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Twice a year, I get a very nice magazine put out by the wonderful people at Vail Resorts.  In all honesty, I have only been to Vail (Colorado) once and the only part of the trip that sticks in my mind is that (I’m not kidding) while standing in the parking lot of the elementary school so our kids could play at the playground (the only free thing to do in Vail) a hawk dropped a snake on me.

Thankfully, it didn’t hit me.  It did, however, cause my wife to scream and it made a sickening sound upon hitting the pavement.  The snake, I mean, not my wife.  Why the hawk chose to drop the snake right then—or, for that matter, why he picked it up to start with—has never been clear to me.  But when I think Vail,Colorado, the first thing that comes to mind is not skiing or hiking but “snakes falling from the sky.”

So now you’re wondering if Vail just automatically sends out a magazine to everyone who almost gets hit by a snake.  Not so far as I know.  The reason I get the magazine is that three years ago, my family and I stayed and skied at Breckenridge, a ski area owned by whoever owns Vail.

It’s a nice magazine, with lots of pictures of beautiful mountains and fun stories about fun things to do for people who enjoy fun.  Mainly, though, it’s an advertisement.  An advertisement for Vail, Breckenridge, Keystone and some place inUtahorNevada.

You see, their market research has revealed to them that I am an “avid skier” with a “taste for the finer things” and would, therefore, appreciate an “insider’s guide” to the “best places.”  Well, sure I would!

For instance, the next time I “ski Breck” I need to stay at a place called “[Name Redacted to Avoid Copyright Infringement]” which was “created just for people like” me.  Ministers!  Well, not exactly  “Great accommodations, right next to the slopes, with several restaurants close at hand as well as a single bowling lane, a couple swimming pools, and a convenient gondola to the shopping district.”  Yep, they’ve pegged me to a “T”!!

There’s just one little hitch.

I almost hate to bring it up, but there’s a small matter of, well, money.  You see, when my wife and I “go all out” and “blow the wad” on a “top of the line vacation”, for us that means a motel with a “6” somewhere in the title.  Fine dining means we buy the food there in town and cook it in the microwave at the motel (as opposed to bringing it from home and hoping the pressure-packed potato chips don’t explode [again] at high altitude).

Still, while the boys were at Scout Camp, my wife and I went to Breckenridge (and stayed in the cheapest place we could find) and decided to take a look at this wonderful place that had been “tailored” for our “needs”.  And let me tell you: it was a nice place!  It had everything that was advertised, and more.  And the salesman couldn’t have been nicer.  Why, he told me confidentially, if I was willing to sign that day, he could put me in a nice little one-bedroom unit forJUST(this is how nice he was) a million dollars.

I asked if they had a service for insuring that I wouldn’t have any hawks throwing snakes at me and then my wife and I beat a hasty retreat while he talked to his manager.

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About Sam White

Samuel Ben White (“Sam” to his friends) is the author of the national newspaper comic strip “Tuttle’s” (found at www.tuttles.net) and the on-line comic book “Burt & the I.L.S.” (found at www.destinyhelix.com). He is married and has two sons. He serves his community as both a minister at a small church and a chaplain with hospice. In addition to his time travel stories, Sam has also written and published detective novels, a western, three fantasy novels and four works of Christian fiction.

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