A tourist-eyed view of Happy Valley
George: Look, honey, they have some of the same issues here in Vail that we do back in Texas.Martha: Really, in this beautiful place? What possible problems could they have? Too much scenery?George: Listen, I’ve been reading this local paper right here every morning, and each day it’s full of people complaining about stuff.Martha: Yeah, I’ve heard boredom breeds folly. But since you’re dying to tell me anyway, go ahead.G: Well, apparently they have even higher gas prices than we do back home. The airplanes are noisy down at their airport. Their property taxes are too high and some people are trying to make them even higher. Dogs leave their business all over the place. Business owners are afraid that continued construction will cause customers to leave them. Bears are everywhere and it appears they love trash cans, and apparently they haven’t had the chance to see the World Trade Center movie yet.M: The bears?G: No, smart aleck, the locals.M: Oh my, how ever will they survive?G: I’m serious, honey. The point is they have real problems, too.M: Hold that thought while I go get my violin.G: You should see their real estate prices. For the price of the Scottdale’s house – you know, the really big one up the street from us back home – we could buy a three-bedroom condo here with a view of something called Castle Peak.M: It had better be the best view in the valley.G: Yeah, I’m sure it probably is. Anyway, they have a bank here that’s been robbed three times in a year and half and a new charter school that forgot to pay the town $250,000 that it owes.M: Maybe the school should send someone into that bank with a ski mask.G: I also came across this entertaining commentary by a Matt Z-something guy about his newborn. Sounds like a neat guy. I bet he’s popular around here.M: I read that one, too. It was funny. But it’s best not to judge a book by its cover, though.G: I ignored his picture, and why do you have to be so cynical about everything?M: Experience.G: Ha, ha. Wow, you should see all of the charity golf tournaments they have ads for.M: I could barely see the forest for all the courses when we drove around yesterday.G: Personally, I think it’s nice that they care enough to raise money for those who need it.M: I’ll bet half of them are self-promotions for real estate sales.G: You’re annoying sometimes. Have I ever mentioned that?M: Daily.G: They have something here called an “ombudsman.” I wonder what that is.M: Sounds like a Jamaican briefly stuttering just before ordering a Budweiser. G: Ahem. It also appears that they have some type of ongoing debate about religion.M: In their local newspaper?G: Yep. You have to at least admire their desire to discuss things like that.M: No, I don’t. Just because someone harbors an assortment of irrational and contradictory beliefs between their ears does not mean they are necessarily worthy of hearing, especially in a public forum.G: Good point. M: Any Elvis sightings?G: Of course not, but listen, I was just trying to point out how it shows they’re regular people like the rest of us.M: George, honey, don’t forget that we could afford to come here and look for a second home, and chances are most of these folks can’t even afford a first one, so of course they’re going to have similar problems to the rest of the working class.G: Yeah, I suppose you’re right, but I just found it kind of hard to believe at first, this being such a beautiful place and all.M: Well, get used to it, especially if we buy that house and start paying taxes around here. Then it will be us complaining about dog poop and bears and the high price of everything.G: Maybe we should check out Aspen instead.M: Over my dead body.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Lindsey Vonn no longer has a home in Vail, but a big piece of her heart will always remain here.