Janet Urquhart: Don your mask and go skiing | AspenTimes.com

Janet Urquhart: Don your mask and go skiing

What could Michael Jackson possibly need at Wal-Mart in Glenwood Springs?

Maybe prescription painkillers at discount

prices, if you believe everything you read in the New York Post about his alleged addictions and crumbling financial empire.

Anyway, I think you have to drive all the way to the Super Wal-Mart in Rifle to find a plastic surgery department.

Jackson presents something of a quandary for me. He makes himself an easy target for ridicule with his weirdness, but something about a guy who has to hide behind a mask at Wal-Mart strikes me as extremely sad.

Yet, I can’t resist poking fun at a guy whose idea of shopping incognito in downtown Aspen is reportedly wearing a blue jumpsuit, orange hat, silver moon boots and a mask. Yeah, that’s how I’d dress if I didn’t want anyone to notice me.

It’s no secret that celebs come and go here, but occasionally, one pops up on the tabloid radar screen and our phones start ringing. You know you’re talking with real journalists when they call up local reporters for help. C’mon.

I remember the media circus when a different Michael managed to run into a tree on the ski slopes and die. Someone from MS-NBC got me on the phone and wanted to interview me, even though I didn’t know anything beyond what was already general knowledge. When a Kennedy expires in Aspen, any live, local voice will do, apparently.

One morning this week, it was Fox News on the line. What could I tell them about the New York Post report alleging Jackson is holed up in an “Aspen hideaway” being treated for “a longtime addiction to alcohol and painkillers” by a controversial Central American herbalist?

Well, nothing, really, except that the Aspen hideaway isn’t in Aspen, it’s in Old Snowmass, if reports are to be believed.

These out-of-town news hounds always think the local scribes are holding back, like I’ve got the phone number to Jackson’s rented manse in my Rolodex, but I’m just being stingy.

Anyway, I gave her a lead. She was planning to “call Old Snowmass.” I wonder if the clerk at the Old Snowmass Conoco has been interviewed by Fox News. You never know, maybe Jackson stopped there for gas and a six-pack.

You know, if Jackson is still around, he ought to go skiing. It’s really the perfect sport for him. He’d get to wear gloves and a mask. When I put on goggles and a neck gaiter, even my closest friends don’t recognize me.

Hey, Michael, give me a call, we’ll take some turns on a gentle Buttermilk groomer. You can teach me to moonwalk, I’ll give you some pointers on parallel turns. But for God’s sake, don’t smash into a tree.

[Janet Urquhart couldn’t take more than 15 minutes of fame. Her e-mail address is janet@aspentimes.com]