Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Dear Rachel,

Hi, I’m an anonymous Telegraph employee. I recently received a letter about one of your recent answers, where you mentioned a raccoon hitting two pieces of flint together to start a forest fire. It suggested that two pieces of flint wouldn’t start a fire, but that flint and high-carbon steel would do the trick. I don’t know either way, but could you please start fact-checking your own column from here on out?

– Telegraph Ombudsman

Dear Media Mediator,

The Guinness Book of World Records got its start as a behind-the-bar guide to settling drinking disputes. That’s why it’s run by a brewing company. That’s a fact – verified by my memory, which is indubitably faultless. We need a similar book of interesting facts to settle disputes between newspaper-people and other newspaper-people. Any local brewers want to take that on? You can reprint all my interesting facts from years past. I’ll only ask for 50 percent of the proceeds.

– Yo momma’s interesting, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

I have never been to a concert festival in Telluride or Pagosa or anywhere that requires sleeping in the cold and spending all day on the ground. All my so-called friends keep telling me I’m missing out. Missing out? On below-freezing nights in June? On strangers riding that hungover/drunk wave for three days? On using porta-potties? No thanks. Yet I need a shut-down answer for why I don’t bother. Any ideas?

– Homebody

Dear Concert No-Goer,

Can I get an amen? Amen! I love music, and live music is somehow more delicious than canned tunes. But seriously, why do we have to wallow like overcrowded pigs to see some acts we care about only marginally from usually some great distance, and pay hundreds of dollars for the experience? People just like to say they were there. So you can say you were there, too. Everyone was too drunk to remember that you didn’t actually go.

– Festivus for none of us, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

Why do people act like their garbage bins are sacred spaces never to be trespassed upon? Once the bin hits the curb on trash day, you’re not claiming any of the space you left empty. It’s literally nothing to you if I put my overflow trash in your bin. But people on my block get irate when they see me dropping bags in others’ bins. What’s the deal, yo?

– Curbed

Dear Trash Can-Do,

My god, you’re right. People start turf wars over who put what in whose bin. I never thought of it that way. Wouldn’t they rather house your garbage in their bin than have it fester in your yard for another week? Of course not! This is America, goldurnit, and our forefathers didn’t die for us to have our garbage privacy invaded like that. Interesting fact: garbage on the curb is considered public property. That’s right. Yellowstone is your American birthright, and so is your neighbor’s refuse.

– Keep America beautiful, Rachel

Top Shelf

Long live rock!
Long live rock!
By Chris Aaland
05/21/2020

It’s been nearly two months since “Top Shelf” last graced these pages. In my first 12-plus years of writing this column, I think I only missed two weeks.

Raised on radio
Raised on radio
By Chris Aaland
03/26/2020

Social distancing is driving many of us stir crazy, especially after last week’s big dump. Not only do we crave physical interaction with each other, but we’re also an active community.

The week the music died
The week the music died
By Chris Aaland
03/19/2020

For more than 12 years, I’ve written “Top Shelf” on a weekly basis as a column about the local music scene and nightlife. I also drift into sports, pop culture and political territory from time to time. And, on far too many occasions, I’ve paid homage to a family member or friend who has passed, like my son, brother, mother and festival friend. 

Bogguss' aces, Irish eyes and Salmon splash
Bogguss' aces, Irish eyes and Salmon splash
By Chris Aaland
03/12/2020

Perhaps the biggest and baddest Durango Celtic Festival to date runs tonight (Thurs., March 12) through Sunday, with events alternating between the Henry Strater Theatre and the Irish Embassy Pub. This year’s line up is one of the best in the festival’s history, with five internationally acclaimed artists. 

Read All in Top Shelf

Day in the Life

Soaking it up
Soaking it up
05/21/2020
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
Local color: Telegraph coloring page winners
04/30/2020

A look at some (OK, all) of the Telegraph's coloring page submissions

Sole man
Sole man
03/12/2020

At the age of 19, Durango’s Mervin “Merv” Stilson started making shoes and never looked back (except for the time he made a Western-style jacket for Neil Young).

Wonder wall
Wonder wall
By Stephen Eginoire
03/05/2020

Southeastern Utah has no shortage of natural wonders, and perhaps one of the most curious is the 80-mile-long sandstone monocline known as Comb Ridge. 

Read All in Day on the Life