Tweaking the recipe

Despite the death knell being sounded on print media long ago, the news rack in Durango seems to be more crowded than ever.

It’s a good thing we here at the Telegraph thrive on competition, especially when it comes to being hip, cool and getting wasted. This is despite what’s been hinted at in certain circles: that we are, ahem, “old.” Personally, I don’t know what the sam hell they’re talking about – there’s not a single gray hair on my head. And to prove it, we have decided to up our game and introduce some new, and completely unique, offerings. Ones that will definitely up our shizzle cred with the youngsters:

- The name. It’s a little known fact when we started way back in the days before skinny jeans (at least their second go around), there were several options bandied about for the name of this publication, including “Durangonad.” Oops! Did I say gonad? Silly spellcheck. Of course I meant “Durangorad.” Anyway, for various reasons, we eschewed it in favor of something a little more, shall we say, tasteful. But, after some reconsideration, we think Telegraph – named for our beloved local bike trail – may be a little too old school. Not to mention really hard to spell. As a result, we have decided to go with a new, catchier name that is easily textable: “#DGOnad.” Darn it, I mean “#DGOrad.” Sheesh.

- Advice. Yes, we realize many people have never washed dishes in a restaurant a day in their lives and really have no idea what a diver is. Plus, talking to anyone from the back of the house is downright scary – and those rubber gloves don’t exactly help matters. Unfortunately, this might dissuade those who really need advice from seeking it out. That is why be came up with “Mustache the Diver” – brought to you by someone with impeccably kempt facial hair and a super cool flannel. Don’t talk to the glove, talk to the ’stache.

- Marijuana. Yes, we know most Durangoans have smoked pot and cooked up homemade party favors for eons. Or at least since the first Snowdown. But now it’s legal! Learn how to pace yourself with those edibles – or at least fake it through the day when you’ve had one cheeb too many – with our new column, “Marijuanabes.” Be sure to catch our first installment, “Why Does Mommy Have the Munchies?” Did we mention it’s about marijuana?

- The great outdoors. So we might not have a Target, but we do have lots of trees, mountains, rivers and other, you know, outsidey stuff. But what exactly does one do with oneself in the land of no cell phone reception or “like” button? And why in god’s name is it called “the groover” and what is a “shralp” anyway? Come explore with us during our regular feature, “The White Stuff” as we strap on our outdoor gear and schuss Smelter’s rapids and hit the slopes for powder skiing!!! Don’t forget your GoPro.

-  A more intrusive, er, interactive experience. We realize pop-up ads are all the rage. How else can you find out about all that stuff you never knew you needed? Plus, hitting the little “x” helps keep those gamer skills fresh. Too bad we don’t have any computerish types on staff. But, we do have some sick origami skills to create what we believe to be the first-ever print pop-up ads. In your face!

- Increased circulation: And speaking of in your face, we think everyone with a yard, stoop, mail slot, shanty or hobo encampment in Durango should be treated to a complimentary copy – or 50 – of our paper. Even if it it’s just used for insulation or ends up rotting under 10 feet of snow. Don’t worry, it’s 100 percent biodegradable (*after 1,000 years), so not only are you helping the environment, you’re helping us artificially inflate our numbers. If it worked for Tom Brady ... oh wait.

- Brain teasers: Because we know people never tire of being quizzed about inane things that have no bearing on their lives whatsoever, we have hired an audience annoyance specialist trained in concocting leading, poorly worded surveys. From now on, readers will be forced to answer questions about topics they have no opinion on, like toilet paper, tooth whitening and life insurance. But don’t worry – your efforts won’t be wasted. Data will be shared with money-hungry multinational corporations (as well as Big Brother) to ensure they can always sell you more junk you don’t need. (*Please, no lying or random clicking.)

- More memes: I think we all agree that cat memes are hilarious, and we just can’t get enough of the furry buggers’ hijinx. Therefore, we announce our new weekly feature of cat memes taken straight from the internet. Guaranteed to make even Grumpy Cat smile.

- Night life. Stay up till midnight, or at least till the opening band comes on or you black out – whichever comes first. Special topics include “beer before liquor,” “Buzz Bus etiquette” and “how not to be that girl/guy.” Also, enjoy a special section devoted solely to “Walk of Shame: Do the Neighbors Know?”

- Round-the-clock coverage: For those who have to turn in early so they can get up and work three jobs, no need to suffer from immense FOMO. That’s because we’ve got the exclusive “El Rancho Action Cam,” directly from Telegraph World HQ. Find out who’s coming and who’s going – and with whom – at all hours. Second only to being there yourself.

And … if you are as horrified as we are at these prospects, don’t despair. The Telegraph has no such plans (except maybe the Ranch Cam). We will never go so far as to presume we can tell you what’s cool or trendy. Nor will we pretend to remotely understand this whole #hashtag business. And there will always be a clear delineation in our pages between advertising and editorial.

In other words, we’ll just keep doing as we’ve done for the last 13 years. That is, bring Durango and its environs a straight-shooting, intelligent, entertaining, honest-to-goodness independent voice. After all, it’s hard to be anti-establishment when you are the establishment.

As for our unprecedented run in a field with a track record only slightly better than that of Spinal Tap drummers, we owe a huge debt of gratitude to our supporters. It’s you, our readers, advertisers, fans and foes (who seem to take a perverse pleasure in reading us), who have stuck with us through thick and thin and are the reason the print bill gets paid. Yep – no sugar daddies here. But by the same token, no corporate bottom line either. You’ll always know where we’re coming from.

Sure, fair competition is good. And the fact that our tried-and-true weekly format is worthy of emulation – and that print appears to be alive and well in Southwest Colorado – is nothing short of amazing. And pretty darn humbling.

Consider us flattered.

– Missy Votel