Roger Marolt: It is as bad as it feels, but not as bad as you think
Years ago, when I was young enough so that I’ve forgotten most details of that time — but not so young that I looked forward to a good head cold because it meant a few days off from school — I read or heard that when your body fights off a potent virus, it creates a substance in your system that, on top of fighting the bug that has made base camp in your nasal passages, also destroys cancer cells in your body.
I don’t know if this is true. I have never heard anything else about it and I don’t dare Google it because the idea of it still gives me a boost when I come down with a case of the crud.
I am not talking about getting you through flu season here, though. Well, actually, if this interferon anecdote helps you through the aches and pains of fever, congestion and coughing, I will be overjoyed that it did so. But what I really want to do is parallel this narrative to dealing with the craziness that is our busy times of year in a resort town, recently past, present, and yet to come. I firmly believe that Presidents’ Day should not cause anyone to consider moving to another part of the world where there are no special days set aside to celebrate its dictators, as everyday is Dictator Day in these countries, so there is, therefore, no reason for long weekend vacations.
Last week, an Aspen politician posted something somewhere in cyberspace about tourists. I am being purposefully vague about the delivery of his message, if that is even what it was, because I am not an expert in the area of social media. I read about it in the newspaper which means that, not only did crap hit the fan, it was flung on the wall, slid off and overflowed the digital gutter that is always sloped so that its subject matter splatters to the greatest negative effect, resulting in the messiest clean up possible.
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I will paraphrase what he said: ‘Town is packed beyond capacity, driving is frustrating, parking impossible, grocery shopping unadvisable, and a lot of people who come here during the holidays are beyond unbearable. Life stinks!’
Admit it. You had these same “normal” thoughts at least once during the 12 Days of Christmas and had about your fill of the 10 lords a leaping for the nine ladies dancing to the point where you couldn’t wait for the partridge to get south already. I know I did.
During a time like this, the thing I think works better than whiskey and certainly better than an adult eggnog several days past its expiration date is to know, without a doubt, that lots of good comes from the throngs of the upper-middle class and higher descending upon us over these two weeks of winter holidays, along with Fourth of July weekend, Labor Day and X Games.
Please excuse me as I’m still recovering from the melee that I am talking about here, but I didn’t have time to confirm this as a fact: I have heard for many years from many sources that many retail stores and restaurants make almost half of their profits for the year during the six busiest weekends of the year. If this is true, then hotels and other local ancillary businesses probably have their fiscal years made or broken during these times, too.
When you think about this, it is great news. Let’s suppose all six of these big weekends are long weekends. This would amount to less than one full month of tolerating our resort bursting at the seams in order to produce an outsized portion of the profits that allow us to live here in relative bliss for the other 11 months of the year.
Maybe I’m weird — actually, I think that has been confirmed — but I think that is a great trade off.
This is only another perspective that proves what we all know and what real estate prices confirm: Aspen-Snowmass is a great place to live. That said, I think it is OK to shove perspective to the side and get frustrated when you drive through downtown Aspen at 6 o’clock on Christmas Eve because you need to pick up your Tamiflu prescription while your fever rages and there is no place to park. Don’t sweat it, that’s normal. But, it’s also foolish to vent about it on social media, especially if you are an elected official.
Roger Marolt quit looking for a vaccination against busy times as soon as his immunity kicked in. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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