Thursday, January 5, 2012

5 January 2012 When Cabin fever sets in…

Town Breathes Easier as Frozen Dead Guy and His Festival Stay Put
          Cabin fever is bad enough when it involves one person.  However, when an entire town gets it, the cure seems to involve beer and a bizarre celebration.
          The higher the altitude, the deeper the snow, the more frantic the treatment and cure.  Aspen, when I lived nearby, held and annual ski & splash event, complete with bikini-clad women competitors.  The participants would ski down a ramp and the upslope at the bottom would launch them rather like the “ski-jump” bow of a Russian aircraft carrier.  Once airborne they had a limited amount of time to perform some acrobatic entry into a tank of water, adjust their garments, and surface to applause of a well-oiled audience. 
          Of course, that was decade ago and the response to cabin fever may be dealt with in some other manner. 
          There are winter’s end behaviors that are measured and productive – fly tying, ice fishing, cooking huge pots of chili; and those that are not – bar brawls, domestic disputes, and television-driven “spring breaks.”
          Extreme cases of cabin fever don’t even require a cabin.  A trapper’s shack, a cave, a wagon bed each has famous proponents – Alferd Packer and the Donner party are prime examples.  Beyond acts of desperation, such extreme cases are also know for reams of journal entries more or less intelligible, mountains of bad poetry, plays, and poorly-written books that despite their lack of merit have become known as “old Classics.”  It is safe to assume that the writers, diarists, and poets mentioned above were well lubricated with some form of anti-freeze that lasted through the cabin fever season.  The alternative is just too horrid to consider. 

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