Meredith C. Carroll: If you’re reading this, you’re an Aspen local*
*You know, probably.
If you’re among those who came to Aspen for the winter and stayed for the summer, it’s old news that the least publicized but arguably most glorious season is autumn. That means if you’re here now — with the last of the volleyballers, Jazz Aspeners, and families of five who travel with two nannies and 14 pieces of luggage for a four-day weekend-ers packed up and gone — you’re most likely a local relishing the most wonderful time of the year with the most wonderful people, which is to say: those who actually live here.
Not sure if you’re a local? Take this simple quiz (score one point for each applicable statement):
• You were born here.
• Your child was born here.
• You were born in the summer of your 27th year.
• You were here in the ’60s.
• You don’t remember if you were here in the ’60s, or where you were in the ’60s for that matter, but it very well might have been here. Or not. Either way. Whatever.
• You came here as a child.
• Your child left you to come here.
• You followed your child here.
• Your child has played on a team or was in class with or taught or coached by someone with the last name Child, Clapper, Gerbaz, Marolt, Stapleton or Vagneur.
• Your best friend is your dog, with your Amazon Prime account a close second.
• You are 100 percent certain that Aspen’s leash laws don’t apply to your dog.
• You are 100 percent certain the USPS, UPS and FedEx guys hate you, your off-leash dog and your Amazon Prime account.
• You are 100 percent certain the same bear comes back each year for the sole purpose of crapping on your lawn.
• You are 100 percent certain that the other animals understand the food you leave outside is intended for the foxes only.
• You are 100 percent certain you can just run into the Wells Fargo ATM without paying for parking and not get a ticket.
• You are 100 percent certain the ticket guy has it out for you.
• You do all your grocery shopping downvalley from mid-December until early January.
• You curse the late afternoon downvalley traffic in December, January, June and July, even though it really just tacks an extra 4 to 6 minutes onto your drive.
• You roll your eyes when it’s time for yet another fireworks event.
• You roll your eyes when yet another fireworks event is canceled.
• You attend Food & Wine every year without ever having to pay for a pass.
• You’ve been on a plane that has flown to Aspen, only to fly back to Denver.
• You’ve been on a plane that has flown to Aspen, only to fly back to Denver, and then back to Aspen, and then back to Denver.
• You’ve had a bike stolen.
• You’ve found your stolen bike that some drunk rode home.
• You’ve been drunk and lost your bike.
• You’ve been drunk and rode a bike home that you thought belonged to a friend. (It didn’t.)
• Lance Armstrong gave you a bike that was stolen from the front porch of the Pitkin County sheriff’s house.
• You’ve lost a girlfriend, and hence, your turn.
• The odds are good that you’ve dated an odd (but good) guy.
• You’ve had your picture in the newspaper (and not in a mug shot).
• You’ve had your name in the newspaper (and not in a good way).
• You’ve written an angry letter to the editor.
• You’ve been the subject of ire in a letter to the editor.
• You’re a realtor.
• (Well, you have a realtor’s license, anyway.)
• You have a realtor’s license and also bartend and teach skiing.
• You have a realtor’s license, bartend, teach skiing — and still manage 14 vacations annually.
• You’ve been lapped on Tiehack by Klaus Obermeyer.
• You’ve been lapped hiking the Bowl by your child’s second-grade classmate.
• You’ve been out for ski season in the first week.
• You’ve had ACL surgery.
• You’ve had meniscus surgery.
• You’ve had ACL and meniscus surgery.
• You’re the reason the surgeons at Ortho Aspen can take 14 vacations annually.
• You see everyone you know — from Aspen — in Moab in May and October.
• You exhale loudly at the end of the summer season while celebrating the abundance of parking spaces, the dearth of coffee lines, and the number of secret stashes of yellow-green leaves dancing in the Indian summer sun.
• You exhale loudly at the thought of the offseason ending — even when it’s still three months away.
1 to 6 points: Oh, sweetie. Your two weeks at the Gant each year are special, but unfortunately it doesn’t give you special local status.
7 to 20 points: You know where to find the best juice cleanse and hot yoga class but the choice mushroom-hunting spots still elude you.
21 to 27 points: You’re, like, one Subaru Outback, a knee scooter and golden retriever away from being a true Aspen local. You can do it (although good luck with housing that has parking, no stairs and allows dogs).
28-plus points: You’re not dumb and dumber (because you know where that was filmed); you’re Aspen extreme. Hats off (or not, because it’s Aspen) to you, friend.
Follow Meredith Carroll on Twitter @MCCarroll. More at MeredithCarroll.com.
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Tony Vagneur: While climate change is something to be tackled long-term in order to reduce wildfires, governments need to look into preventative measures that can be done now to help the land.