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Writing Switch: A dish best served bold

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch

Jesus advised humankind turn the other cheek, and to treat others as you would like to be treated. That’s not our philosophy here at Writing Switch, where we advocate for doing unto others as they have done unto us.

Spite requires dedication, determination, a rush of emotions and sacrifice — all to get back at someone for a perceived slight. It’s basically the opposite of love, so that’s great. When your options are either “Just let it go, dude” or “Oh yeah? Then I’m going to take over this lease and turn it into the most obnoxious business possible,” well, this week we’re choosing the latter.

Best Day Ever



SB: Changing HOA rules in the middle of a contract so you can force out my (and many others’) preferred weed shop in town is typical of a NIMBY. There’s a dispensary literally in the same building.

“I paid way too much for this condo to have to share an elevator with skeevy stoners and sweaty sommeliers.”



Why don’t you take a hint and a hit of some of Best Day’s finest products, and then maybe you’ll calm down and realize you’re 30 seconds away from fresh mountain air.

How about when you kick out this fantastic community resource, instead of an art gallery seven people are going to visit per year, we have a coke dealer move in? If you think pot heads are an invasive crowd, wait until you have people running stairs at all hours of the night for eight balls like they’re Jerry Rice.

HOA can’t regulate what it doesn’t know about. Why are half a dozen f—boys wrestling in the elevator at 4 in the morning? Partly because they couldn’t find an unoccupied bathroom to do coke in but mostly because of you. Grass can’t get much greener than at the Best Day Ever, but I guess you can check the other side.

BW: I’m not a homeowner and never, ever will be unless the right mix of family members tragically perish, leaving me many zeroes worth of inheritance/insurance money. Regardless, the disdain I feel for homeowners associations is matched only by people older than like, 12, who are or who want to be a cop.

Retirement must be mind-numbingly boring, because no millenials or gen Xers are being elected to these boards unless it’s out of spite. I can’t imagine possessing the mindset required to establish a faux, busybody, small-time government just so I can get off on harassing people about decisions they make involving their own property. I’m not allowed to have a pink mailbox with kazoos a dozen pinwheels duct taped to the sides? OK, boomer.

The frustration of having an HOA single you out and retroactively ban literally just you from operating in your building — and then a district judge being like “yeah, that makes sense” — must be devastating. Again, I don’t understand how HOAs have the ability to levy fines on whomever they want, but I’m thinking “then come and take it” and turning the place into a gun shop called “Pot Shots.”

Uncomfortable by a couple guys looking for edibles to get zonked out on before watching Bo Burnham? Cool, then instead you can have a jittery Chester and Cletus walking the halls with brand-new AR-15s. I’d love to see how a self-righteous nursing home masquerading as an authority plays out against the Constitution in Aspen’s kangaroo courts. (Hopefully that line gets me out of jury duty forever.)

Cooper Avenue housing

SB: I swear to god there’s no one more dangerous than a bored rich person. Filing lawsuits to block employee housing that’s been there so long it’s historic because it doesn’t fit in with the character of the neighborhood is like building a bunch of Michelin Star restaurants around a McDonald’s and then forcing the McDonald’s out. Sorry you find blue collar workers so uncouth.

Since clearly you don’t want any humans living there, let’s construct a dog park with zero trashcans and no doggy bags. Potential eyesores like kayaks and skis will now be replaced with Fido’s daily diarrhea.

It’ll become every dog walker’s favorite spot. No more having to pick up hot loafs with plastic bag-covered hands. Just let the fine people of Cooper Avenue bask in the stench of dog shit and the uncomfortable visual of squatting canines.

I’ve been watching my parents’ dog, so I’ve kind of gotten an inside look at dog culture in Aspen. Sure, I want Bear to take a shit, but I’m not cheering him on like a psycho. However, I would bust out the pom-poms at that dog park.

“GIMME A P!” “GIMME AN O!” “GIMME ANOTHER O!” You can see where I’m going with this.

BW: The new transplants or people who stay here (I won’t say “live here,” even if it’s their house) who lecture year-round residents about the “character of Aspen” are the same people you try to pass on the street (but can’t because they’re blocking the whole sidewalk) talking about “holidaying in Barthelona,” and I despise them/you all. It’ll take more than a Revive! oxygen IV to resuscitate Aspen’s last gasping breaths as every bar and restaurant the locals have ever loved shutter, are torn down and replaced by a chintzy hotel or designer bag shop. I’ve only been here for seven years and can hardly imagine the sea change old-timers must be going through. If The Red Onion being closed hasn’t sunk in for you yet as catastrophic, then just leave.

Don’t care for a few working-class families staying in a miner’s shack next to your McMansion? Fine, then I’m building a 24-hour diner instead, complete with speakeasy-style middle-of-the-night bloody marys.

I’ve never been to a Waffle House as I don’t like watching people cook my food because it takes away the magic. It’s like when your girlfriend is asleep and leaves her phone unlocked next to you, but you’re still like “Ehh … I don’t wanna know” and decline the opportunity to see how many other guys she’s talking to.

But anyway, that is the vibe I would be chasing at “Ben’s Always Up” with huge bay windows, little soundproofing and a menu that appeals to the exact type of people you think would otherwise be living here: drunks, crackheads and IBS sufferers. I think really bright neon, disco ball lighting would be a good idea, too. Check your portcullises for barf and needles each morning, of course.

Ascendigo parcel

SB: The fine people of Missouri Heights have picked a fight with a nonprofit camp for autistic children. Apparently, the thought of children riding horses and laughing is too much.

I’m not going to get too into it because I don’t want to feel the wrath of the many Keep Missouri Heights Rural letter writers. It’s very noble of you to start each offering with, “I have nothing against autistic children …” but that’s like saying “No offense, but …” and then insulting someone.

Like I could see if you took issue with a camp for YouTube stars being built in your backyard. (I was going to go with the guys from Nitro Circus, but I think that reference is dated.) Do you remember what the Paul bros did to the Airbnb they rented in Aspen?

That shall be inflicted tenfold upon your rural getaway. There’s going to be people TikToking in the middle of the street. Idiots ambling around with selfie sticks. I don’t even know specifically what YouTube personalities do, but my assumption is they’re basically the bottom feeders of the internet.

They have intimate knowledge of the lowest common denominators for clicks. Ready to be pranked by a tween with green hair? How about some kids try 1,500 trick shots on your basketball hoop before the payoff? Or Logan Paul could pop up out of the bushes and sucker punch you while you’re taking the trash out?

Be careful what you Make A Wish for.

BW: Honestly, the best argument for denying Ascendigo’s proposal at this location is the one made most disingenuously by its neighbors. Of course the NIMBYs don’t want to look at trucks carrying portapotties driving the streets, and juxtaposing their real concern with a fake one like the autists’ safety is a smart move. You can’t just load a bunch of kids onto a bus in an evacuation scenario; all it takes is someone hiding in the rafters and refusing to come down to turn the whole situation very tragic.

So instead of a ranch for i—- s-v-nts, let’s create a village full of actual idiots and let Bam Margera and the “Jackass” crew reconstruct their castle here! It’d be safe because if any of those dudes were going to be struck down, it would’ve already happened (RIP Ryan Dunn). That’d be even more embarrassing than catching COVID in June 2021.

These are the guys who run toward danger while everyone else flees. You can make a wildfire funny as long as it’s started by a firework shot out of Steve-O’s bunghole. You’ll still see the portapotty trucks, but that’s only because they’re bringing one in as a vessel to slingshot Johnny Knoxville into orbit. And the best part is the neighbors won’t have to worry about the water supply depleting because I’m pretty sure those guys don’t drink any. Or bathe.


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