Barbarians at the Ate

lafamineDon’t ever watch a European eat.

I’m no Europhobe. I like Europeans and their food, wine, cities, money, women, towns, museums, money, architecture, castles and women. I especially like their money and women a la carte, as when they bring them to Aspen and leave them here.

But I discovered in Europe recently that these civilized people eat like barbarians. Let’s just call them barbarians at the ate.

It goes something like this:

“Poulet, si’l vous plait,” requests a restaurant patron. And in due course, chicken appears.

“Bon appetit,” advises the chicken-bringer to the chicken-eater.

That didn’t need to be said. The chicken-eater already has a very bon appetit, believe me. He nibbles, tastes, savors, licks, squeezes, admires and fondles the chicken. He inserts it into his mouth to scrape and scour it with his tongue, teeth, lips, sinuses, esophagus, tonsils and the upper part of his stomach. Then he pulls the remaining chicken bone from his mouth.

He does this over and over, till Continue reading

Class Warfare, Aspen Style; The Merely Rich vs. the Really Rich

Class warfare has broken out in my town, Aspen.

“We’ve met the enemy, and he is us.” — Pogo

On one side are the people who are in the top 1 percent of wealth in the world, who’ve been dubbed the 1 percenters. “Ah, yes,” say the Aspenites, “take their money and shoot ’em”

Wait, hold your fire!

You see, the 1 percenters worldwide are people who make more than $34,000. The average income of people in Aspen is double that. Therefore, the average Aspenite is easily a 1 percenter.

So don’t declare war on them because, well, they are us. And the first rule of war is that we’re the good guys.

The bad guys are a subset of the 1 percenters — the ones who are not just in the top 1 percent but are in the top 0.1 percent.

If this were France, circa 1789, we’d say the bad guys are the “creme de la creme” and the good guys are the “creme sans la creme.”

In the fog of war, it’s easy to misplace a decimal point or a creme. For the sake of clarity, we’ll refer to the 1 percenters as the “merely rich” and to the 0.1 percent as the “really rich.”

“Cry havoc and let slip the Labradoodles of war.” — Shakespeare

Human nature being what it is, Continue reading

Smacked Around Aspen

Private clubs are typically considered a bad thing in Aspen. They smack of exclusivity, to borrow a phrase from the class-warfare zone.

But some local business types want to take the exclusivity out of smack. In hipster language, they wanna make some smack by openin’ private joints for gettin’ smacked.

In English, this means they want to make money by opening private clubs where a person can get high on marijuana.

People are talkin’ smack about this, you see. They’re grievin’ that gettin’ smacked has been legalized in Colorado but there isn’t anywhere to do it. Talk it, yes. Do it, no.

Well, except the house where you live. But who wants to stink up their house like that?

Speakin’ of gettin’ smacked in the house, Continue reading