Groundhog Day, Denver Style: Ten Mile High Things That Seem to Go on Forever

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In honor of Groundhog Day — the Bill Murray classic movie, that is, not the pointless holiday that exists at this point only to give morning news crews a segment to produce in the doldrums of early February — we're offering up a list of things that Denverites might be tired of. Sort of our own “I Got You, Babe” moment, when you notice that…yep, it's happening again here in the Mile High City. Again. Face it: From some things, there is no escape. Happy February 2!

10. Ski Traffic
Otherwise known as “one of the main reasons why some people just don’t bother skiing anymore.” The bumper-to-bumper ridiculousness of I-70 during winter weekends would be funny if it weren’t so stupid: tons of vehicles, way too close together, often on treacherous roads, with a flimsy guardrail keeping your car from suddenly taking a General Lee jump near the Eisenhower Tunnel. According to CDOT reports and the limits of reality, there are no real solutions to this issue in the offing, which means that you’ll want to brush up on your Twenty Questions and I Spy skills. The interminable traffic on this long haul is in it for the long haul.

9. Tom Shane
Face it: He’s our own version of Ned Ryerson. He’s our friend in the diamond business, and he’s completely inescapable. Thank God for the radio; at least we can reduce and in some way control our Tom Shane exposure, which has been proven to cause people to inexplicably drive to just off Arapahoe Road on Emporia Street, one-half mile east of I-25.

8. Heartbreak for Rockies fans
Denver is a sports town — another thing that seems to go on forever — but the constant condition of our MLB franchise would test even the most stalwart fan’s loyalty. Every time the Rockies get a potentially breakout player, he's misused, unsupported and finally traded away for the next hope scheduled to be dashed on the rocks of next season. The ownership sucks, the managing is inconsistent, and the players are as sick of it all as the fan base. Our single breathtaking season — the magical era of 2007’s Rocktober — has sustained fans for almost a decade now, but it’s fading, and baseball aficionados have resigned themselves to disappointment punctuated by bursts of victory and a lot of very expensive Coors Field beer.

7. Terrible Weather Reporting
Not that Denver has terrible weather; our weather reporters just can’t ever seem to get it right. Is this the big storm? Should you bundle up or wear layers? Is it raining? Is it snowing? Is a hurricane a-blowing? Frankly, the honest answer is, “We don’t really know, the mountains play havoc with our prognostics, and we’re just doing our best. Maybe look out your window and go from there?”

6. Marijuana Dispensaries
Given how dispensaries and the like have proliferated across the city, they now seem to rival Starbucks and Subway in terms of cornering the market on replacing that market that used to be on the corner. It’s sort of like when Bedford Falls became Pottersville, except a lot more mellow.

5. Adele Arakawa
Somewhere in Adele Arakawa’s attic, there is a painting that ages for her.

4. North Face Jackets
North Face jackets are so standard in Denver that you would think they’re handed out at the border when you cross over. (They’re not. Our border practices would not impress the Donald.) But there’s no reason for it — thus the Willy Wonka condescension. We can all agree that none of us needs a negative-degree-rated piece of relatively expensive outerwear in order to get into our car, drive twenty or thirty minutes to work, park and walk in, then hang it in our cubicles. I know the old Boy Scout motto: Be prepared. But this is a little ridiculous, and no small bit precious. So you get nothing. You lose. Good day, North Face jackets. I said GOOD DAY.

3. The Ubiquity of Jake Jabs
Yes, Jake Jabs, he of whatever he’s calling his huge chain of stores these days: American Furniture Warehouse, American Lifestyle Furniture, simply the initials AFW, or some Prince-like unpronounceable symbol. It really doesn’t matter what Jake calls his creation at this point, because it truly cannot be stopped now, spreading as it is nationwide. You imagine Jake sitting back in a hot tub at the Denver Athletic Club with Rocky from Rocky’s Autos and Frank “The Strong Arm” Azar, chewing on cee-gars and drinking expensive whiskeys, because they’ve all got Denver on a string.

2. The NATIVE Sticker on Every Subaru Bumper
Because there’s no better way to show your commitment to douchebaggery than to have one of these on your car. There’s nothing like having intense pride in something that you had nothing to do with. Congratulations, Colorado natives, you’ve stayed exactly where you started. Not moving is quite the feat. And you just won’t shut up about it. But the rest of us in town do appreciate that you voluntarily mark yourselves so clearly.

1. Everybody Moving Here
So why is there this annoying “I’ve lived here for five generations” false pride? Because we as Coloradans tend to despise anyone moving to “our” state (even though we — or our ancestors — did the same thing at some point in the past). This is the same reason Trump has been leading the GOP field for the nation's highest office, so at least we can be assured that in this bad company, we as a city and state are by no means alone.

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