Time to empty the brain bucket | VailDaily.com

Time to empty the brain bucket

If the temperature is currently zero degrees outside, what is it when it’s twice as hot? Fascinating internal questions such as this I ask myself daily in order to justify my existence on this page. In addition, this being the last column of 2005, I thought I’d empty my pastoral pockets of the veritable vestiges of literary lint collected over the previous 12 months. For your personal enjoyment, of course. To wit: I have now lived in Happy Valley for 21 years, and two weeks ago last Thursday morning, which happened to be 21 days after my 21st anniversary, it was 21 degrees below zero. Coincidence?How come during TV commercials for DVRs they don’t tell you how you can skip commercials with their product?Why do we call it “Lost Lake” if it can be found on a map?They renamed the East Lot in Beaver Creek the Elk Lot, obviously following the “E” compass-related trend so as not to confuse locals and visitors alike with the change. So why is the West Lot now the Bear Lot, and the one above there is called the Wolf Lot? Shouldn’t the West Lot be the Wolf Lot, and the new lot to the south be the Skunk, Bear, Lynx, Sasquatch or Something Lot that at least doesn’t begin with a “W”?Since the generally accepted goal is to be “happy” on Christmas Day and “merry” on New Year’s Eve, shouldn’t we say “Happy Christmas” and “Merry New Year’s” instead?Now that we’ve concluded another holiday season’s vernacular bashing by those “Say ‘Christmas’ or Else!” zealots, I must ask, just what does the “or else” threat actually mean? Are they threatening to have Christmas without us?Alabama’s runaway bride tried to hideand was denied any pride when she cried,while here in East Vailan idiot married male,tied up his wife while faking strifeand now is sitting in jail.I will miss Johnny Carson’s wit, Peter Jenning’s sincerity, Richard Pryor’s humor, Rosa Park’s tenacity, Johnnie Cochran’s rhymes, Gilligan’s goofiness and Tookie William’s children’s books. I had known Rudi Fisher superficially for decades, yet had my first real conversation with him this past September after a round of golf with our wives at a couples-only event. We danced around politics and religion for a few minutes, and then he suddenly quoted a few lines from one of my columns. Thus we were destined to spend the next hour or so cracking jokes at each other’s expense. He came across as a very genuine, funny and loving family man. I wish I had known him better. My sincere condolences to his family.Best AP headline of the year: “More Rings Found Around Uranus” (Dec. 22). How do they write this stuff with a straight face?Other highlights (or lowlights) of the year: North Korea announced, “Surprise! We’ve got nukes!” while the NHL announced, “Surprise! We’ve cancelled the season!” Martha Steward and Robert Blake left jail, while Michael Jackson left the country. Terri Schiavo did not know she died, while Dan Rather still didn’t accept that his career had. Tiger won his fourth Masters; Prince Charles married his fifth cousin; Deep Throat gagged on the truth; Philadelphia choked in the Super Bowl; President Bush tossed bluebonnets with the Saudi King; Tom Tancredo suggested we bomb Mecca; that loving Christian, Pat Robertson, said we should “take out” the president of Venezuela; Katrina drowned thousands in New Orleans; and 57,000 died in a Pakistan earthquake. Iran’s president came down with a severe case of dementia; French cars began inexplicitly exploding nightly; Catholics copied Clinton’s White House by invoking a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy for gay priests; Tom DeLay called Duke Cunningham “a hero” just before Duke admitted accepting $2.4 million in bribes; Harriet Miers became a footnote; bird flu became a joke; DeLay and Scooter Libby were indicted, Karl Rove was not, while Bill Frist sold stock from a blind trust just before it tanked; and VR stock reached an all-time high (six months after I sold it, of course).There was a horrific murder in Gypsum, a drunken knife fight in Edwards, a chubby white guy robbing a bank in Edwards, two skinny morons robbing a bank in Vail, Drooks and Bunn playing in Beaver Creek (the Vail Daily had them mixed up in a photo), a brand new reporter being mugged in Avon before her first day of work at the Daily (“Welcome to town! Gimme your stuff!”) and Eagle County Commissioner Peter Runyon claiming not to be of canine pedigree.For Pete’s sake (Seibert, of course) folks, let’s try to be a little more civil to each other in 2006. I promise to do my part, at least until somebody does something hypocritically stupid, at which point I simply feel obligated.Happy and safe New Year’s, everyone.Richard Carnes of Edwards writes a weekly column for the Daily. He can be reached at poor@vail.net Vail, Colorado

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