Spring Break in Colorado.
This is what they are supposed to be – a horde.
Last year (or was it the year before?) I compared the swarms of Texans that arrive here at spring break to a plague of locusts. I reckon that that’s still appropriate, but yesterday I saw them more along the line of Mongols.
See, there’s this huge kingdom to the East, and its ways and culture are inscrutable to outsiders. But every so often, an army bursts out of this kingdom, and heads West across mountains and plains, raping, burning and pillaging, then – as suddenly as they appeared – they are gone.
Okay, Texans don’t rape, burn or pillage. But they do walk down the halls holding their skis like a wife that they are about to carry across the threshold – and they have blinders on; they are looking for others of their tribe, and they can’t even see the hapless locals, so they make sudden turns such that folks get knocked down by the skis, or cut by the edges.
They careen down the hill in an out-of-control snowplow, eyes bulging, a grimace of fear spread across their faces, with their arms spread wide so that they can do maximum damage when they do hit the group of innocents that they are,definitely, going to hit.
They drive vehicles the size of Nova Scotia and park them slightly crooked, so that every Texan vehicle takes up two Coloradan parking spots. They mill – they simply seem to wander about the common areas, with no source or destination; since they aren’t sure where they are or where they are going, they make sudden stops or turns – and, of course, being Texans, they are oblivious to any actual regular people that might be affected by said stops or turns.
They take over the ski beach; they spread all of the chairs out, and lay their skis, snowboards and poles out on the ground in a mathematically-calculated pattern to take up the most possible space. Then they sit and drink and smoke, forming an impenetrable barrier to those attempting to get from the lodge to the chairlift.
When they do meander over to the chairlift, they form clumps – our front-side chairlift is a six-pack, which can carry six passengers in each chair, but the Texans, unaware that their presence is causing us to have longer lift lines than any other time of the year, don’t form up in groups of six to get on the chair (even though the sign right there says to do so) – instead, they form clumps of three or four, and sometimes they miss the chair because they need to reform their clump, so an empty chair heads off for the top of the mountain while Joe Bob gets rearranged so that he can sit by Debbie Sue rather than Betty Jean.
Oh – and while standing in the lift lines, clumping, they are wearing perfumes and colognes. Lots of them. Scents with range and striking power.
Now, most novice skiers have these same traits. And, when it’s a family group, or maybe a girl’s school busload even, it’s sort of cute that they are doing these sort of things – look at the funny flatlanders! Aren’t they CUTE!!?!
But when it’s a horde of them – when the neophytes outnumber the natives by a factor of three or four – it stops being “cute” and becomes, well, a horde of Mongols.
(BTW – the Texans are also alike to the Mongols in that neither group has any idea that there is anything objectionable in their behavior; both groups think that what they are doing is moral and right, due to their assumed superiority over the local yokels.).