Comfortably beneath my rock
The old Aspen joke about how we’re all insulated from the “real world” really hit home for me this week.I mean, let’s face it, normal people aren’t consumed with concern about base depths or whether the effects of that last Botox injection will last long enough to get them to April in Paris and back.Apparently, I’ve been sheltered in this low spot in the terrain for so long, I’ve forgotten there is a real world. If the grass is greener on the other side of the mountain, I’m oblivious. There’s no shortage of grass in Aspen; why would anyone look elsewhere?Is there life beyond the roundabout? Oh, right, there’s that colony on the outpost of, what’s it called? Yeah, Snowmass Village.If it didn’t happen within the first five pages of The Aspen Times, chances are, I missed it entirely, since I rarely turn on a television set unless it’s to immerse myself in “Friends” reruns or something equally informative.Somehow, I just sort of blindly assume the entire country is following the saga of Burlingame.What happened with the War on Terror, by the way? I know people are still dying over there, but I’ve lost sense of what for. I’m assuming we haven’t won it.We were half way through hockey season before I realized there wasn’t a hockey season, when a co-worker complained about life without Avs games. “What, are they out of it already?” I blurted ignorantly.When others talk about world events – “Did you hear about blah-blah-blah?” – I just nod sagely and try to appear either gravely concerned or appropriately amused, taking my cue from the bearer of what is invariably news to me.Arctic drilling? The Roan Plateau isn’t in the Arctic, unless they’ve moved it. I wisely keep my confusion to myself.Yesterday, perusing the pages of the paper (yes, this one), I noted Pitkin County took a look at its courtroom security in the wake of last week’s triple homicide in an Atlanta courtroom. What! First I’d heard about it. Maybe I’m taking this life-under-a-rock thing a little too far.It’s a good thing I wasn’t living in Aspen when Kennedy was shot. Later, when people asked me where I was when I heard the news, I’d have had to say, “Well, actually, I happened upon it two weeks after the fact when I was flipping through a discarded issue of Time magazine at the Laundromat.”So, after coming across this Atlanta thing, the particulars about which I still know nothing, I made a point of grabbing a newspaper from the real world (Denver) to scan real-world headlines.And there’s Aspen on the top of the front page of The Denver Post – the same story that’s in the local papers. And, there’s a national story about the Senate approving oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (and I thought I was myopic), another about an actor beating a murder rap and some food for thought on obesity – fat people die sooner.Low and behold, I found all three of those stories within the pages of this paper. It’s amazing what I could learn by getting past page 5. The question is, do I really want to know?Janet Urquhart would like to make it clear she was only 3 years old when Kennedy died. Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org
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