Writing Switch: In a league of their groan | AspenTimes.com
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Writing Switch: In a league of their groan

Benjamin Welch and Sean Beckwith
Writing Switch

When you’re considering whom or what is the “best ever” at something, you have to weigh and examine every detail and nuance. Pretty much the only universal truths are that Tom Brady is the greatest of all time football player, and that God created the heavens and the Earth in seven chaotic days. This week, Ben and Sean look at other off-brand GOAT topics and submit our lifetime achievement nominations.

GOAT Aspen trope

SB: The layup is rich people, but they’re an easy target. The sneaky GOAT is “Local trying to find housing.” If you zoom out and look at it universally, people are getting pushed out of great places all over the states. Aspen’s workforce is no different, but it’s a little funny because they’re probably in the income bracket that could (and probably does) do the gentrifying in other, less ludicrously priced markets.



I think the thing that sets the in-search-of-a-home Aspenite apart from other stereotypes is not only how many of them there are but how despondent they tend to be. You know when you’re browsing a nice outdoor gear store, and you flip over the price tag of what appears to be a moderately nice jacket and it’s like $450, that’s how locals feel when they look at anything free market, only we’re expecting it. It’s beyond comical, it’s a … trope.

BW: Ever since Front Rangers and other ski bum wannabes realized in the past decade that snowboarding is way harder than skiing, the on-mountain culture has shifted from “god damn I look cool” back to “well, at least I can get down the mountain on these sticks and justify this million-dollar lift ticket.” You practically have to live in a resort community to become a good snowboarder. Nobody wants to sit in traffic for three hours both ways to strap on a board, catch edges and scorpion all day.



I embrace that snowboard fashion remains the last remnants of the “white suburban gangsta” phase that was prevalent during my teenage years.

It felt like betrayal when 75-year-old Shaun White won the X Games in skinny-jean snowpants, but then again, I entered the superpipe once and said “this is actually a wall of ice,” so I don’t have much room to talk.

There’s nothing wrong with being a rebel, or at least clinging to the stereotype visually and hoping that’s how others perceive you, as well. I wish the skier-snowboarder rivalry was more robust these days, and every chairlift ride still felt like sitting at the red on Koval and Flamingo. Anytime someone complains that a snowboarder is “perpetuating negative stereotypes” I’m like damn right, f— you, kiss my ass. And then I go home and drink a glass of milk, suck on a pacifier and watch cartoons.

GOAT Invention

BW: I don’t know how to be a parent, obviously. God willing, I never will and/or they never track me down, but if they do, I won’t need to learn how to become one. The internet can raise my child, it’s fine.

So my advice to those who have produced progeny is this: spoil your kid if you can. Why the hell not? Your ancestors spent thousands of years, playing with kitchenware in the dirt and sticks and rocks and shit, just to one day somewhere down the line reward their offspring with a touchscreen, the extended knowledge of mankind at their fingertips, and 18 pressure-packed years culminating in a lifetime of insurmountable student debt that politicians will promise to forgive but neglect to do so once elected.

Access to everything ever on a screen will teach children all the lessons they need to know, unless you’d rather they hang out in the card rooms and pool halls, and the best part is Al Gore made this popular WITHIN THE PAST 20 YEARS!

Ours was the last generation to be able to sneak out of the house. Every millennial watched “Paranormal Activity,” and so now we all have cameras in every room just in case something cool happens. Son, you’re gonna get caught crawling out of that window. However, I have faith that by the time our kids are 12-ish, or whenever they’re supposed to start having sex and doing drugs, they’ll have figured out a new way to trick mom and dad, probably thanks to TikTok. And to think, all that ingenuity inspired by a Ke$ha song.

SB: People usually think of technology when they think of inventions. Yes, electricity is awesome but, we’re 20 years into the internet, and we need a Snake Plissken-esque reboot. (Shout out “Escape from LA.”)

However, while technology has led us astray, I’ve never been steered wrong by a grilled cheese or a meatball sub or a bahn mi or a Philly cheesesteak. That’s right, the greatest invention of all time is whoever thought to put some meat between a couple slices of bread. (I don’t buy the John Montagu origin story, though. I feel like as long as there’s been bread, there’s been some sort of sandwich. It’s akin to when LeBron tried to patent Taco Tuesdays. Yo, that’s been around for a while, you didn’t invent that.)

I’m serious, if I had to pick between Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or some cold cuts, spicy mustard and provolone cheese, I’m opting for that cold cut killer life.

GOAT Everyman Odd Job

SB: Anyone who has ever sat behind the wheel of a car as part of work knows how much more annoying traffic is when you have live in it. I remember yelling “You drive a f—ing Porsche, asshole!” at a guy and his kid because he brake-checked me while I was delivering pizzas. I don’t regret it. I actually think that kid learned two valuable lessons about brake-checking, which is you’re an asshole if you do it and just go faster.

So shout out to all the delivery drivers, especially the ones making round trips to Aspen from Denver multiple times a week. I don’t mind that drive, but once I had to do it like three times in week because my car was being fixed after it crapped out at the exit to Buffalo Bill’s grave, and it sucked.

I can honestly say driving a semi-truck would be one of, if not the most, depressing jobs out there. The prospect of showering at a truck stop is something I wouldn’t wish upon friends or my worst enemy — well, unless it was Ben; we can always use more column fodder.

BW: The obvious answer at first was “the plumbers who knock on my door at three random times throughout the week to remove my toilet and snake the complex’s drains.” Like, how am I supposed to respond? “Sure, I wasn’t planning on going all day anyway” or “um, might wanna give it a few minutes”?

But I think anyone who has to deal with other people’s crap on a regular basis deserves maximum credit. After all, everyone poops (except hot girls), right?

I don’t think a whole lot of kids write in their kindergarten dream journal that they want to be a septic tank flusher when they grow up, but God bless the ones who do. Same with students in medical school. Are they like, “Of all the human body, what I find most fascinating is what’s beyond the b-hole. I would just love to get some guy’s pants down and perform a colonoscopy”? That’s putting the “enter” in gastroenterologist. I understand someone has to do it, and again, God bless ’em, but whoever follows along that line of rationale is a little sus. Granted, I’m the one writing about it, so maybe I am, too. Can never resist a couple good poop jokes, though.

The biggest question I would have for a medical professional in the bowel field is “why corn?” The second-biggest question is “how can colorblind people tell if they have bloody stool?” In fact, if you’re a doctor who wouldn’t mind answering a potentially unlimited number of disgusting hypothetical questions, we’d love to have you featured in a column. We can’t pay you (hell, we don’t even get paid), but I’m sure getting your name out there as the guy who has to explain “no, gonorrhea generally does not go away by itself and can in fact kill you if you leave it festering and it metastasizes into your blood” will be great exposure for your practice. (Side note: Doctors shouldn’t call it a “practice”; I expect them to be in game mode when/if I ever can afford going to see a physician, or muster up the courage to, within my lifetime.)

GOAT Person to Get Canceled

SB: To clarify, we’re not endorsing/defending people who have been canceled; we’re trying to find the greatest person at their craft to get canceled. This list comes down to two indelible artists: Michael Jackson and Dr. Seuss.

If you started reading this and never thought about what the greater contribution to society is between “Cat and the Hat” and “Thriller,” I didn’t either, but that’s where we’re at. I’m not asking you to compare the character of an alleged pedophile and an author of children’s books who I’m guessing wasn’t trying to be a racist — only their work.

I think the tiebreaker for me is my 2-year-old nephew loves “Hop on Pop” and it’s almost 60 years old. There have been many Kings of Pop, but there’s only one Doc. Next time maybe use a little common sense with the caricatures, though.

BW: I thought Kramer was pretty funny in “Seinfeld.”


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