Ask Rachel

Ask Rachel

Dear Rachel,

You never believe it till it happens to you. I’ve discovered that people I thought were my friends are actually conspiracy theorists who think that doctors are fear-mongering the pandemic so they can also profit off the vaccine. I love a good alien conspiracy theory as much as anyone. But to think the health-care industry (non-insurance company division) is secretly out to get us, when there are plenty of evil corporations blatantly out to get us, just baffles me. How can I weed these people from my life?

– Loose Wingnuts

Dear Unsecured Hardware,

We’re all entitled one crazy-ass theory. My own mother, who is otherwise up to date on her shots, has already told me she won’t be getting the COVID vaccine. My sister believes the Bible is a literal recording of the word of God. My dad still talks every summer about how the Cardinals got screwed out of some World Series or another. One such thought is endearing. Let those people slide. But if they’re also prattling about chemtrails, just get it over with and rip off the Band-aid (or the Kool-aid, as the case may be).

– It’s in the water, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

I have a roommate who is pretty oblivious. He drinks the coffee that my partner and I buy. He buys the bottom-tier stuff that tastes like mud, but it sits untouched in the pantry. I have told him twice now, “If you don’t buy the coffee, you don’t drink the coffee!” He backs off for about a week usually, then he seems to forget and slinks over to the pot for a cup. If he contributed, then it would be a non-issue. We don’t even get the really fancy stuff! How do I get it through his thick skull?

– Grounds for eviction

Dear Free Refills,

Oh, this one is so easy, and yet so fun. You brew a pot of your richest coffee. Let that waft all through the house. Pour the whole thing into your large camping thermos, and fill the coffee pot with thick compost tea taken straight from the bin. (You live here, so you DO have compost, right?) Cradle your mug, and enjoy the show.

– The best part of waking up, Rachel

 

Dear Rachel,

I took my dog to a chiropractor for some shoulder pain. Seems legit, right? And my dog did seem to feel better. But the chiro seriously spent all of three minutes with her hands on my dog. Boom-boom here, boom-boom there, that’ll be $75 please. Now I believe in science, but this seems awfully close to woo-woo laying-on-of-hands or else simply extortion. I want to think the best of people, but tell me Rachel, am I getting taken to the cleaners?

– Doggie Style

Dear Canine Fashion,

I just realized that you could call chiropractors “crack dealers” and it’s perfectly fitting. I’m far more amused by that than by your letter. Nevertheless, let’s give it a go: if she has the certificate on the wall, she’s legit. You can’t get a certificate without extensive certified training. But I will say this. If you have no other crackpot theories, then you are free to assume that doggie DCs are selling you sugar and calling it coke. But if you’ve hit your quota, you must shut up and accept it.

– Crackin’ down, 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