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WESTERN COLORADO FROM A – Z

A primer for visitors and residents who may have missed something

by Uncle Pahgre

with apologies to Ambrose Bierce

Armadillo – a.) one of the few organisms not found in gaping chuckholes on Colorado highways. b.) rhymes with a city on the way to Plano.

Buffalo (Golden) – a. A football team that, despite drafting prospects from Southern California, struggles in the PAC-12. b.) curious mascot of a team that people in Western Colorado hope will do well even though most resent the goings on in Boulder.

Cannibal – in Lake City aka Alferd Packer, the man who allegedly ate all the Democrats in Hinsdale County in 1874. History tells it that the tragedy was a result of desperation near Slumgullion Pass but it just as well could have resulted from Packer’s sticker shock at the price of Western Slope groceries.

DOW – The Division of Wildlife. Custodians of our furry friends. You can tell one of these from the bears because they wear baseball caps. Even though they may spend a good portion of the day out in the woods they still have a behind-the-desk approach. These people actually believe public land is better under federal protection. See Logging and the USFS.

Extemporaneous corruption – a.) when cheating laps itself b.) crooked but never late for church c. You know, like when a fire just up and starts itself. d) immoral profits generated by artificial intelligence.

Flatlanders – People who live at lower elevation and visit Colorado to buy a second home thus driving real estate prices through the ceiling. People who video cam mountains even though the latter don’t generally provide movement of any kind.

Guns – What many people in Western Colorado stockpile thinking it will hold off federal helicopters, bears or an angry neighbor.

This photo was taken along the coast of Maine but it could just as well have been snapped in Western Colorado.

Hemp – After a well educated electorate, what the feds fear the most, for no clear reason. A universal fabric that could save many natural resources by application. Could make pharmacies extinct. Rope perfect for hangings.

Indian – a.) Feathered character often called savage by the enlightened manifest destiny folks of 19th Century b.) natives of India. c.) persons providing target practice for drugstore cowpokes on Saturday morning TV in the 50s. Preferably called “First People.”

Jackass – a.) a useful, yet stubborn, methodical, cantankerous pack animal  b.) Person who exhibits a similar behavior to the animal minus the ability to carry his own weight.

Kryptonite – The mineral common to Red Lady Mountain in Crested Butte. Used in the production of mountain bikes, the rare ingredient is the treasure to be mined by the evil monster, Molybdenum.

Lynx – a relative of the bobcat this beautiful wild animal had been hunted to near extinction due to its practice of killing and eating ugly sheep and chickens. Now surviving quite well in the Rockies. See The Missing Lynx..

Mariachi – a.) a type of music originating from Spain, then perfected in Jalisco, Mexico. b.) the type of music often generated from low riders (See Espanola) c.) the kind of music the late sportsman Botsie Spritzer played in his fishing wagon when he couldn’t find his polka tapes.

Naked – a.) How one comes into this world and, unless tampered with by an obsessive valet of sorts, how one will g out. b.) the sinful and immoral display of the human body without the benefit of clothing c.) how mountain lions go to work each day.

Ohio – a.) a place where a lot of early Gunnison County pioneers came from as evidenced by the presence of Ohio Creek, Ohio Pass, Ohio City on local maps. b.) a reasonably good place to be from. c.) in a spelling bee the easiest challenge compared to Allegheny and Monongahela.

Pea Green – a.) the fiscal and religious center of the American Dream, located near Hoover’s Corner. b.) a medical disorder common to sailors attempting to ward off the scurvy by consuming a gross quantity of limes.

Quartsite – a.) a 19th century mining town/district claiming 10,000 residents at its height (prior to cable TV). b.) a lot on which to build a Quarthouse. c.) a fictitious tent city Shangri-La created by the Colorado Historical Society to lure summer tourists into the state.

Railroad – a.) Once the pride of Western Colorado now all but gone from the landscape. Clear thinking residents agree that reconstruction would solve a host of mass transportation problems, alleviate road maintenance costs and decrease drunk driving infractions. b.) the preferred mode of subsidized transportation in most civilized nations.

Slow Elk – a.) a bovine, something easy to shoot at. b.) a pasture potato that resembles cattle. Lunch.

Tree – gourmet treats (pine) for beetles due to global warming.

Uncompahgre – a.) the most mispronounced word (by visitors) until Saguache was invented in 1877. b.) a bastardization of what Tonto called the Lone Ranger. A valley made from a river of the same name.

Venison – a rude and insensitive term for deer no longer on-the-hoof.

Water – a.) traditionally the major issue to residents on the west side of the Maginot Line (Continental Divide). Newcomers seem to think that it just runs through the faucet while Front Range interests think its something infinite with which to flush their state-of-the-art toilets b.) that wet stuff in lakes and rivers. c.) a clear, colorless, nearly odorless and tasteless liquid unless one seeks a drink from an urban water supply wherein it often becomes a putrid bit of murky semi-refreshment. d.) proverbially the stuff that one can lead a horse to but often fails to make the animal drink.

Xylophone – a musical instrument not common to polka or bluegrass music. b.? Better than relying on Xerxes or Xerox to get to the next letter in this stupid literary rendering. c.) An easy one if this article were in Chinese.

Yampa – a.) a Northern Ute band who didn’t take kindly to preachers plowing up local race tracks and introducing farming. Joseph Meeker’s short term clients. b.) a major landmark in downtown Sunbeam, Colorado.

Zero – a.) the temperature in Fahrenheit when the dog’s vodka freezes in his bowl. b.) the offensive output of the Bronco offense so far in 2018  c.) what is leftover when one subtracts nothing from nothing.

– Melvin O’Toole

Border Collie Marks Bronco Victories

(Gunnison) Bingo, a six-year-old border collie may be instrumental in Bronco wins. Over the past 4 years he has only missed two televised games…both were losses for the orange and blue.

Bingo gets it together moments before kickoff

He is no flash in the pan.

“15 minutes prior to kickoff he starts barking at the TV,” says owner Marvin Marmot or Antelope Hills.

According to Marmot the gifted animals doesn’t have the patience to watch the tail end of other games and often growls at those fans. During commercials he leaves the room. Even though he cannot use the clicker he guards it so no one can change the channel.

Then at kickoff of the Denver game he is in a canine trance watching intently in his Bronco bed with his Bronco dish full and Bronco leash at the door. He even wears an official cap and number 58 jacket for away games. He even arranged to give a Bronco stadium blanket to the household cat.

When the game has been decided (won) Bingo looks away from the screen, drops his ears and calmly walks to the door to be let out. Just another day in Bronco Collie Land.

Say what you like but Team is 39 – 0 when Bingo watches. The two games he missed were shabby losses to the Eagles and the Steelers during mandatory sheep dog trials.

In other sports, Senate Democrats say Supreme Quart nominee Brett Kavanaugh allowed Trump to win at golf over 20 times since January of 2017. He then lied about it, they say.

– Suzie Compost

Congress Must Declare Tips

(Fort Knox) Members of the United States Congress must begin declaring tips as of January 2019 according to the Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve.

The action comes on the heels of voter complaints that a majority of elected officials are treated like royalty when they are simply rich and spoiled. Most Americans feel that the Congress equates to chaos, descending into an untouchable body that often views itself as above the law.

Tips that now must be acknowledged include gratuities, gifts, donations, offerings, favors, rewards, grants, dowries, entitlements, endowments, drafts, credits, bonds, consignments, and accumulated fiscal considerations. Livestock and theater/sports tickets were not on the primary list.

In the past it was easy to hide these embellishments and rationalize tips as part of the job but no more! Now all benefactors must declare their gifts thus dropping a bomb into many common loopholes. In addition members of the House and Senate must now pay for medical insurance, limos, flowers, haircuts, neckties, jewelry and fact-finding trips to the Caribbean in February.

It is not known what the taxable sum of these tips but experts are placing it at around $4 billion per year.

“The income derived from taxing their tips could pay for national health insurance, physical infrastructure, better public education and school lunches for underprivileged children,” said Omar “Twenty” Percente, the Maryland accountant who is credited with originating what he calls the Just Deserts Petition after watching Congressmen take unfair license and claim countless concessions not nailed down by vague and vaporous laws.

“The termination of this theft should help level the playing field,” he explained. “In the future we might see fewer politicians entering the power arena in hopes of striking it rich at the expense of the American citizen.

Percente’s only regret is that he should have pressed the Treasury Department to render the shake-up retroactive to 1782. Then maybe we’d see a few honest politicians, at least until they figure a way around this recent action.

– Rex Mantaleone

Colorado native sons excel in Denver and in San Diego

Three native sons are doing remarkably well in professional baseball and football so far in 2018. Rockies pitcher Kyle Freeland, Broncos running back Phillip Lindsay and Chargers receiver Austin Ekeler have shown that not only can they run with the big boys but they can dominate.

Rockies’ ace, Kyle Freeland, a graduate of Thomas Jefferson High School in Denver, played his college ball at Evansville and was drafted by the Rockies in the first round of the 2014 draft. Since earning his first win against the Dodgers in his Major League debut in April 2017 he has emerged as a force on the young staff. This season his stats are impressive: 15-7 under 3.00 era and a legitimate Cy Young candidate in only his second year in The Bigs. The tall left-hander has gained the respect of his fellow players with his going-about-his-business work ethic. He is a big reason the team is in first place at this writing.

Phillip Lindsay, rookie running back for Broncos, graduated from South High School where he was school’s all-time leading rusher. Then he went to University of Colorado where he set records for yards from scrimmage and all-purpose yards. Despite a serious injury in senior year of high school CU upheld his football scholarship and that altruism paid monster dividends. CU coach Mike MacIntyre called him the Tasmanian Devil due to his remarkable quickness. Phillip was elected team captain his sophomore year and averaged 5 yard per carry at CU.

At 5’ 9” and 190 pounds he was undrafted by the NFL but made the cut with a running-back rich Bronco team. In his first game against the Seahawks he ran between tackles and caught screens, scoring his first passing touchdown to the delight of hometown fans. He is corked energy and explosive drive and is already among the league leaders in rushing and receptions.

Western State Colorado University standout Austin Ekeler now of the Los Angeles Chargers, was born in and went to high school in Eaton, Colorado. Like Lindsay he was an undrafted free agent. Austin is  5’ 10” and 200 pounds worth of tough cookie. He excelled out there in Whizzer White’s backyard. His consistent stats at Western were quite  impressive, leading running backs in all categories junior and senior years.  Average 190 all-purpose yards. 19 touchdowns junior year and 15 senior year plus back-to-back 1500 yards seasons. Like Lindsay he was deemed too small for the NFL but surprise…surprise.

And these days here he is playing pro ball in San Diego. It’s a sure bet he misses the Gunnison winters, heh?

In other sports news: Coloradoans are the least obtuse in the country for the 18th year running. Blunt and sometimes difficult, the Rocky Mountain residents here set the standard for the rest of the nation. Colorado – Be proud or get out.

Spider

Trump International Victim of Sink Hole

(Chicago) The Trump International Hotel and Tower was destroyed this morning after being gobbled up by a rogue sinkhole followed by relentless assaults of hail. As residents fled, the remnants of the building were washed away by a flash flood compliments of an angry Lake Michigan. Miraculously, adjacent properties were unharmed by the violent weather pattern. This is the first time in recorded weather history that these natural disasters have hit simultaneously in a microclimate. A spokesman for the White House blamed Obama for the incident.