Writing Switch: Architects of misfortune | AspenTimes.com

Writing Switch: Architects of misfortune

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch

Conceptualizing amusement, water or skate parks, cars, houses, anything as a kid is a lot more because you didn’t think about practicality. I always wanted to do what that “Blank Check” kid did and turn my house into an amusement park.

There would be a trampoline room, my bedroom would be a pool with a floating bed, the kitchen would just be a pizzeria, etc. But those ideas quickly become silly and are forgotten as soon as the rigors of adulthood strip you of all childhood imagination.

So today, we’re putting on our architect hard hats and unveiling a few blueprints that maybe an idiot billionaire too stupid to know better will invest in. (Ideally … nobody is ever quite sure how Ben is going to interpret our “idea.”)

Concert venue

SB: I’ve never been to a music festival for myriad reasons. First, everyone has that one acquaintance who gets down on jam bands and can discuss Phish by concert date like they’re a modern day Dick’s Picks. (Editor: Don’t delete that, please. It’s an inside baseball Grateful Dead reference with an albeit regrettable name.)

Second, notice how I didn’t say friend? You don’t want to spend 72 hours with that guy in his most obnoxious state.

Third, I prefer running water in my bathroom as opposed to willfully subjecting myself to any amount of time in a porta-potty, or in Louisiana prison guard terms, “The Box.” As in, “You mouth off to the warden, that’s a week in the box.”

But most of all, it’s just the heat. So, I thought about cooling it down and combining a water park staple with a concert venue. Enter, the Lazy River Concert Oasis and Resort.

Get your preferred float and get ready to drift from concert lagoon (stage) to concert lagoon, with perhaps an eddy at one of the many float up bars. (If you’re wondering how you dance, if you can dance in a car, you can dance on a float.) Restrooms would be everywhere — and by that I don’t mean the water.

Essentially, the concern is if Trent does his best over-excited child on the Fourth of July impression and takes a shit in the pool, it’s a little different than just ruining July 5. Having to refund Dead Mau5 tickets because you’re shocking the river with a metric ton of chlorine isn’t a good business model.

That’s where the resort aspect comes into play. If you surround the venue with hotel rooms featuring balconies overlooking the concert lagoon of your choice, then why not exit the water to use the facilities and not be a dirt bag.

I mean, the sizzle reel for the Oasis alone would garner a few checks from misguided tech bros. It will never happen because of liability issues and the possibility of a molly’d up Tiffany losing control of her bodily functions, but all you need is one. Hey, Mark Cuban thought Google+ would be the next Facebook.

Inter-library Loan Ranger

BW: Everyone knows libraries are great community assets, blah blah blah, though I’m not really sure what they are since I haven’t gotten past the vestibule where they placed on-hold books during the pandemic. Where would I be more likely to interrupt the silence with wails of immolation by spontaneous combustion upon my entrance, a library or a church? At least during mass you get a little shot of wine to keep you going, so some form of sinning seems allowed. It’s not that I’m anti-literature, but it’s hard for me to spend 16 hours at work reading all day and then wind down with a little Shakespeare before bed. I would spend way more time in libraries if I could be scribbling on the bathroom stalls or goofing off with a 3D printer while carrying around a cocktail like Julian in “Trailer Park Boys.”

I’d like to build a library that more closely resembles the layout and structure of shopping malls, since that model is obviously everlasting. I was halfway through designing this floorplan under the premise that having to be quiet sucks (I’m a grown-up, don’t shush me unless you’re willing to take your grievances out back), but then — during my first work shift since November in an office where everyone’s chatting, gossiping, asking questions, slamming doors, kicking barking dogs and practicing for their mariachi band — I realized my brain’s ability to tune out any distractions, other than a rotation of Adam Sandler movies simultaneously playing all my screens on repeat in the background, is wrecked. So that’s why if you’re smelling vinegar right now, it’s ‘cause I’m writing this from a janitor’s closet and he’s the type of human who thinks it’s a good substitute for Windex. Sorry.

Anyway, it’s cool that libraries let you check out DVDs and computer games, too, and teach things like art classes and how to play mancala and lord knows what else. I just think we need to make the square footage bigger and cordon off areas for, say, food or a trampoline park or putt-putt or trying on clothes or napping on new mattresses or an escape room that’s built like a Spencer’s Gifts and you compete with your friends to see how big of an item you can shoplift without getting caught.

And the best part is that the infrastructure for such a library upgrade already exists in the core districts of many cities already. We just gotta evict a few phone-case kiosks and Sears stores.

Top (Disc) Golf

SB: Admittedly inspired from my girlfriend’s suggestion of “How about Top Golf but with other sports?” I don’t know how I didn’t think of this sooner. Maybe because the only reason I play disc golf is because regular golf is time consuming and stupid expensive around here.

That’s the obvious downside: Why would you go to Top (Disc) Golf over Top Golf, aka a non-depressing Dave & Buster’s. Top Golf has course-corrected putt-putt dates. It’s also so much more fun if the entire bachelor party can laugh at Seth topping six shots in a row rather than just the three people in his foursome.

However, standing on an elevated tee box and trying to rip shots at various target areas without regard for losing a disc would be a blast. The reason Top Golf is so popular is you’re not really penalized for bad shots. Your friends will still make fun of you, but there isn’t the permanence of a scorecard or the subsequent ribbing for/embarrassment of shooting a 112. That and you don’t have to commit to anywhere from two to five hours on a golf course.

You also could get a little more creative with the layout of Top (Disc) Golf. There would impediments on the range that would force you into different arm angles and flight paths. Of course, there would be baskets, because it’s markedly easier to hole out with a disc than a golf ball. Still not sure how the disc collecting/distribution would work, but we’ll cross that bridge when someone decides to burn money on a niche investment.

The solution to competing with Top Golf is to see their liquor license and raise them a weed bar qualification. The first person to figure out what pairs with weed as well as beer pairs with golf is going to be super rich. Maybe it’s Top (Disc) Golf — but probably not.

For Gentlemen By Gentlemen

BW: Maybe it’s because my only two experiences with strip — er, gentlemen’s clubs have been lackluster, but I never understood the appeal of spending X amount of dollars to sit there guffawing like Gomer Pyle over b*wbs. The first time, I went with my friend Amish Tom, and the only other two patrons were old men wearing zoot suits and carrying canes like we’re in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. The second time mostly consisted of a bunch of guys in camouflage hats playing pool and drinking shitty beers while ignoring the girls, just like a teen lock-in at the community center.

Put a dollar on the stage and a lady will shake her butt at you as she picks it up. Great, what am I supposed to do with that? I’ve never gotten a lap dance but anticipate being distracted by the realization that now I have to wash my clothes again and I’m out of quarters.

And it’s not because I think that the women who engage in such professions are gross or are seeking attention and validation or whatever other misogyny you undoubtedly associate me with. (I mean, I do think those things, but my distaste is not because of it. As a hedonist I believe everyone should have the agency to do whatever the hell they want at all times.) I wear my emotions on my sleeve, and I just cannot get over the mental barrier of someone pretending to like me for my money (of which I have a ton) and I’m just expected to play along. Like, I can feel the fibers of my facial muscles contorting awkwardly while poorly pretending to buy into their charade of caring about what I do for work (I always lie) or fun (keep lying). Obviously I look at b*wbs for fun, that’s why I’m here, and if I wasn’t, I would just be doing it at home.

Anyway, if I’m redesigning a strip club for the modern man who enjoys a bit of filth with his smut, I’m turning it inside out like your last clean pair of boxers (still haven’t found any quarters). No, this isn’t a Chippendales show where women ogle buff dudes wiggling their pecs. Instead, we’ll charge guys to slide down the poles, heroic fireman-style, before performing an act from a menu of options directed toward a litany of hot chicks sitting ringside we hired and who, of course, consent to be subjected to this process:

  • “Elvis pelvic gyration” – $5
  • “Spank me mommy” – $10
  • “Whip it out real quick” – $20
  • “Buttercup” – $35
  • “Rikishi” – $50


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