Hartley: The indomitable iron horse of op-ed idiocy | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: The indomitable iron horse of op-ed idiocy

Todd Hartley
I’m With Stupid

Thus far in writing this column each week, I’m proud to say that I have yet to indulge in any unseemly self-commemoration. If you grant me nothing else, you have to at least give me credit for that. Admittedly, it’s mostly because I’ve always forgotten to do it, but still, I haven’t done it, and I should be commended.

I was completely oblivious to its significance when I wrote my 100th column, a confusing diatribe about how provocatively dressed women cause earthquakes, and I inadvertently paid no heed two years later when my 200th column was a ski-snobbish, holier-than-thou rant against Teletubbies — those people who ski with GoPro cameras on their helmets.

Earlier this year, I realized I was creeping up on my 300th “I’m With Stupid,” and I planned to make note of said fact in said column, but then I forgot and instead wrote about an epic wipeout I took while skiing Aspen Mountain that left me dangling upside down by one leg in the mouth of a mineshaft.

I have likewise now had five opportunities to celebrate the anniversary of this column’s initial appearance in The Aspen Times, but clueless as I am about things like anniversaries, I’ve let them all pass.

Not this year, though; this year things are going to be a little different.

You see, I was curious to know on what date in 2008 my first column ran, so I looked it up. Turns out my first column appeared on May 30, which, if you’re reading this the day it comes out, is today. That’s never happened before. Today is the actual sixth anniversary of the first “I’m With Stupid,” so with your indulgence I’m going to commemorate the occasion.

Huzzah for me, and bully for “I’m With Stupid.”

I realize that a lot of you who’ve had real jobs for decades probably don’t think six years of doing something once a week is all that impressive, but I think you people need to understand that we’re talking about me. I can’t do anything for very long. Here’s a list of the things other than writing this column I’ve done every week for six years in a row:

1. Breathing.

2. Sleeping.

3. Eating and drinking.

4. Most excretion-related bodily functions.

That’s pretty much it. I mean, you could nitpick and say I’ve woken up at least once a week or had a finger somewhere in the vicinity of a nostril every few days, but I think you get the idea: I’m not very good at sticking with things.

So for me, writing a column every week for the past 313 weeks is a pretty major accomplishment, and I’m going to reward myself by taking the rest of this column off and telling you about my Memorial Day weekend rather than tackling a hefty and controversial issue the way I normally do.

Fear not, however, lest you think my weekend was uninteresting. It was decidedly not. Due to fortune and bad weather, on Sunday night I got to go to the most exciting place in the world, a place my son called “the dream of my life.” That’s right: I went to Chuck E. Cheese’s, and I’m man enough to admit it.

We didn’t intend to go there, mind you. My son, my wife and I planned to cook dinner at our campsite on Colorado National Monument, but it rained so hard for so long that none of us wanted to go back there until the last possible moment, so after dinner and margaritas at a Mexican restaurant we went to Chuck E. Cheese’s in Grand Junction and shut the place down.

I’m happy to report that it was not as bad as I was afraid it was going to be. I’d always been curious to see the inside of a Chuck E. Cheese’s, but I never wanted to go to one, as I’d been warned by a cousin years ago that they all smell like diapers. Fortunately, this is not the case. The one I visited smelled more like grease, imitation cheese product and body odor.

I wasn’t very good at most of the games, as none of them was Galaga or Asteroids, but I pretty much ruled at junior Pop-a-Shot, and I won so many prize tickets that I was able to get my son a cheap plastic whistle. I’m kind of a sports hero that way. In fact, between that and the consecutive-columns streak, I think it’s fair to compare me to Cal Ripken Jr.

Todd Hartley wants to point out that he’s actually full of crap: His wife wrote a guest “I’m With Stupid” back in 2010. To read more or leave a comment, please visit http://zerobudget.net.

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