"What are you doing for Snowdown?"
It's a question I have heard with increasing frequency over the last few days. It's one of those casual questions of which an obligatory response is expected, like when someone asks "Where are you going on vacation," or "What are your plans for the holidays." I mean, you've got to be doing something for Snowdown - it's a prerequisite for Durango citizen status. But the unfortunate truth is, Durango citizenship be damned, I really don't have any plans for Snowdown. There, I said it. Sure, I may happen upon a folly here and a fashion don't there, but if I do, it will be pure, spontaneous coincidence.
See, it all goes back to an unfortunate incident several years ago. As a young, naive newcomer to the area, I foolishly thought I could outfox the Cream Pie Hit Squad. However, after several hours of being ruthlessly hunted down like an animal through the alleys and backstreets of Durango, I was mercilessly pied down in broad daylight. My sinuses have yet to recover, and every time I hear the theme from "Dragnet" my blood goes cold. Whip cream will never be the same for me.
As a result of the after effects of this, which I like to think of as an acute form of post-traumatic stress disorder, I have been called a "stick in the mud", "boring," "crotchety," "the wench who stole Snowdown." Which may all be true. But deep down inside, I do have a small spot in my tiny, shrunken, cold heart for the annual festival of debauchery and depravity. For example, where else in the world would you find people willing to happily cram themselves into the receiving end of an outhouse? That there's true devotion.
So in the spirit of such dedication, and bearing in mind that by now all the good superhero costumes have already been taken, I offer up my contribution to the Snowdown fun factory: Several lesser-known, unsung local super heroes sure to be the hit of the party. And best of all, there's no need for fancy costumes - many of us already have them hanging in our closets.
The Green Crusader: Able to overpower enemies with the stench of patchouli. Can fashion anything from hemp, from simple pot holders to energy-channeling bracelets. Known to subsist for days on nothing more than Nepalese gooey balls and carob nut clusters.
Weakness: Antiperspirant and Mercury in retrograde.
Lycra Man: Able to withstand a wide range of extreme temperatures, from sub-freezing to near boiling, wearing only full-body a Lycra sportsuit. Despite the seeming shortage of fabric, always has room for one more logo. Has uncanny ability to use laser-like vision to see through mere mortals, almost as if they don't exist. Able to subsist only on Cytomax and Vanilla Goo.
Weakness: Anything with a French or Italian-sounding name.
Captain GM: Pilots one of several brands of massive American-made sport utility vehicles or trucks. Possesses power to adjust air conditioning, talk loudly on cell phone and steer with knees all at the same time. Uses chrome cattleguard to frighten pesky pedestrians who take up too much time in the crosswalk, making streets safer for SUVs everywhere. Nemesis of Green Crusader and Biodiesel Babe.
Weakness: Japanese hybrids.
Waitron: Able to hold down multiple jobs, work back-to-back doubles and still rage like a rock star till 3 a.m. - all while making a mere pittance which all goes toward splitting rent eight ways on a rundown shack on the south side. Deflects rude comments, calculates separate checks and juggles plates of hot food while dodging chicken-lip missiles fired by small children. Master of clip-on bow ties and disappearing when it's time for the check.
Weakness: Tour buses, powder days
The Extreme-in-Ator: Always sporting full expedition pack and/or Camelbak "just in case." Able to talk incessantly about outdoor accomplishments, although mysteriously never spotted partaking in any of said activities. Able to impress unsuspecting bystanders with top-of-the-line gear, although hasn't foggiest how any of it really works. Thinks anyone over the age of 25 is a geezer.
Weakness: REI catalog, Outside magazine
The Road Worrier: Defies laws and logic by driving 35 mph in left lane at all times. Known to make daring, slow-speed turns in front of oncoming traffic while looking at scenery out side window. Thinks following the yellow line is optional. Stops at every intersection, fast-food drive-thru and Supercenter. Typically spotted behind the wheels of "Mini Winnies" or compacts with bright yellow plates.
Weakness: One-ways, blinkers, stop signs, precipitation
Super NIMBY: Has ability to know what all neighbors are doing at any given hour of the day due to super keen sight, hearing and spying abilities. Thinks people with different viewpoints, backgrounds and beliefs are fine, as long as they don't live here. Will stop at nothing to keep the riff raff out.
Weakness: Starbucks, Target
The Intoxicated Avenger: Able to withstand long hours on same barstool telling same stories to anyone within earshot. Deflects any would-be intruders with spray of beer breath and loud talking. Slurs words so as to throw off even the most trained decoders. Nemesis of Waitron, whose table he usually passes out on amidst a plate of Moons Over My Hammy around 3 a.m.
Weakness: Moons Over My Hammy
So there you have it, the hottest ticket to fun this weekend since the Follies simulcast sold out three days ago. But before you head out, please remember, no matter how crazy things get, superpowers are a gift. Use for good, not evil.
- Missy Votel