Welcome, JUCO visitors - we’re watching our towels

Dear JUCO visitors, teams, and fans,

As president of the Grand Junction/Fruita Advisory on Regional Tourism (GJ FART), it is my pleasure to welcome you to the 54th, or possibly 55th, Junior College World Series, which is sponsored this year by both Alpine Bank and Big Wanda’s Bridal Boutique & Taxidermy.

We warmly encourage JUCO visitors to partake in all the scenic splendor western Colorado has to offer, while kindly reminding you that stealing hotel towels is a Class 3 misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail.

We’d also like to point out to you that we’re currently suffering through a statewide drought. Mandatory water restrictions are in order, meaning baths and showers are strictly prohibited. We thank you for your cooperation, and wish to point out that deodorant is available in the gift shop.

We appreciate the fact many of you have sacrificed a great deal to be here. Folks from Central Alabama Community College, for example, experienced a grueling 1,642-mile bus ride from Alexander City, Ala. This is a town (according to its Wikipedia page) whose largest employer is “Fruit of the Loom.” Whose claim to fame is being the home of an actor in the movie “Troll 2.” And whose big tourism draw is a lake in which three different kinds of poisonous snakes thrive.

So perhaps a bus ride out of town isn’t so bad after all.

Yet other teams did not even experience a bus ride. And here I am talking about Palm Beach State, which flew into Grand Junction on their private Gulfstream V planes. This weekend you’ll see members of the Palm Beach team arrive at Suplizio Field individually in their limousines, except of course for the ball boys, who are forced to ride in the Mercedes.

JUCO festivities will kick off Friday night, when the guest speaker will talk about the book he wrote about Washington Nationals’ star Bryce Harper.

Harper — who was thrown out of the game here for arguing with an umpire just a few years ago — has since become successful in the big leagues. From JUCO to MLB All-Star in just two years. Hopefully this shows all you JUCO players that with a little bit of talent, and a whole lot of hard work and dedication, you, too, can one day become a world-class jackass.

But hopefully the JUCO banquet speaker will focus on the positive, because team sports — especially JUCO baseball — build character. Take Kirby Puckett, for example. This fan-favorite was able to overcome poverty and early hardships by parlaying his successful 1982 JUCO World Series appearance into a Hall of Fame career. Of course, he once threatened to kill his wife and was charged with sexual assault, so perhaps that’s a bad example.

The point, JUCO visitors, is that you should never threaten to kill your wife during a Dec. 15 phone call in Edina, Minn.

You should also be aware of the new security measures that have been put into place. Security guards will now be stationed at each exit point after the games to ensure that nobody leaves with any of their own money.

Yes, JUCO fans, we strongly encourage you to purchase numerous souvenirs and food items. Things have been so bad here lately that the purchase of hot dogs during JUCO represents 29 percent of our local economy. Just the 50 cents extra we charge for sauerkraut has kept two elementary schools running.

So be generous, JUCO fans, and while we appreciate your passion, please do not taunt or argue with fans from the other team. Physical intimidation will not be tolerated. Anyone caught assaulting another person will be arrested, prosecuted and sentenced to serve four years on the Grand Junction City Council.

So please enjoy the tournament, JUCO visitors. We trust you’ll have a positive experience here.

But just so you know, we’ve counted the towels.

Reach Steve at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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