Vail Daily column: Stupid people doing stupid things

Richard Carnes
My View

The proverbial “they” always say bad things “come in threes.”

A quick reading of local headlines in a 24-hour period last week involved the following:

• Two men found dead in El Jebel area; third person taken to hospital.

• Attempted robbery at a video game store in Avon.

• Two armed men carjacked a vehicle on Battle Mountain Pass.

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I can add to the list with the announcement that unleashed dogs cost local taxpayers well more than half a million bucks each year and the unincorporated area known as Edwards is in the midst of its annual, “What the hell is that smell?” contest that no one ever wins.

But getting back to the original three, I was somewhat surprised when social media metaphorically exploded with comments about the “sudden” downfall of Happy Valley society.


To begin with, don’t be so shocked, social media plays a big role in little ol’ Vail.

Those feigning the kind of shock we saw in the restaurant scene in “Caddyshack” (“Well, I never,” says the snobby old bitty to which Rodney Dangerfield replied, “With a look like that you never will…”) seem to be living a life of delusion.

What in the world ever made some of you think we were immune to the idiocy of the world?

It is simple statistical odds; the larger the population the higher the volume of stupid people doing stupid things.

Yes, we’ve sadly had a few murders, attempted murders, rapes, assaults of all kinds and more than our fair share of drug busts during the past 50 winters, yet some were busy posting last week about how “we never used to lock our doors” and multiple statements beginning with, “Well, I remember when … ” as if all of Vail’s history is a rose-colored postcard.

But it was the lure of those odds that brought many of us here in the first place.

Oh, and skiing, that played a role as well.

And the views, the hiking, the biking, the rivers, camping, fishing, solitude, etc.

Remember when two morons robbed a bank off Bridge Street and were quickly caught thanks to their bragging about it — with photos — on social media?

Stupid people doing stupid things.

And most of us didn’t lock our doors “back when” because we had nothing any robber would be interested in stealing.

As far as things that “come in threes” are concerned, in the same time period last week Vail Mountain School varsity lacrosse beat Aspen for the first time in history, Eagle Valley girls soccer beat Battle Mountain for the first time in a dozen years and Pink Vail, the world’s biggest ski day to conquer cancer, raised more than $750,000 in one day on Vail Mountain.

So whenever a negative out of the ordinary event occurs, take a deep breath before announcing to the world that it’s a sign of the Happy Valley Apocalypse.

It’s all in the perspective.

And as for that smell in Edwards, I’m pretty sure a gaggle of Trumps flew over Edwards and landed in Eagle last week as well, so with seasonal winds always coming out of the west like they do, it should be fairly obvious as to the source of the stink.

Even the proverbial “they” would agree with me on that point.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at

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