Sean Beckwith: Presenting the Best in Jest
Every year when the higher-ups ask for category suggestions for the Best of Aspen, Snowmass and Basalt, I lob critical, over-looked categories in dozens of emails to “management” and get nary a reply. So this year, I thought I’d take advantage of my column space to inform the public of the Best in Jest.
There’s no voting or public input allowed because I don’t want any of my categories to get canceled because some people can’t take a joke (whomever whined to get biggest whiner canceled is the biggest whiner times infinity). Enjoy.
Best place to smoke weed in public (and get away with it)
Teenage Sean would tell you anywhere that has “park” in the name. 20-something Sean would tell you any alley is acceptable. 30-something Sean is telling you to treat the city limits as your own personal ciga-weed bar. Aspen is pandemic party central; if you can have open containers (Narrator: You cannot have open containers), you can fire up that preroll anywhere the sun hits. … So everywhere but the elephant graveyard.
Best workout to remind you you’re out of shape
Nothing says Fitkin County like half the population passing you mid conversation on Smuggler while you suck air like you’re Donny T walking up the White House steps fresh out of Walter Reed.
I’m not sure what’s more disheartening: Getting “‘on your left-ed” by some guy in his 60s or a trail runner encouraging you that “You’re almost there” like you don’t live a block away from the trailhead.
Best place for late-waking breakfast
Trying to find a brunch spot in Aspen amid pandemic-limited seating is like … trying to find a brunch spot in Aspen any other time. Just do what I do; peruse the City Market doughnut case, maybe toast some Eggos, buy a bottle of Mums, some Tropicana and a few GoGurts and you’re set. Nothing says brunch like squeezable yogurt and mimosas.
Best place to ‘come across’ gear
Is it technically stealing when you’re just taking things someone else forgot? If not, then just follow my co-columnist Ben Welch on a float down North Star. At worst you’ll get some promotional sunglasses or maybe a bandana, at best you’ll get a paddle.
If you really want to get grimy, there’s always a sale at the lost and found at Aspen Highlands the day after closing day. You may want to disinfect those boots, goggles, gloves and pretty much any other item you, um, purchase.
Best place to front
Where do you go when all of the rooftop bars in Denver are shuttered? Sometimes you have to get creative, like bamboozling your influencees into thinking Silver City is a bustling nightclub.
However, the No. 1 spot to front like you’re boujee AF is clearly Scarlett’s. Bring your own bottle service, a rooftop bar and exclusive, after-hours VIP entrances.
Best place to get your dog fix
Aspenites know that living within city limits with a dog requires a lot of luck or money, so getting those Fido-induced endorphins can be difficult. Smuggler offers a litany of chance meetings but those also are fleeting and come with gross encounters with COVIDians.
What I like to do is roll up to Wagner Park in one of those police dog training suits decorated in sausages and a backpack of Frisbees. There are obvious drawbacks like not being able to follow-through or the occasional over-friendly pooch but you’re essentially a walking fountain of joy for dogs so it all works out.
Best place for, um, indecent exposure
When videos go viral again, you’re left chasing a sultry story because a couple felt like the nook of a downtown retail outlet was a better place to warm themselves in the middle of a snowstorm than that most obvious of spots: the gondola.
To be fair, it was nighttime and the mountain closes at 3:30 p.m. Next time, just go to club porcelain at a nightclub-turned-restaurant near you.
Best way to confront a bear
We’ve had a few run-ins with bears lately and it just seems like these people are going about it all wrong.
There are two options when confronting a bruin:
1. Curl up in the fetal position, start crying and hope for a quick death.
2. Take the bear by the horns and put that sloth on steroids in a figure-four leg lock and wait for him to tap out or break his leg.
Best/safest public restroom to not contract COVID while doing coke
I’m surprised there’s not a Constanza-esque app that tells you the best public restrooms in your area to safely and securely do a couple of gator tails. It seems like a missed opportunity. (Top three app name suggestions: 1. Urinal Cokes 2. Swirl-eaze 3. Lavatory Lines)
So when you’re sick of passing the baton at Zane’s, the two coke caves that stand out are the Su Casa bathroom and the St. Regis bathroom.
Whether controlled-substance- or out-of-control-sustenance-related reasons, there’s always a line at Eric’s. (Who knew there would be repercussions to dipping your entire dinner in cheese?) So when you’re staring at a wait times comparable to getting a table at White House, just turn and go around the corner and grab some quiet time in a dimly lit, quaint restroom, featuring blue tile and Latin-inspired décor.
The St. Regis is where you want to go when you want amenities like marble counter, mouthwash dispensers, complimentary hand towels and, most importantly, privacy. Can’t leave Aspen without doing lines off the same counter as Charlie Sheen, Paris Hilton, Wayne Gretzky’s daughter, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump.
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Reach him at email@example.com.