Schultheis:Maggots in Paradise | Dispatches
by Rob Schultheis
Jul 11, 2007 | 704 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
“…where every prospect pleases, and only Man is vile…”

Well, the poet sure hit the nail on the head with that one. 

Maybe we should start issuing passports and visas to this neck of the woods, ‘cuz this summer I’ve noticed an increasing amount of Schmuck tracks and scat here in the western San Juans: evidence that Schmuckus Americanus Majoris, the Great American Unprintable, is increasing his range to inclued higher altitudes and more remote locales.

Twice in the last week I’ve encountered one of those longer-than-a tennis-court ranchettes on wheels entering Telluride, with some scowling ancient sitting up there behind the tinted windshield, his mean-faced mate beside him; both times the rolling rest home was towing a gigantic SUV. There seem to be a lot of these gas-gulping monstrosities out on the roads this summer; appropriately, they all seem to come in the same color, a sickening shade of fecal brown, and I’ve never seen one driven by anyone who looks under the age of 70. One I saw down by Mancos was towing a matching trailer full of whatever kind of crap idiots who buy these things own – plaster lawn jockies?  Audio libraries of the complete programs of Rush Limbaugh? (In addition to the requisite monster SUV). How much do these things cost, anyway? And how many gallons per mile do they get? They are as tall as a semi-cab, maximizing their wind resistance, and they go like bats out of hell.

At a time when Global Warming is kneecapping the planet and American soldiers are fighting in Iraq to safeguard our energy supply, shouldn’t there be some kind of a limit to the conspicuous consumption practiced by these grotesque old throwbacks? And a final question: Is there any way the Town of Telluride can pass an ordinance banning these things from our streets?

Another foul stain on the local scene is that huge crane that’s been sitting there seemingly forever on the ridgeline overlooking the Valley Floor, despoiling the view for miles in every direction. It’s an insult to the eye, a downright-rude middle finger flourished in the face of the public. How long does Mountain Village intend to leave that ugly thing up there?  I know it would be illegal to put up a building that high on the same site: If not, some butthead would no doubt have done it by now. The only difference between the crane and a multi-story building on the same site is, the crane is even uglier. Can the San Miguel County commissioners please, please make the owner or renter of the crane get it the hell out of here?

Last, there are already eyewitness reports of a few thoughtless souls letting their dogs run loose on the Valley Floor, across the same meadows where the elk herds graze in the evening. 

Earth to idiots:  we didn’t fight to save the Valley Floor so it could be yet another dog run; and just because you love your dog more than you love wilderness or wildlife, it doesn’t mean that everyone else does. There is already plenty of room around here for leashed and voice-controlled canines to romp with their owners. If you didn’t know it already, Colorado law allows citizens to shoot dogs who are observed

chasing or harassing wildlife. Let’s not make it come to that. A little

consideration, OK?

I’m not going to complain about the Big Dig going on on 145;  it’s already a done deal, way too far along to stop. But I just have to say:  WHAT THE $#@%! WERE YOU C-DOT GUYS THINKING OF? A passing lane at the

top of the hill, after everyone’s already been delayed by slower drivers? Built on the most unstable terrain ever (steep dirt conglomerate periodically undercut by rain and snowmelt)? Didn’t anyone remember the landslide that inundated the highway and buried the Telluride Gravel parking lot twenty or so years ago? How much is this boondoggle going to cost in the end (if it ever ends!)? Anyone taking bets on how long before the whole furshlugginer thing goes tumbling down into the San Miguel River gorge?    That thing looks like it has less of a half-life than one of Christo’s three-day teardown confabulations.  I guess when it self-destructs, we can think of it as a really, really avant-garde piece of earth sculpture: The Passing Lane into the Abyss.

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