Tag Archives: colorado

Ghost says “enough is enough”

After more than 100 years spent roaming one of the most haunted locations in the nation, one ghost at the Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. is calling it quits. When inquired as to what turned the ghost off from the career of his non-lifetime, he quite calmly replied, “My soul’s just not into it anymore.”

Of course, it took the reporter on location about ten minutes to decipher the sentence, as the EVP sounded like he had ominously and barely audibly whispered, “Srhhrwiowrrhshosorur.”

Reporter: “But…you don’t technically have a soul anymore.”

“Neither will you if you keep this banter up,” the ghost retorted.

I bet he could get a better gig as Frosty’s back-up, anyway. (Photo credit: graphicsfactory.com)

Thousands of people visit the hotel each year hoping to experience a gripping paranormal event and become part of its evolving history. The Stanley Hotel gained major recognition in 1977 when Stephen King based his book, The Shining, off a night’s stay in room 217 – said to be haunted by housekeeper Elizabeth Wilson, who was nearly killed by a gas leak explosion.

“She makes sure each guest’s stay is pleasant by being super helpful,” scoffed the ghost. “Never did grasp the idea she was supposed to pick on everyone. Then again, most ghosts are pretty horrible at grabbing things in general.”

Reporter: “Still have some residual resentment against her after all these years, huh?”

“I personally never understood how she could be an intelligent apparition, that’s all,” the ghost replied defensively. “But with her bright personality, she’d probably make a pretty good orb.”

Whether ivories are tickled mysteriously on the grand piano in the empty Music Hall, tourists are grabbed by invisible hands while walking down a hallway, or a full-fledged apparition appears, one thing’s for sure – this ghost has had enough.

“You all come here to vacation; well, what about me? It’s a 24-hour job thrilling you – without the benefits,” the ghost said.

Reporter: “But…you’re dead.”

“Equal opportunity,” the ghost answered. “Plus, I work overtime.”

Reporter: “But…you chose this line of work. Coulda had eternal life.”

“Oh, PLEASE show myself so you can pee your pants? Your wish is my command!” – the ghost

“People always told me when I was alive to get a life. I was big into stamp collecting, you see. So, I figure, why start now?” the ghost responded.

“And, sure, an “Oooooh” here, an innocent picked pocket there,” he added. “But then you people started visiting at all hours of the day and night. I’m not an animal. I’m not going to haunt you on call. And these hours are ridiculous! I kind of feel like that genie from Aladdin, except I grant people a reason to change their pants, not wishes.”

Reporter: “Would you haunt on call for a Klondike bar?”

“Well, that’s not a fair question. Who wouldn’t?” the ghost countered, shrugging.

Reporter: “That’s the spirit!”

“ANYwaaay, I’m talking about those guys from TAPS,” the ghost said, fuming. “If Jason asks me about my life and who wronged me one more time, I will lose it. If I wanted to talk about my father, I’d go to a therapist.”

Reporter: “What about your father?”

“It all started when I was a child and he told me I couldn’t play with my invisible friend…” began the ghost needily.

Fast forward one hour as the ghost lies down and makes itself comfortable on the hotel couch in the entryway, painstakingly outlining his entire life. Meanwhile, the reporter crosses her legs and sits with a hand propped against her forehead, looking downward and trying not to ask questions until the ghost looks at her pointedly for additional probing into his life.

“And then, when I was seven, I stepped on a beehive…” continued the ghost.

Reporter (looking at watch): “Oh, I’m so sorry, but your time’s up for the day. Good session; you’re really making some progress.”

“Ten more minutes!” cried the ghost.

Reporter: “OK, but I get to ask the last questions. What do you feel you contributed to the history of the Stanley Hotel?”

“Sheer awesomeness,” said the ghost without a moment’s hesitation. “Now when people visit this hotel, the coolest paranormal thing they’ll see is Paranorman.”

Reporter: “…”

“Because the Stanley has it on for free 24-7 up until Halloween for all guests right now,” the ghost finished.

Reporter (pauses): “That’s a good movie.”

“Isn’t it?” the ghost commented back thoughtfully.

Chef Bobby Flay for Hellman’s mayonnaise. Flay: “Because all ghosts are helpless against Hellman’s mayo!” (Photo credit: newyorkchica.com)

The reporter then challenged  the ghost by noting it seemed to be somewhat of an unmemorable character among the hotel’s more active, popular apparitions, to which the ghost replied, “Yeah, I suppose so. But that’s just because I choose to solely haunt the head chef so he makes me sandwiches.”

Reporter (shaking head in disproval): “So, are you thinking about starting anew somewhere?”

“I don’t know; he cuts the crusts off for me. Hard to get that kind of service these days. Besides, that ghost girl who haunts the fourth floor is pretty cute…” he said. “Horrible at rolling balls straight down the hallway though. Probably all the candy she eats that guests leave lying on the hallway benches. Can ghosts get diabetes? No, what’s more – can ghosts sue humans?”

Choosing to leave the two questions unanswered, the reporter asked one final question.

Reporter: “What are you planning to do with all your newly acquired spare time ?”

“I won’t be boohooing into a corner, that’s for sure!” the ghost said. “I’ll definitely be scare-fing down more sandwiches than normal.  Maybe do some wail watching. I’ll definitely pay a visit to my haunt and uncle. Of course, I’m just lucky my blood hasn’t curdled yet with old age at this point.”

Reporter: “This interview is as over as your puns.”

“Of corpse it is!” the ghost cheerfully responded. “I’m afraid I’m not ghoul, after all.”

A hop, skip and jump away from embracing my inner snow bunny

I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “Bull in a china shop.” Well, let’s say my life is a china shop. Enter, me as – you guessed it – the bull. Which is (and I say this quite matter-of-factly and with only the faintest pun intended) bull!

Cuz I’m a lady!

Unfortunately, I’ve broken more things at Hallmark stores than I’m proud of. At first it started with contrived shamelessness:

Does anyone still buy these?

“What? That crystal dolphin was totally asking for it.”

The string of Hallmark events quickly snowballed into concerned recognition of my little problem. Hands up as if in defeat and (carefully) waving a metaphoric white flag, I would warily eye the breakables as I entered the store slowly and deliberately as if to say, “I don’t want any trouble.”

I’ve since limited myself to browsing aisles with stuffed animals and slippers only. Inevitably, these aisles are always located toward the back of the store and the obstacle course through ceramic figurines and delicate glassware undoubtedly leaves me grazing and knocking over items on shelves brimming with Precious Moments every time. It was my bulky coat, my eyes would whimper back to the onset of appalled onlookers’ cold, judgemental stares.

I only wish I had been wearing a coat either time.

It soon turned into an actual issue complete with managerial backing. With stern fingers pointing toward the entrance, I would be asked without a touch of sympathy if I could please wait for my friends outside.  

As you might guess, this didn’t do much for my confidence. And, although my Hallmark run-ins were years ago, I’ve never forgotten them and that’s why whenever I must do something girly and graceful in public, I get a little nervous. When I get nervous, I get hives. When I get hives, the only thing that hides them are turtlenecks.

Turtlenecks!

I’ve also worn a dickie or two in my lifetime, but that’s a secret just between you and me – a secret I have opted to tell you because my Dove dark chocolate wrapper says that I must.

Stylish. Sensible. Sexy - Valentine's Day is just around the corner, guys.

My clash with coolness, you see, is a vicious circle always taking a turn for the worse. Take last weekend, for instance. Clay and I went skiing in Copper with a bunch of his friends, all of whom were super fun and also a bit more prepared for what was going to happen when the clock turned 3:30 p.m. each day and bar time prevailed.

I should precurse what you’re about to read  by saying I do not ski frequently and therefore do not typically have the proper attire for the sport. In the past, I always mixed borrowed goggles and gloves with bulky sweat pants and an outer layer of wind pants. I know. My eyes are UP HERE. At least this time I thought enough ahead to purchase a gorgeous ski jacket and matching pants for the occasion. Like hell my new acquaintances were going to think I wasn’t stylish – if I couldn’t wear my heels on this trip, at the very least I was going to rock a pair of perfectly coordinated gloves and a ski bunny-worthy hat.

Outer layer me was golden. Little did I know that the inner layer I would be wearing was not.

After the last run of the day, we would head into a bar called Jacks and drink our sore muscles and embarrassing falls into oblivion with some $3 Coors Lights and

Shotskis - guaranteed to make you feel athletic AND uncoordinated!

free shotskis (four shot glasses attached onto a ski). My group had earned the love and respect of the bar and its live band over the last six years and so free drinks and random shout outs for us were not uncommon.

Jacks, take one
I learned the first day that to earn a shotski required its participants to take it from atop the bar. As a rule, the coupled up girls in my group were the most sought after to hop on up. With Hallmark on my mind at the first request that I participate in a shotski with the girls, I graciously declined. “Who me? No, no, I HATE shots.”

I love shots.

When I was told it wasn’t an option and to get my patooty up there, I frowned and stubbornly bared it. My courage, not my patooty. “Fiiiiine. But I’m not going to enjoy it.”

Sweetly helped onto the bar and slightly numbed by the Coors Light, I decided that I was on vacation and with a “what the hell” attitude, tossed back Jager as the patrons counted us off. “Another!”

As people cheered and phone cameras clicked, I realized I actually didn’t mind so much that I was the center of attention amidst all the happy-go-lucky patrons. Ah, the false confidence that not dribbling part of a shot down your shirt gives you. It was in this manner that I eased into my role as an eager shotski participant as if I had been part of the group for the last few years. In doing so, I made a rookie mistake.

Jacks, take two
When I was called upon to take a shotski on the bar during day two with the girls, I began to notice subtle changes as I stepped on up. First and foremost was that these girls had somehow transformed from bundled up skiers into adorable snow bunnies wearing spandex, Uggs and colorful scarves. A double take made me question how they got their hair to behave so well after a day on the slopes. A triple take and….is that eyeliner?!

What the hell.

I had not thought this far ahead. Were the multiple pockets on my ski pants not for storing Kleenex to wipe my drippy nose on the mountain but instead for makeup, combs and tiny bottles of hairspray? Did we not all get off the slopes at the same time? Is it too late to run away?

Efffff.

 I was still wearing my ski pants and a fast pitch softball sweatshirt from high school. Worse yet, under these layers, I was also wearing long johns – waffle-printed monstrosities from the 90s in which I could have fit two people into the bottom portion, yet not all of me fit into the top.  

Yes, I'll take "Things you should never wear in public" for 800, Alex.

Stripping down would not be an option.

What’s embarrassed, has hives and looks like a lesbian? This girl.

At least I can take a shot and this will soon be a bad memory, I thought to myself. Then Shania Twain’s “Man! I Feel Like A Woman” song came on.

The shots never came.

As I realized in horror that they wanted us to dance, I also realized that to actually appear to be dancing, I would have to overly-emphasize my moves under all the bulk. Miserably, I blew some air kisses at Clay and a few helpless laughs in for good measure as if to say, “I like men and normally comb my hair.” I prayed that these messages were well-received by the twelve people taking photos and that I wouldn’t be the topic of discussion upon their reminiscing about their vacation (“Ha, look at that girl up there!” *Squinting at the photo in confusion* “Wait, IS that a girl?”).

On the way home, I wondered what it is about dancing sober atop a bar to Shania Twain songs that makes you instantly understand what hell must be like.

Jacks, take three
My resolve was set on day three. As the girls prodded me to get on top of the bar, I gave them a resounding “No!” and pretended I didn’t see them by staring intently at the band as if I hadn’t just heard them play “Friends in Low Places“ for the third day in a row.

Epilogue
I have two months before going skiing again with friends. In that time, I must

Get ready, Winter Park - I'm comin' for ya!

determine how to stay warm on the slopes wearing adorable snow bunny attire underneath my outerwear, as well as not lacerate myself if I fall hard on the side where a pointy eyeliner pencil is  snuggly resting between the sharp teeth of a brush and a mirrored compact. I must also learn how to energetically and gracefully dance to some of the most horrible songs on the face of the Earth like it’s my J-O-B.