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Fossils of extinct tourists unearthed at Black Canyon

Anthropologists carefully separate history’s deposits near the Black Canyon of the Gunnison

(Montrose) Rare vestiges of ancient history were on display this afternoon at the Black Canyon of the Gunnison, just east of here. At first just a dribble, the recovered data now covers two parking lots and encompasses several Department if the Interior panel trucks.

Mostly bone and hair, the exhumed artifacts are believed to be from the 15th Century, long before scientists thought tourists visited the continent. Where these visitors might have come from or what they were seeking should be determined before the summer has concluded.

“This is big,” said Ellen Mulvaney-Kelly, a forensics and space expert at the Forest Service. “We have a wide assortment of of material to sort through and catalogue. Then we’ll interface the mounds of new data with what we already have collected. That should tell us where to go for the next step.”

The cornerstone find, Pea Green Man (1996), was found when workers excavated a former organic junkyard to make room for more fast food temples on South Townsend Avenue. It is not clear whether this fellow consorted with the other ancients or if he simply strolled the Uncompahgre Plateau oblivious to his neighbors in the valley.

Kelly said the discovery has only scraped the surface and that three digs just outside the park should shed light on the 16th Century as well as the foggy periods when the Spanish were here and later European adventurers would appear.

“We wonder what the Ute people must have thought about yet another invasion,” said Kelly. “It had to have been a clash of culture, yielding very little for the tribes caught somewhere between the Bronze Age and the arrival of horses in the San Juans.”

At primary glance the scull bones found appear to be genetically linked to today’s modern tourists. Sometimes buried in tombs, with souvenirs and photographs of mountains, the mummies indicate social standing and wealth. The middle class seems to enjoy private burial plots while less distinct groups were simply thrown from the cliffs into the Gunnison River and washed away to fertilize golf courses in Las Vegas and Phoenix.

Anthropologists think most of these early guests had sophisticated transportation and even primitive GPS trackers. Indeed, the original unearthing was somehow linked to tire tracks although no information in that link has been released as of this morning.

“How else could they have had the mobility necessary to explore our back country?” asked Kelly. “Although the net gain of all the digging and rock hauling has yet to be determined, researchers think their assertions will blow the doors off traditional thinking on the subject of the first wanderers in these mountains.

Much of the human motherlode will be displayed at the intersection of Main and Townsend until hunting season. Showcased 24-7, the display is expected to give today’s visitors something to do while they wait in line to make a left turn south onto 550.

“We are proud that a find of this magnitude happened here on our watch,” said Kelly. We expect the breakthrough that we’re seeing will lead to a greater understanding of genealogical and ancestral links. Maybe your relatives are represented here. Maybe not.”

– Uncle Pahgre


(Montrose) Residents here claim to have glimpsed the face of Lucifer, the Dark Angel, on a marijuana bud. The image, foggy at best, does resemble a face but determining whose face might require expensive testing and could be cost prohibitive.

The face of Satan is clearly visible on a marijuana bud in Montrose say residents there. How this might affect the future of dispensaries there is not known. Currently the county has no recreational marijuana outlets and only two medical ones.

The image does not talk or move around in any way. It is generally detected by the more superstitious and those frightened by the variables of afterlife. The community has only two medical pot facilities and no marijuana dispensaries despite lucrative tax revenues.

Montrose, Delta and Mesa Counties may not have marijuana dispensaries but these counties have a burgeoning drug problem mostly in the form of meth and heroin.

“Legislating morality doesn’t work,” said one pot proponent here. “Look at the stats. Look at places where there is an attitude toward education and responsible living. That’s where drug addiction and wanted pregnancies are the rule not the exception.”

Others say the face of Satan is a sign and that people should not smoke pot.

“How much more do we need?” asked a county commissar who demanded anonymity. “Now we see clearly that marijuana is in league with the Devil. Most people around these parts get it all right. Why can’t people just stick to what’s legal? A big old steak and a Coors was good enough for my grandparents and it’s good enough for me.”

– Tommy Middlefinger

Horseshoe Defends Kellyanne-Huckabee Endorsement

(Colona) The San Juan Horseshoe today bolstered its support for a Conway-Sanders ticket in November 2020. Saying that although the candidates were “illogical puppets and disjointed at the forehead” the two were the funniest possible candidates available unless one allows comedians, cartoons and/or small animals into the mix.

Both Kellyanne Conway and Sarah Huckabee Sanders are former Trump officials with Sanders gone and Conway half out the door due to alleged improprieties associated with the Hatch Act (an ax to grind) during green chili harvest in 2018. (“Blah, blah, blah…When does my jail time start?”)

“We are in business to make people laugh,” said a spokesperson for the newspaper/website. “These two are the most ridiculous possible candidates since Fritz-Ferraro in 1984 and the now famous “Where’s the Beef?” campaign against Ronald and Nancy.

Orwellian? No. Stupid? Yes.

The Horseshoe’s angry and often elite liberal base voiced disapproval, even anger at the choice, while a worried evangelical base is still counting fingers after a firm handshake with The Donald on the White House Tuesday. Many within this firm Trump base believe their man was part of the Normandy landing in 1944.

“That’s where he got them bone spurs,” said one.

Readers are reminded that the Horseshoe traditionally endorses more than 3000 candidates each election year, changing horses on wedding night and denying having ever supported anyone. The editorial staff feels strongly that anyone seeking office is a power hungry bag of hot air and has no solutions to the problems of the nation.

-Fred Zeppelin

Former Mining Town Wrestles With Organic Tourism

The sun came up over Escucha al Monte the same way it had for who knew how long. It came up the same as it had before the town ever existed, when the site was only a patch of wild meadow, accented by steep granite cliffs, where Vulcan Creek tumbled out of Carne Canyon wandering to the muddy Tabeguache River to west. Butter Lake dominated the village scene. This was not some reservoir compliments of the Corps of Engineers and the Chamber of Commerce, but the real deal compliments of the relentless river.

The steep and lonesome trail up to Camp Hollow and the played out Cuckhold Mine

Everything in the town focused on that body of water, including the small hospital, where newborns and those on the way out of it could enjoy the best views. They could see the Super Whosit (still family owned and operated, featuring hard wood floors and employees who had worked there for thirty years. They could gaze into the picture window at Flora’s Coiffures and almost taste the conversation there. Flora’s seven children had run off back east somewhere and become lawyers. They rarely visited Escucha.

The first residents fished these streams and rivers and hunted deer and elk near a large stand of ponderosa that bordered the small park to the east. Their summer lodges stood where the sun hit the canyon walls. Dismantled every November they were hauled down valley to the confluence of the Kinnick-Kinnick River, southwest to Uncompromiso Creek and the more tolerable winter climate. In later years miners would walk that stretch up to the Camp Hollow or the more remote Cuckhold Mine. Tourists hoof it today.

At one point in the town’s bawdy history there had been 22 brothels and at least 40 places to buy a glass of whiskey. With the mines shut down the former red light district featured summer melodramas in the remodeled saloons and carpetbagger real estate in the parlors. False front emporiums sold mindless souvenirs in plastic and glass and T-shirts that read Escucha Mucha, Budweiser and Harley-Davidson. The aroma of Real Texas barbecue was everywhere even though this wasn’t Texas, at least in the winter. The old train depot was now a bed and breakfast. A cell phone outlet sat where the old coal yard had been. The churches outnumbered the public houses two to one.

Old Escucha, site for a multi-million dollar resort and golf course on the edge of town.

But that’s only downtown. Uptown, farther into the afternoon shadows and on the other side of Vulcan Creek and up on the Lake the real Escucha flourished. It is comprised of the fire house, the aforementioned Whosit Market, two junk yards, Red’s Gravy Heaven, the Hibernian-Croatian Club, a feed store, several outdoor clothing stores, a bookstore, the bank, an auto parts store, with small cabins and house trailers wedged in between. The town’s bookends were city hall and the two-room offices of the Escucha Star, the county’s only award-winning weekly newspaper.

A giant American flag, 1000 feet by 800 feet fluttered high above the Happy Face Mortuary while another banner of red, white and blue waved above the bank. The second one is smaller and taken in every night by an honor guard of loam officers under the watchful eye of Attila II, the town’s “slower” boy.  Only last week the bankers had decided to invest in a new flag, bigger than the one that flew above Happy Face.

Out along the highway where Barbie’s Buffalo Ranch and Massage meets Dead Angel Gorge, which drops off an amazing 1390 feet according the Bureau of Survey and Management, stands the real tourist attraction, The Giant Dinosaur Turd. The 200 million year-old reptilian loaf, an archeological treasure dating back to the Triassic Epoch now featured ten foot fences and more than 300 little brown and white Forest Service signs, in over 20 languages, meant to inform and direct traffic.

Despite all the trappings, the dinosaur turd is real, having been discovered by students from the Normal School of Mimes, while out picking wildflowers in 1893.

Before that everyone in Escucha thought the large brownish object was part of a meteor or tailings pile. Some thought it had been a landfill for the nearby Ute village. Nobody ever guessed it was dinosaur dropping(s). Although the discovery was a blessing to the local economy, the situation had now threatened to get way out of hand since the giant turd was really not so giant. It was eroding thanks to the throngs of pedestrian traffic that visited the place in the summer.

Executive Offices of the Giant Dinosaur Turd in Escucha

“We had almost as many people walking along the observation trails last year as they had at Mount Rushmore,” bragged Shivaree Tripe, number two person at the local chamber of commerce.

These trails, or Poop Decks, as the residents of Escucha called them, were built by slave labor compliments of the Forest Service and the state correctional institute in Pinkyville. Admission ($10 for adults. Children and seniors $15) goes toward free weights, dirty movies and other tools of rehabilitation at the prison. About half the money is spent on the extensive daily maintenance of The Lizard Turd, aka The Golden Goose.

Enthusiasts are warned that many of these crowded walkways and primitive passages become slick in the rain and have no guard rails. Each year there are accidents but usually no fatalities due to the presence of rescue workers with ropes, sirens, pulleys and hats that say “Rescue Me”.

“The incredible number of visitors has permanently taxed our resources,” flinched Tripe. The body heat from all these people, many of them fossils in their own right, has caused the giant turd to melt, even though it was considered petrified. Some days, after a particularly brutal assault by RVers, tour bus inmates and people who saw the four-color brochure, an annoying odor rises from the vicinity of this monument to dinosaur regularity, the largest of its type anywhere on the planet and most likely the solar system.”

A multi-million dollar Tourist Village is in the planning stages featuring theme gift shops, swank eateries, a five-star hotel, spa and golf course within spitting distance of the natural landmark. The destination resort, three miles up Snow Monkey Pass, will be bookmarked by two scenic viewing areas and a 40-foot television screen broadcasting photos of the area 24-hours a day.

“If we could get these bastards to visit the Giant Turd in January and February that would be something to brag on!” said Tripe, “You can be sure I’ll be pushing my dome project at the next economic development meeting. There are tons of federal grants for just this kind of thing.”

– Kevin Haley


with Dr. Efram Pennywhistle Jr, DVM, LSMFT.


If I’ve heard it once I’ve heard it twice…Dr. Efram: When should my cat be allowed to date? Well, that is a good question, the make-up of which is within the makeup of the individual feline. Some cats are mature at two or three. Others have already shown themselves to be irresponsible by that time. One such miss that lived in our neighborhood produced 15 litters before she even had her driver’s license. What a slut.

If one’s family cat has been brought up properly and has the ability to distinguish between good and evil she should be able to be trusted on a chaperoned date with a Tom at adolescence. Never push kitty into the social scene though. Monitor the behavior herein while on an outing and have the Tom checked out by a local veterinarian.

When my sister’s cat first started dating my brother-in-law, Salvador, offered to drive the felines to the movies. This was working out well until Sal got his third DUI and lost his license. Now the same kitties take the bus or walk and manage to visit their driver/benefactor in the can on Tuesdays and Thursdays. That shows something.

In potential dilemmas it is imperative to keep a clear head. Trust is the key word. The way we treat a pet at the offset often determines the personality traits. If all of this is too scientific for some of you just have the animal spayed. This has been Dr Efram Pennywhistle for Pet Parade.

NEXT TIME: Tomcats, like all males of any species, have only one thing on their demented minds. We’ll show you how to nip them in the bud right out there in the garage. See you then!

All Cars To Be Same Color by ’24

(Detroit) According to the nation’s big three auto makers all cars manufactured after 2024 will be the same color. This will hold true with cars and trucks made in the U.S. as well as those produced by other major players such as Japan, Germany, Russia and Great Britain.

“It’s tribal,” said one CEO

According to an auto industry spokesperson there is no utilitarian purpose for all the colors, which were only an enticement aimed at getting people to buy cars that they thought would make a statement such as the red Corvette, the black Dakota or the silver Land Rover.

“We think today’s driver is brighter and wants to save on unnecessary frills,” clutched a high industry source. “What is red anyway but a mixture of orange and black? And what of canary yellow, or blue opal? It’s all but an illusion.”

At present every car will be painted desert tan, as it comes off the assembly line, but marketing departments are scurrying to come up with a more exciting sounding name than desert tan.

“It’s kind of a screened prune color or maybe even a rose adobe or shrouded copper, I don’t know,” he said. “I’m sure our people will come up with something nice even if it makes no logical sense at all.”

Consumer reaction was mixed with some saying color is one of the major factors to consider when purchasing a vehicle and others saying you can’t tell the difference between a Cadillac and a Mercedes anymore anyway.

“They might as well all be the same color,” quipped one potential buyer. “I’d just like to meet the person who sold them all that paint.”

– Gabby Haze