Sean Beckwith: Wet clothes, hoots, hollers and smiles
Describing this winter would sound a lot like “The Chris Farley Show.” If you’re not familiar with the decades-old “Saturday Night Live” reference, a sheepish Farley would bring on guests that he idols. He would invite on actors or musicians and ask them if they remember notable highlights from their career, then they’d say “Yes” and Farley would respond with “That was awesome.”
Eventually, he’d cave in on himself, realizing his questions aren’t very good and say something to the effect of “What a dumb question. I’m so stupid.” That’s how I feel writing this column.
“We’re here with one of the best winters of the past decade. Uhh, just some of the greatest snowfall possible.”
“Thanks for having me on, Sean.”
“Thank you for coming on. Hey, um, do you remember last week when we got 22 inches of snow at Highlands on Wednesday and like another 16 inches on Friday?”
“That was awesome. Umm, do you remember when we got a lot of snow but the upper lifts on Snowmass were closed but then they opened them and there was a bunch of snow up there?”
“Yes, it was very windy.”
“Yeah, that was super cool.”
Regaling the masses with specific lines skied is about as entertaining as a recap of a fantasy football game. One can only show how deep the snow was in relation to their leg with a flat hand so many times. At this point, the snow must be this deep *judo chops knee* before people care how deep your turns were.
People aren’t just in ski shape, they’re in actual shape. My legs felt like Jell-O so often early in the season that I wish there was an appropriate Bill Cosby joke I could make.
I’m constantly tired to the point that I should be checked for narcolepsy or mono. Sit me down in any dimly lit room and I’m liable to fall asleep, which is fine when you’re at home watching “True Detective” but isn’t ideal in a work setting.
I’ve inhaled so much white powder, I feel like I’m in a season of “Narcos.” The only way I could get a face full of snow last season was by catching a toe edge.
This season is completely insane and there’s not much more to say other than “That was awesome.”
With a concert, there are a couple of songs you can throw out there to relate to readers. With a sporting event, there’s inevitably a highlight or a call to discuss. With a powder day, there’s nothing but wet clothes, hoots, hollers and smiles. Describing how it feels to float down the face of a mountain in bottomless powder will never do the experience justice. It’s like an author detailing a sex scene in depth; we get it, you can describe nipples, now please get back to the story.
And in this case, the story is “Holy hell, this ski season is euphoric.”
Eventually during “The Chris Farley Show,” Paul McCartney, Jeff Daniels or whoever would start to feel bad for the flustered host and try to thoughtfully answer his questions. When Farley would get his best, but still average answer, he’d look at the crowd, point to his guest like they weren’t sitting there and emphatically whisper/yell/mouth “Awesome!” with an insane amount of charisma and joy and the patented Farley head bob, leading to laughter and applause.
I mean, what a terrible column idea to spend 650-plus words praising powder days. Having said that, the majority of my free time for the past three-and-a-half months has been spent on the mountain. I don’t have any other content. My only other feasible column ideas were a review of the first half of Red Dead Redemption 2 or a recap of the municipal election (which could be summed up with a simple cursing-face emoji). So, like Farley’s interview, consider this the best, but still largely average, answer.
I guess that’s where I’m at in this piece. I’m just pointing at the mountains, in awe of the snowpack, whisper/yell/mouthing “Awesome!” “Hell yeah!” hoping the audience understands how spectacular my guest subject is. (Applause and laughter, please.)
Sean Beckwith is a copy editor at The Aspen Times. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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