Grasshopper Soup: Hey world, try the Tahoe attitude
February 28, 2012
TAHOE/TRUCKEE and#8212; In Afghanistan, people are going crazy over the burning of some books. In America, they are going crazy over the release of a limited edition coveted Nike shoe. Fortunately, the Tahoe people I know have a better attitude.
Tahoe people are much better at crazy than the rest of the world. They are happy, fun and mellow crazy. Nothing can match Tahoe crazy. We have crazy down to a science. We donand#8217;t let ourselves go berserk over a book or a pair of shoes. Thatand#8217;s why we are some of the best, and truly good crazy people the world has ever known.
Here in Tahoe, what would it take for us to resort to mass hysteria and violence? OK, maybe a late opening of the KT-22 chairlift on an epic powder day. But it would have to get worse than that for mountain people to go crazy enough to make international news.
Maybe it would take a fundamentally changed America; no cars, no shelter, no showers, no stoves, no refrigerators, no grocery stores, no washing machines, no clothes dryers, no heaters, no toilets and no running water. Imagine that were the reality. Some Tahoe folk could handle it, but others, who donand#8217;t yet have the hang of it, might find it inconvenient.
Some people, even in Tahoe, think a world without all those things is impossible.
If people can lose their marbles so easily over harmless things like books and shoes, what will it take to keep the world in line? A Walmart on the Tahoe City Golf Course? Forced drugging of the world population?
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Todayand#8217;s news makes you wonder if a sane and peaceful world is even possible. So far, the only perfect places are fictional, like Camelot, Shangri-La and Atlantis. Even if some of those places existed, if they were occupied by humans, they were far from perfect.
Tahoe people may be the closest thing to perfect anywhere on the planet. I can just see them now. Jennifer is on the phone. Richard, wearing his old leather gloves, is tuning his skis, working masterfully at sharpening the edges.
Jennifer is talking to friends driving through Tahoe City with her husband and kids, on their way up to the house to spend the week skiing and relaxing. Jennifer says to Richard, and#8220;Jill says people are burning buses and looting stores in Tahoe City.and#8221;
Richard, focused like a laser beam on his tools, works the file gently but firmly from the tip of the ski to the tail, and manages a firm, thoughtful response to this news as his skis become razor sharp, and#8220;Hmm…and#8221;
Jennifer continues her phone conversation. and#8220;She says theyand#8217;re burning Olympic flags and copies of The Skier Responsibility Code in the middle of Fanny Bridge!and#8221;
Richard, making another pass down the length of his ski, keeping the edge angle true, calmly responds, and#8220;So.and#8221;
Jennifer returns to her conversation with Jill and starts laughing. Apparently her guests are making their way just fine through the rioting mob as they chat.
Richard, testing the sharpness of the ski edge here and there with his fingernail, says, and#8220;Jen, ask Jill if they remembered to bring the tequila.and#8221;
Jen says, and#8220;Richard, they say the riot is getting really bad! People are being killed left and right. They wonder if we should all pack up and leave town.and#8221;
Richard, who always has the perfect solution, says. and#8220;It isnand#8217;t going to be any better anywhere else. They should just come on up. We can have dinner here or at the River Grill, or wherever. No problem. Weand#8217;ll just go out a little later. Town usually quiets down by nine or so. Itand#8217;ll be good. Besides, so what if all hell breaks loose. Thatand#8217;s no reason to leave paradise.and#8221;
The world could learn from these people. Tahoe people. My kind of people.
Bob Sweigert is a Sierra Sun columnist, published poet, former college instructor and ski instructor. He has a B.A. and an M.A.T. from Gonzaga University. He has lived at Lake Tahoe for 30 years.