Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Denver SIA 13 – A Tale of Randomness and Stupidity


Well, this year was a fun one. I am currently flying above what looks like the arctic tundra on my way from Denver, Colorado to Boston, Massachusetts.  From there I will take the bus back to New Hampshire and finally reach my destination of Vermont later on this evening.  I feel like SIA (Snowsports Industries of America) moves way too fast and there is never enough time to meet with all of the people that I would like to and see old friends that live in Denver. 

I would have to say that the best part of the show was seeing the reaction on people’s faces when I would tell them that I moved from Bellingham and Mount Baker, Washington to Vermont. Not just Vermont, but a little town on the edge of New Hampshire to work at a skatepark of a mountain named “Whaleback” in Enfield, NH.  There are quite a few people out there in the snowsports industry that know how amazing Baker is, and how crazy one must be to make that type of a change.  I would then explain my story and make sure to add in the main reason why I am stoked on the move, and that is to be able to share with the kiddos that I coach the amazing snow that is out there and that they too can get after it if they head that way.  Helmet cameras and pov videos have enabled us to share the world as if through our own eyes and in a fashion that can take the “yeah right” out of our tales.  They also allow us to be more honest with ourselves and learn from our mistakes. The kids flip out at some of my Contour videos from Baker, Shuksan, and Mount Herman.  Some of these kids will never see that kind of pow.

Then there was the bad part of the trip.  Detox.  If there is one thing that I can tell you without any hesitation it is that you do not ever want to go to the drunk-tank.  Additionally, I noticed a lot of police officers do not have a sense of humor on the Saturday night of a fairly raucous trade show weekend.  I know that I can be a rather sarcastic fellow and may get a little impatient with others when I feel that they are not up to speed. This, I believe, was the cause of my trip to the fishbowl.

The full story goes something like this: the first full night of the trip I had disappeared from my homies and talked a little shit to the fuzz out on the corner.  That would be Thursday night.  We got split up and just as I was walking back to my friend’s apartment less than half a block from the bar another homie that I know from Bellingham saw me, thought I was lost or something, and got me get into the cab with some other dudes on his team and that he rides with.  My other friends tried to find me within the five minutes of our separation.  They asked two police officers if they had seen me, to which they replied, “hat and a mustache? Yeah, that guy is an asshole.” 

The next day I woke up and did day two of the trade show: meetings and hi-fives, trying to set up more impromptu meetings for the following day, and I think I even snuck a little nap in there, too.  I will go into more detail about the trade show and things that I found interesting to note or major items of importance once I get all of the photos and videos logged and edited.  This story is about the darkside.

Fast-forward to Saturday.  Trade show had closed for business, beers were enjoyed at the Convention Center Happy Hour, and my buddy and I headed out to grab some dinner before the trade show’s after-parties were to begin.  Dinner didn’t happen as planned and we continued to drink as though we had eaten.  That was probably where it all went south.  At one point I was told the jello-shots were for a charity to help fund underprivileged inner city kids the ability to get out of their reality and ride the mountains.  I tried to just give the dude my cash and sell the shots to someone else but he made me take the three I paid for.  I gave two away and took one.   

My night only went downhill from there, and straight into the gutter.  Long, blurry story short, I lost my friends in the madness of the bars, headed back to the apartment to drop off my computer bag and its contents, and then headed over to another bar that I figured I would run into someone that I know.  That went on for a while and as I was on the street outside the police decided it was in my best interest to go to the Denver Health Detox.  They didn’t charge me with any crimes and took me straight to the med center. 

As liberal as Colorado is on the whole marijuana legality Denver is still pretty strict about the drunk in public, drinking in public, and public intoxication thing.  On one hand it was very nice of them to think I could use an overnight stay on a cot in a health facility while being monitored.  On the other hand, that shit sucked! 

I awoke from my horrible half-slumber and marched straight over to the nurses’ station.  Thinking about my day ahead of me I told the nurses that I had a couple of last minute appointments and that I had scheduled and needed to make.  The “behavioral health technicians” didn’t care.  They had set a time for me to get out based on a mathematical approximation of time it would take my blood alcohol to drop to .000.  What I blew at the time of being taken into care is irrelevant (but if you really want to know shoot me personal message, text, phone call, whatever.)  I guess that they had allowed people to go on their own in the past if they could blow earlier and that backfired. Now they figure out the timing when you arrive and don’t budge.  I tried to reason with them, they were very clever in their responses, but still wouldn’t release me until it was my “sober time.”  One nurse said, “we’ve had PhD’s in here, you ain’t special.  Go lay down and we’ll call you for lunch.”

The staff was actually quite amazing for what they have to deal with on a daily basis.  They even have a couple very attractive ladies working there, but it’s kinda hard to even think of picking up someone that works at a detox center when you are occupying a cot. I assume the regulars that frequent the center have a whole system due to witnessing those who were sneaking cigarettes into the place and smoking in the bathroom. I saw some drug use and even a few jail/prison like deals go down. 

The worst part was that I honestly felt like I was becoming dumber by the minute listening to the conversations of some of those around me.  Now, I’m not trying to judge but it definitely wasn’t a meeting of the Mensa.  Sure, there are some people with serious alcohol and drug problems that need to be in that place.  There’s no questioning that.  One of the guys that was in a bed near me had been in there for 24 days.  I asked how long he had to be there and the nurse replied, “when he’s sober.”  Good enough answer, I guess.

Put it this way, I was definitely the only person that was doing yoga next to their bed.

One of the guys had said that they don’t release people on their own because the Denver Health wasn’t trying to have a line of drunks walking out of the place.  I ended up being let go on my own.  I chatted with the gentleman taking care of my release and was able to have 50% of the fee reduced.  He thanked me for my military service and asked me for some advice about his oldest son’s plans to join the service, which branch I recommend, jobs/rates he should look into, et cetera. 

Not my happiest day on Earth. I’d say that military restriction is the only thing even close. The food is the same.

Here is a list of things I learned from the experience that may benefit you:

·      Don’t assume police officers have a sense of humor, or are as intelligent as you are and know the difference between sarcasm and being a trouble case.

·      It costs $325 for an overnight stay with really shitty food.

·      If you can pay upon time of release it costs $160.

·      If you can prove you are indigent (which sounds like an oxymoron) the Denver Health (i.e. tax payers) will pay for your stay.

I guess it goes to show you that when you get a bunch of skiers and snowboarders together in one place awesome things can and will happen.  With that in mind, you can probably expect the polar opposite to occur as well.  There was only one other person that was in town for the show in there with me.  He had been turned over to the police after the EMTs cleared him from being passed out in the hall at his hotel.  I figure we probably won’t be the last people from the convention to get some time to think at Denver Health.

I told my Mom about my experience and she said the standard Mom thing: “you are too old for this crap.”  That’s true.  No matter how hard I try to justify it there is no reason for it.  Open bars, jello-shots, police with attitudes that rival my own heightened sense of self worth, nothing.  Just plain, old fashioned stupidity.

Actual show blogs to come . . .

1 comment:

Kris Countryman said...

glad you learned some lessons! your mustache is much sexier when above a smile! and not a drunken one ♥

Interesting Perspective

I am always looking for new and interesting perspectives on Snowboarding, Skateboarding, Rock Climbing, Action Sports, and Marketing. Along with those topics some related issues that interest me are Sustainable Marketing and bridging the gap between the growing nature of businesses and the goal of enhancing the current sports industry business model to a healthier design for all!