By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
By Michael Roberts
By Melanie Asmar
What up, fool? East High School's Spotlight student newspaper got itself into one big stink recently with its annual April Fool's edition. Could it have had something to do with the article reporting that "rug-munching" had hit an all-time high at rival Regis Jesuit High School? Or this handy public-service announcement: "Drugs are cool. Don't let anyone tell you otherwise"? How about the threat to "deficate the corpes (sic)" of a "pinko-commie b*o!#D" TEACHER NAMED "MR. WESTIGARD"? OR, OUR PERSONAL FAVORITE, THE "HOOKED ON EBONICS" LESSON THAT ALLOWED A LILY-WHITE COUNTRY-CLUBBER FROM GRALAND COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL TO UTTER THE PHRASE, "AFTER ROBBIN' ALL THOSE LI'L BEEYAATCHES AT BOARDWALK BLIND, I TOOK ME AND MY IMPALA DOWN TO THE LIGGIDY LICKOU' STO'...I SLAMMED HALF OF A COUNTRY STYLE FUZZY NAVAL PEACH BOONES, OUTSIDE THE STO' AND I WAS STRAIGHT PERVED, SON"?
WELL, YES. SOURCES SAY THE PRINCIPAL AT REGIS BLEW A GASKET WHEN HE SAW THE ISSUE AND PROMPTLY CALLED EAST HIGH PRINCIPAL RICK ARTHUR TO LODGE A FORMAL COMPLAINT. ARTHUR IN TURN GOT ON THE PAPER'S STAFF FOR RUNNING AN ILLUSTRATED ARTICLE ABOUT HARRY BOLZE, A RENOWNED--THOUGH ENTIRELY FICTIONAL--MEMBER OF THE EAST HIGH GOLF TEAM KNOWN FOR "PLAYING WITH HIS PUTTER" AND "HOLDING HIS BALLS." DENVER PUBLIC SCHOOLS SUPERINTENDENT IRV MOSKOWITZ EVEN GOT INVOLVED BEFORE IT WAS OVER, MEETING WITH ARTHUR AND THE NEWSPAPER'S FACULTY SPONSOR TO EXPRESS HIS OWN PIQUE AT THE PREP PARODY. AND THE UPSHOT OF ALL THIS OUTRAGE? THE STAFF HAS BEEN TOLD TO PRINT AN APOLOGY AND SEND A LETTER TO REGIS SAYING IT'S SORRY FOR THE RUG-MUNCHING BIT.
THE PAPER'S EDITORS--WHOSE TWELVE-PAGE MASTERPIECE ALSO INCLUDED A REALLY COOL PHOTO OF A DEAD SQUIRREL WITH A CIGARETTE IN ITS MOUTH--HAVE AGREED TO PRINT THE MEA CULPA. BUT ONE STAFFER REMAINS MIFFED. "THIS WAS BY FAR THE BEST PAPER SINCE I'VE BEEN AT EAST," HE COMPLAINS. "USUALLY WE PRINT NEWS THAT NOBODY WANTS TO READ. THIS WAS THE BEST RESPONSE YET."
OF COURSE, IT ISN'T THE FIRST TIME A DPS STUDENT PAPER HAS, LIKE, TOTALLY GROSSED OUT THE ADMINISTRATION. WHO COULD FORGET LAST YEAR'S IMMORTAL EDITION OF BOLT ACTION AT MANUAL HIGH SCHOOL? THAT ROCKIN' ISSUE FEATURED THESE CLASSIC "LAST WILLS AND TESTAMENTS" FROM STUDENTSo "Susie has the bomb diggi when it comes to sex"; "I finally got schmibbed before graduation"; "Sandy has the biggest ass I've ever seen on a white girl"; and, last but not least, "You need to shut that mouth, chick, and realize that me and Alfonse are running thangs this way, Big Mamma."
Damn! Those kids musta been straight perved!
Speed thrills: If it seems as though your RTD Sky Ride driver's really hauling next time you blast out to DIA, maybe he is. Several of the transit agency's new over-the-road coaches are afflicted with a problem only a driver on a timetable could love: Their speedometers don't work. According to RTD spokesman Scott Reed, "about 10 to 20 percent" of the 72 new coaches are affected by the problem, which can range from the speedometers not working at all to their working only up to certain speeds. One Sky Ride driver, for instance, was recently heard lamenting her gauge's tendency to go up to 45 miles per hour and then peter out, meaning that only the cops with the radar guns know how fast she's going when she blows past them on Pena Boulevard. Reed says RTD is working on the problem with the manufacturer, and adds that the agency is confident its highly trained drivers can operate buses safely despite the snafus. After all, notes Reed, under federal Department of Transportation guidelines, a completely useless speedometer does not qualify as "an out-of-service issue."
Screen gem: Wholesomeness is not dead yet in the eastern plains community of Brush. For proof, consider this Saturday's fortieth-anniversary celebration at the Sands Theatre, which has been making its marquee mark in the farm town since 1958. That's when 25-year-old Joe Machetta took over operations at the movie palace with a showing of The Hard Man, starring long-forgotten matinee idol Guy Madison. Since then, Machetta has continued to thrive, keeping the Sands going through booms and busts and over the years remodeling it into one of the most immaculate small-town moviehouses left in the U.S.
Step into the Sands, and you're transported to the hepcat days of yesteryear: There's a real stage curtain and plush drapes, along with original wood paneling left from Joe's 1966 renovation. Joe, whose grandparents ran the old Ute theater in Aguilar, has even kept his Manley popcorn machine from the 1940s operational. But the real highlight at the snack bar remains the house special: frozen pickle juice, dished up Sno-Kone-style in three-ounce cups. "People remark about it all the time," says Joe, who started serving the make-me-cuke concoction at the request of area teens. "Some people come from forty or fifty miles away just for that pickle juice."
Machetta's dilly of an anniversary celebration will consist of a cartoon festival with vintage Bugs Bunny and Betty Boop shorts (showtimes: 12, 2 and 4 p.m.), fifty-cent admission for adults, twenty-five-cent admission for kids, fifteen-cent Pepsi-Cola and ten-cent popcorn. That means your biggest expense for an afternoon of nostalgia will be the gas it takes to get to Brush, which sits in time-warped splendor ninety minutes up I-76.
Chairman of the bored: The Rocky Mountain News's front page now screams that the paper was "judged Colorado's best newspaper for the third straight year." But that was before Bill Johnson's column last Sunday, a lame diatribe about society's "lame excuses" that apparently was written without so much as a phone call--or a check of the paper's own library. "The runner-up award," Johnson wrote, "goes to Dana Garner, 42, of Highlands Ranch, and the lame excuse she gave the cops early last week when she was cited for spitting in a neighbor's face."
Admittedly, Garner's excuse--"self-protection"--was lame, but perhaps there was an explanation behind it. As Johnson failed to mention, two years ago, Garner was shot in the head by her estranged husband, who'd been stalking her for months. He then turned the gun on himself. Doctors said it was a miracle that Garner lived, but she hasn't made a full recovery, and the bullet is still lodged at the base of her skull. Johnson could have learned all that if he'd read Westword's April 3, 1997, story on Garner--or even checked with the News reporter who covered the Highlands Ranch incident. But then, Big Bill's not particularly interested in domestic violence matters unless they're his own. The columnist still has a case pending in Boulder District Court involving a domestic-violence incident with his ex-wife.