What are your odds? | VailDaily.com

What are your odds?

Scott Cunningham

Welcome to Vail, Freshman Class of 2002-03! We love you! You have lots of energy and no shame about working in a parking garage; you have no idea that Lionshead is the Colorado equivalent of downtown Detroit; the words “mushroom” and “bowl” have totally different connotations to you; and you weren’t there when we took a shot of Tabasco sauce at the Club and threw up on that really good-looking cocktail waitress (who has since moved away. Will you become the new cocktail waitress? Will you go out with us?).Since you’ve just moved here and are in constant awe of the natural beauty all around you, it would be (admittedly) very easy for us to take advantage of you. We could, for example, tell you that rear-entry boots are really cool and the Sundance is the classiest bar in town.But that’s not right, and we’d never do that. Instead, we’re going to offer to you the wisdom and information we’ve gleaned from our collective 37 years in the valley. Thirty-seven! That’s like as old as your dad!We know you’ve moved out here with high hopes, and despite seeing the inside of Timber Ridge and getting whooped by Moe at foosball, you still think this season is going to be like that movie Ski School. We’re here to offer a cautious warning. Yes, Vail is tucked away from the rest of the cruel, cruel world and scarlet begonias are growing everywhere, but you can still die, be maimed, decapitated, arrested and have your heart ripped to shreds by that uppity chick who works at VSS. It’s a cold world out there, as represented by the cold, hard statistics that The Vail Trail has graciously gathered for your sake.Despite our irreverent tone, these statistics are REAL! Believe it or not, we didn’t make this stuff up, and we used the most recent data available to us (usually year 2000). That said, under no circumstances should this information be used to advance any sort of cogent and sober argument anywhere. If we find ourselves being quoted in the next commissioner’s race (that means you, Arn Menconi! Oops, we mean, “Art Macaroni”), we’ll be pissed and will disavow any responsibility for your victory!Enjoy, and stay away from the pasta sauces at Mid-Vail.BabiesWe begin with the dawn of life itself. Did you know there are 6,183 people between the ages of 15 and 24 in Eagle County? And those are just the people who live here (like “for real” live here, even in May). When you get that many young people together, things are bound to happen, whether intended or otherwise.If you’re a 16-year-old girl, you have a 4 percent chance of giving birth this year. If you’re a 17-year-old girl, your chances go up to 5 percent. Eighteen years young pushes it to 13 percent, and if you’re 19 and female in Eagle County, you have a 16 percent chance of becoming a mother.Of course, most of you are older than that, but don’t get cocky. Out of the 778 live births in the county in 2000, 15 percent were to unmarried women. Even if having a child is what you desire, it could still turn out wrong. As a local mother, you have a 4 percent chance of your baby having a major congenital anomaly, an 8 percent chance of low birth weight, and a just less than 1 percent chance of infant mortality.Then, if all goes well in the delivery room, there’s a 7 percent chance that your child will become obese in the next five years, and a .02 percent chance that you’ll end up as a child abuser.Just for High SchoolersAs far as we know, Fast Times at Battle Mountain High is not slated to go into production any time soon, but that doesn’t mean our local schools are heaven’s weigh stations. Kids in Vail deface school property just like everywhere else. Here are some other stats directed at teenagers that may be illuminating:Odds that you’ll drop out: 87 to 1.Odds that you’re black: 0Odds that you’ll graduate if you’re a senior: 1.3 to 1Odds that you’ll forcibly rape someone: 2,353 to 1Odds that you’ll get busted for a liquor law violation: 49 to 1Odds that you’ll get a DUI: 470 to 1Odds that you’ll get busted for a drug violation: 124 to 1DrugsAccording to Vail Police Detective Craig Bettis, ecstasy use is on the rise big time in Vail nightclubs. It’s scarier stuff than people realize, not just because, as Bettis points out, it’s one of the most damaging drugs to your body, but it also causes people to feel like they can hug us when they don’t know us. If you’ve got a neon light in your mouth, and you try to talk to us, we’re going to kick your ass.Fortunately, the most abused drug in Vail, 40 years running, is marijuana (if you don’t count alcohol). Right now, someone is probably using this sheet of newspaper to catch seeds. Thank goodness someone’s found a use for it.Those of you who are poor will love this:Odds that the state will approve you for the issuance of medical marijuana: Actually, the state of Colorado does not release statistics on medical marijuana patients, but you can read the guidelines and apply online. Go to http://www.cdphe.state.co.us/hs/medicalmarijuana/marijuanafactsheet.asp, and if you’re approved, under Amendment 20, you’ll be authorized to grow your own personal stash.DiseaseIt’s getting close to Christmas, kids! Don’t know what to get that special someone for the holidays? How about the gift that keeps on giving: STD’s!Odds that you’ll get “the clap”: 5,856 to 1Odds that you’ll contract chlyamydia: 616 to 1Didn’t they eradicate tuberculosis? I guess not. Also, even though the last known smallpox case was in Africa in 1977, the government says that may be coming back too, so heads up! Or, head down, rather.Odds that you’ll get tuberculosis: 21,749 to 1Odds of contracting anthrax: 300 million to 1Odds of getting Hantavirus Pulmonary Syndrome (stay away from rodents!): 43,497 to 1Odds of getting cancer: 763 to 1Vail 5.0Here’s one area Vail is really different from where you came from. We love cops, and if we hear you calling them “pigs,” we’ll report you to Detective Paul Barben in a heartbeat. He has this really great gun that shoots “less than lethal” ammunition, and we’ll be sending him over to your place to give you the most attractive purple splotches on your chest that money can buy.Seriously, you have to really make an effort to get a ticket in this town, and if you’re polite to the officer who confronts you, we guarantee you’ll be just fine in the legal sense. Officers are ski bums too, remember. Still, the odds you’ll get arrested in Eagle County are 35 to 1.Odds someone will steal your stuff: 2,071 to 1Odds that someone will steal your planks while you’re eating at Mid-Vail if you don’t lock ’em up: 21 to 1Odds your car will get stolen: 7,250 to 1 (that’s the generous estimate)Odds that you’ll get into a fight on Bridge Street: 52 to 1Odds that you’ll pass out on Bridge Street, or somewhere nearby: 61 to 1Death and PainDespite the fact that Vail doesn’t have a cemetery, people still die there, even Spanish princes. The Lord doesn’t discriminate based on location, and if your number is up this year, take comfort in the fact that you went out in style.Odds you’ll die this year: 649 to 1Odds you’ll be murdered: minisculeOdds you’ll be killed by someone else unintentionally: 3,346 to 1Odds you’ll kill yourself: 14,499 to 1Odds you’ll be killed in a motor vehicle accident: 3,954 to 1Odds you’ll be killed by an avalanche: 6.8 million to 1Odds you’ll die from heart disease: 3,625 to 1Odds you’ll be seriously injured on the mountain: Million to 1Odds, if you’re seriously injured skiing, that you’re male: 16 to 15Odds, if you’re seriously injured snowboarding, that you’re male: 1 to 1Odds, if you’re injured on the mountain, you’ll go to the hospital: 283 to 1Odds that you’ve read this story all the way to the end: 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 to one.

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