Sean Beckwith: Beware of Aspen man
May 8, 2018
"Florida man 'practices' his karate on swans at Lake Eola Park" is an actual headline from a Tampa Bay Times article. If you're not familiar with Florida Man, he has his own Twitter handle (@_FloridaMan), Reddit page and website. He's known as the Worst Superhero Ever, but more so for being an ongoing meme about the large number of wild, dumb criminals who come out of the Sunshine State.
Other stories of Florida Man consist of things like fleeing the scene of a crime, coming back on an ATV with a beer in hand, taunting the cops and then spending the weekend in jail; telling police "Everyone does cocaine"; getting a DUI while driving a golf cart, among many other highly entertaining, drug-fueled mishaps. While there is no equivalent to Florida Man in Aspen — and I'm thankful for that — the city has a certain kind of criminal.
Aspen Man, like Florida Man, has a fondness for large amounts of booze, illicit drugs and a lack of shame. Unlike Florida Man, Aspen Man can be from anywhere. It's Florida's natural environment versus Aspen's nurturing culture. The standard of living that makes Florida Man do something like shoot himself in the leg to profess his love to an ex-girlfriend can only be found in Florida. The bar for socially acceptable behavior in Aspen is so low that people from all over the country, and even an occasional transplant, can transform into Aspen Man.
I'm able to monitor the happenings of Aspen Man closer than most because my desk is close to the man, Jason Auslander, who brings you most of the stories of Aspen Man.
Let me paint an ideal portrait of Aspen Man for you. He views Aspen the same way Nicky Santoro views Las Vegas: an untamed Wild West that's filled with excesses waiting to be exploited. This mindset makes Aspen Man believe he's smarter, less naive than the typical visitor or resident. Conceit eventually lends itself to splurging in a town where bears getting into dumpsters make the front page, much less Aspen Man trying to steal every loose piece of skiing equipment possible. ("Cops: Aspen Mountain shack squatter is notorious con man," The Aspen Times, Nov. 3, 2016)
This city deserves a better class of criminal and nothing says sophistication like imbibing in a couple $70 bottles of vino from Rustique. ("Man arrested on theft charges for allegedly taking wine bottles from Aspen restaurant," The Aspen Times, March 19) And what's a nice bottle of chardonnay without a little seafood pairing? ("Homeless men in Aspen found grilling lobster tail, lamb, salmon," The Aspen Times, Sept. 15)
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Occasionally Aspen man needs more than two bottles, though, and indulges like Hedonismsot from "Futurama"; perhaps reciting, "I apologize for nothing" while stocking his fridge with more than 100 beers and 15 bottles of wine from a local bar and grill. ("520 burglar charged," The Aspen Times, Dec. 11)
However, alcohol isn't Aspen Man's only vice. He also enjoys all forms of powder — Champagne and cocaine. Unfortunately, he isn't exactly subtle in his recreation, or respectful of the city's stance on plastic straws. ("Party remnants at Aspen hotel lead to drug charge," The Aspen Times, March 26)
Aspen Man at times, to the detriment of himself or his cab driver, is overly enthusiastic about sharing his nose candy.
"Of course I have cocaine up my nose. It's Aspen," he once said to police officers while chopping up lines on a stone bench. ("Snowmass man to Aspen cop: 'Of course' that's coke up my nose," The Aspen Times, Oct. 6, 2015). Aspen Man is always willing to get "extreme," regardless of your definition of "extreme." If it means spilling a baggy of booger sugar in the back of a taxi and then exposing yourself to the driver, you might hit it off with Aspen Man. ("Aspen 'extreme' man to face only misdemeanor," The Aspen Times, Dec. 23, 2015)
There are times when Aspen man is over the top in his excitement to join the party and tries to circumvent pesky obstacles like a body of water. ("Woman admits driving into Aspen pond, then crashing hotel van," The Aspen Times, June 28) For Aspen Man, it's not a party until everyone is moving on a hot and steamy dance floor. ("Poopsy Bellows: Patrons clear Aspen nightclub after dancer lets loose," The Aspen Times, Nov. 1, 2016)
We recently found out an international playboy allegedly tried his luck as Aspen Man, earning a warrant for his sharp critique of expensive art. ("Aspen judge issues arrest warrant for suspect in 2017 art slashing," The Aspen Times, April 26)
Aspen man may seem like a fun-loving, albeit drunk, good time, but even he has a tipping point that could result in fiery consequences. That point happens to be a felt tip marker and new meaning to the word "d—head." ("X-rated prank in Snowmass leads to fire, arson charge," The Aspen Times, Jan. 16, 2018)
I've actually hosted Aspen Man before — which was a terrible decision because he used my laptop as a noct-urinal (nighttime urinal) when he slept pissed (pissed while sleep walking).
Aspen Man is no Florida Man, but you should still beware of Aspen Man and, more importantly, be careful that you don't take a turn as Aspen Man.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor for The Aspen Times. Reach him at email@example.com.