the day.
Hour 17 – “I got a brand new pair of roller skates, you got a brand new key.” What does that even mean? I know that old roller skates used to require keys of some sort, but I’m not sure why. And if a key is required, wouldn’t new roller skates include such a key? And why would one get a “brand new key” without actually getting roller skates? One quick Google would answer all of my questions, but, you know, kinda busy driving.
Hour 20 – Sleep in van. Hungry. Dream of roller skates.
Hour 21 – OK, OK, I get that the roller skate/key thing is a metaphor, and probably a dirty one at that, but I still feel there’s deeper meaning. I have another day of driving and pondering – I’ll get to the bottom of it. Wouldn’t say no to a sandwich about now.
Hour 25 – Cross the Canadian border. I’ll be staying in Canada for a month, so they’ll want to ask me some questions. I make a mental note to NOT mention the Satanic messages I’ve uncovered in the “Roller Skate” song. Do they even have Satan in Canada? Not a good place to ask that question. Just smile and hope for the best …
Hour 29 – Did I remember to turn the stove off?
Hour 30 – Whew.
• • • •
In other news:
Want to get something off your chest AND create some cool art at the same time? On Sept. 11, at the Wheeler Opera House, a friend of mine is doing a show called “Secrets,” and YOU get to write it. All you have to do is write down your deepest, darkest, funniest, most embarrassing, most horrifying secret(s) and place them in a “Secrets” box. These secrets, all anonymous, will then be collected and presented on stage. Find “Secrets” boxes at The Wheeler, Main Street Bakery, The Red Brick, Green Miracle Medicinals in Carbondale, Taqueria El Nopal in Basalt, and more than a dozen more locations throughout the valley. And hurry – “Secrets” boxes will only be there for another month.
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Aspen City Council’s recent actions are proof that you get what you pay for, argues Elizabeth Milias in her Red Ant column this week.