Opinion » Editorial

Warren Miller

The quick change artist

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On April 1, 1998 this column was printed in the Vail Daily newspaper. Without double-checking the police records or noticing the dateline, a columnist from the Denver Post picked it up and reprinted it as lurid gossip.

This morning I had to go to my bank at a ski resort town near where I live and secure yet another bank loan. That meeting required a coat and tie and then I had to go to a book signing up on the ski hill as a fundraiser. I had to wear my ski clothes at that one because it gets very cold sitting outside all afternoon signing books.

I spent most of the first 40 years of my life changing into my bathing suit in the front seat of my car when I went surfing, so it was no big deal for me to change into my ski clothes in the bank parking lot. I had taken off my shoes, socks, and pants and was about to put on my long underwear when a car pulled up and parked alongside of me. Sitting there in my jockey shorts, I paused in my change of clothes for the lady to get out of her car and walk into the bank.

As she walked by my car, she glanced in at me sitting there in my jockey shorts and screamed at her young daughter, "Lock the car doors, there’s a pervert in that car. I’ll run inside and call 911. You keep hollering ‘pervert.’"

I barely had time to get my long johns on and wrestle my powder snowsuit up as far as my knees when there was a bang on the door and I was looking at one the ski resort’s finest cops. The red lights were flashing on the roof of his patrol car and his partner was talking over the PA system, "Okay, out of the car with your hands over your head."

I was now standing in the parking lot with my hands over my head and my yellow snowsuit down around my ankles soaking up the melting snow and mud.

"You look just like that guy that makes the ski movies."

"I am."

"I don’t think so. He drives a different kind of car and would have his skis and boots with him. You don’t have any ski gear with you. Put your hands on the roof of the car and your feet apart."

Spreading your feet apart with your pants down around your ankles is not an easy thing to do, especially on a clear, cold morning in a ski town in front of a gathering crowd.

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