Off Limits

Stop-and-gonad traffic

Considering that visiting New Yorkers are often amazed to see cows running wild on the Colorado range (in NYC, the bovines are confined to the Bronx Zoo), we could almost understand Hillary Clinton's gaffe in her new book, Living History. But since New York's junior senator spent eighteen years in Arkansas, where we know there are more than just life-sized, fiberglass, artist-decorated Cow Parade versions roaming the streets, we're not quite sure how she -- much less her editor -- mixed up the male and female of the species.

"The night before the meeting convened in Denver, Madeleine Albright invited her Russian counterpart, Yevgeny Primakov, to a dinner at a local restaurant," Clinton wrote in a section of Living History recounting her time in Denver for 1997's Summit of the Eight -- including a meal at The Fort in Morrison. "She treated him to a regional delicacy called 'mountain oysters,' a polite term for deep-fried cow testicles."

Maybe someone in the sold-out crowd at Hillary Clinton's book signing on Saturday, July 26, at the Cherry Creek Tattered Cover can let her in on this little-known fact: Only bulls have balls.

Okay, and a few Rollinsville boys (and one gal, Jackie Edmonds), who mooned Clinton and the other first ladies as they were enjoying a train ride to Winter Parkin Phil Anschutz's private cars during the summit. Although neither "Colorado" nor "Denver" rated a mention in the index to Hillary's $8 million memoir, she included the mooning incident, too:

"While I was standing outside on the platform of the last car, two young men appeared out of nowhere, bent over, dropped their pants, and mooned us. I was momentarily horrified, but then I had to laugh at such an irreverent and unforgettable addition to my carefully planned spousal itinerary."

Bottoms up.

Steer clear:Last Saturday was Colorado Day at Cheyenne Frontier Days, and in recognition of Wyoming's neighbor to the south, several of the four-legged contestants in that afternoon's bull-riding competition had been given Colorado nicknames. Bill Owens, in honor of this state's governor. Dean Singleton, for the Denver Post owner who had continued his paper's tradition in bringing a trainload of flatlanders up to Cheyenne for the day. John Hickenlooper, for the man about to be inaugurated as Denver's mayor. And... Steve Farber? The Denver attorney's been known to throw some bull in his time -- but he isn't exactly a household name on the rodeo circuit (unless the rodeo circuit now includes a mobile Palm restaurant).

"I was honored," Farber says of the surprise honorific. "Shouldn't I be?"

Kobe or not Kobe: Whenever an infamous crime is committed, jokes about it are sure to follow (faster than ever, thanks to the Internet), and taste seldom comes into play. Consider the following gagger, which turned up in an online search:

Q: What do you get when you cross Jeffrey Dahmer and JonBenét Ramsey?

A: Baby food.

So it was only a matter of time -- seconds, actually -- before the sexual-assault accusations against Kobe Bryant spawned attempts at humor, like this one from Tonight Show host Jay Leno: "It was so hot in Los Angeles, I was sweating like the guy at Nike who just signed Kobe to that $40 million shoe deal." (Close: Bryant's five-year agreement with Nike, inked last month, is reportedly worth $45 million.)

And even locals are getting in on the act, with this joke passed along by Speak Out Vail that sports a distinctly Colorado flavor: "If Kobe Bryant is found guilty of sexual assault, he should not serve time in prison, nor should he pay restitution. Rather, his punishment should be having to play with the Denver Nuggets!"

Wouldn't the death penalty be more humane?

Mayor Hip-enlooper:Organizers of this year's LoDo Music Festival knew that a stylistically scattershot lineup would help draw crowds, so they booked Joan Osborne for lovers of bluesy singer-songwriter fare; Kurtis Blow and Rob Base for fans who crave old-school hip-hop flava; and the Ohio Players for those partial to '70s soul funk. And to draw Denver's new mayor? Why, of course, they booked X -- the seminal Los Angeles underground-punk band, which headlined the Miller Lite stage on Saturday, July 19. And there, in the crowd of drunken dancers in Hawaiian shirts, reformed punks and boozy frat boys, was John Hickenlooper, soaking up a live musical blast during his last weekend of civilian life.

Hickenlooper told one crowd member that he'd been a fan of the band (an underdog in its own right) for years, and he showed a loyalist's dedication by hanging around for the group's entire set, including two encores -- even though X didn't play his favorite tune, "The Have Nots," a meander through some of the nation's notorious dive bars (the Wynkoop Brewing Co. most definitely not among them).

Hickenlooper had more than rock and roll on his mind -- like showing up hangover-free at his 8 a.m. breakfast the next day with Wellington Webb -- so he declined an invitation to join X-ers at a local bar for after-the-show festivities. But he did work his way backstage for a little one-on-one with X bassist and founding father John Doe. And when Doe posed for a photo with Hick, onlookers noted a slight, if skewed, similarity: cowlick-haired and young-looking, the 47-year-old Doe could have passed for the then-still-mayor-elect's hipper younger brother.

Maybe if this city-leader thing doesn't work out, Hick can head to Los Angeles and lend his piano skills to future X recordings.

The saga continues:Everybody's favorite constitutional activist, former U.S. Senate candidate Rick Stanley, is pulling out all the stops.

Earlier this month, after Denver District Court Judge Robert Patterson issued a bench warrant for Stanley's arrest in connection with a 2002 weapons-possession conviction, the accused issued a literal call to arms to his militia comrades. Stanley had appealed his conviction to the Colorado Supreme Court -- arguing that he had the constitutional right to brandish weapons in Denver -- but the state's highest court declined to hear his case. Stanley had also appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals, which also denied him a hearing, this time for lack of jurisdiction. Now he's appealing to the U.S. Court of Appeals. But in the meantime, Patterson says, Stanley needs to serve the six-month sentence that he handed down last year.

"He's saying he has jurisdiction on me in this case, when he does not," Stanley responds. "He's ignoring their own rules."

Although he has no specific reason to believe that the Denver Police Department will come and get him -- other than an "armed-and-dangerous" label in a report filed by DPD lieutenant Michael Quihones -- Stanley insists that an attack is imminent, because "that's the way they have been doing it all across the country. I'm waiting for them to attack me, and then I will defend myself."

And last Thursday, the attacks came. Sort of. In Stanley's regular e-mail newsletter, the "Stanley Scoop," he informed his devoted readers that the Denver SWAT team sent "a large gray swat van, sirens blowing and lights blazing to park in front of my place of business, and cut off the power."

But before he had the chance to call for help -- he says he has 500 sympathizers ready to respond within 48 hours; they have already received directions to the office of Stanley Fasteners, which is also his home -- the alleged SWAT team left. After only ten minutes. And the power returned.

Denver Police Department spokesman Sonny Jackson wasn't aware of the SWAT affair but said it sounded "erroneous" to him.

Either way, Stanley will be well-armed. "I will have some surprises for the good thugs who are besieging me," Stanley writes. "I will use everything at my command, and I will have high ground with tremendous firepower. Helicopters will be destroyed if used against me, as will tanks.... Come prepared with force of arms, bottles, cloth, gasoline, etc., all the fun things you will need to defend. Once attacked, I will be shooting everything in sight that is attacking me. You should use the same tactic.... If they should kill me before you get there, make sure that these bastards are prosecuted in Federal Court on behalf of my wife and family and sue the City of Denver for everything they have got. I am not without resources. My wife will know what to do."

His other suggestions: Write your congressman and Hickenlooper, "a good man I supported."

With friends like these....

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