Off Limits

A smokin' deal

A half-dozen local 7-Eleven franchises aren't thanking heaven for a recent rash of "snatch and dash" heists, which have resulted in no arrests -- but a lot of head-scratching over the culprits' peculiar shopping lists.

According to police reports, they started at 2:45 a.m. Thursday, September 16, when a Hispanic male in his twenties entered the 7-Eleven at 4770 West Colfax Avenue and asked the clerk for a carton of Marlboro Reds, then a carton of Marlboro Lights. And then the diversion: a carton of Kools. When the clerk turned his back to grab the menthols, the perp ran with his two cartons of smokes to a waiting car, a silver Chevy Cavalier, which then sped south on Wolff Street.

A little more than 24 hours later, at 4:24 a.m., the 7-Eleven at 1301 West 38th Avenue got hit. A Hispanic male came in, tried on a few pairs of $2.99 Gear sunglasses, picked out a pair he liked, then sprinted out the door with the glasses -- as well as three packs of Energizer D batteries (in what might have been a misguided tribute to the immortal Radio Raheem of "D, Motherfucka, D" fame).

The next 7-Eleven shoplifter was a short, thin, bald Hispanic male in his late twenties who entered the convenience store at 2609 Federal Boulevard at 5:20 p.m. Sunday, September 19. The man went to the back of the store, where he casually poured a Super Big Gulp and made himself a super-sized order of nachos, then approached the clerk and asked for a carton of Marlboro Kings. After the clerk gave him the smokes, the guy made his break, cradling the Big Gulp and nachos like a halfback carrying a football as he sprinted to his getaway vehicle, a black two-door sedan with spinning rims.

That night, a short white male ran into the 7-Eleven at 1850 South Sheridan Boulevard and ran out with a twelve-pack of Coke, a twelve-pack of Fanta and a packet of Pop Rocks candy. (Dude, your stomach's gonna blow up.)

The next day, six black males in their early twenties entered the 7-Eleven at 1645 East 17th Avenue just after 9 p.m. Each filled a 64-ounce cherry Slurpee and then, on a prearranged signal, ran out of the store, snatching random items on the way -- including a gallon of milk, five cigarette lighters, a "Patriotic American Flag" bumper sticker and ten Jolly Rancher suckers, assorted flavors.

The sixth and final 7-Eleven heist in less than a week was the least eventful of all. A black man in a black mesh shirt sauntered into the store at 1800 Downing Street, grabbed a twelve-pack of Busch Natural Light from the back cooler and casually walked out.

The suspects in all of the heists are still wanted. Also wanted, according to a flier posted at one of the 7-Eleven outlets struck by the petty crime wave: new "sales associates" who are able to "multi-task" and lift fifty pounds, particularly "smiling, pleasant applicants that enjoy working with the public."

Even the non-paying public.

Ain't that a kick in the pants:Once again, the Commish has led his loyal troops to victory. This time, though, they scored on the catwalk rather than the kickball field.

Last Thursday night, the Denver Kickball Coalition's fearless leader pulled his players onto the hi-dive stage and told them to press the flesh. And they did. The twelve Denver bachelors raised $2,062 for Morey Middle School, where the DKC plays kickball on Sunday mornings. "How do we get this much sex on one stage?" wondered auctioneer Sid Pink.

If money talks, the sexiest athlete at the "Do It for the Kids" benefit was Joe Phillips, aka the Commish. A lovely redhead in the audience snatched him up for two C-notes, after challenging her own winning bid of $125. But, hey, it was for charity. "Those kids will be so fuckin' happy if they even know what's going on," the Commish announced from the stage.

Also popular with the ladies was Rob Bowman, who sold for $140 after Pink goosed the crowd, asking, "What do you want? Kids not to read?" and Robby performed a coy striptease with his tie. Adam Lancaster and Adam Panteloglow, aka AA Batteries, writhed $110 out of the crowd with their spirited skit to 'N Sync's "Bye, Bye, Bye," and Matthew "the Mechanic" Hammsparked a bidding war, finally bringing in $180 for his skills, uh, under the hood.

Score!

Scene and herd:On Tuesday, the Fillmore hosted a benefit concert for Senate candidate Ken Salazar, featuring Don Henley, Timothy B. Schmit and Glenn Frey. Unfortunately for Pete Coors, his family brewery is the marquee sponsor for events at that venue, so the sign outside the Fillmore that night (as on all nights) had Coors Light welcoming concert-goers -- and Salazar supporters. It's gotta suck when your own company is shilling for the competition. Š Just up Colfax Avenue, the Bluebird Theater has put Denver on the fashion map, thanks to a snapshot of The Calling taken in front of that music hall last year. The pic accompanies an article in the September Vogue on Laura Dawn, who opened for the band and has since gone from punk to activist. She and pal Moby came up with the idea for "Bush in 30 Seconds," the anti-Bush ad contest sponsored by Moveon.org -- and won by local boy Charlie Fisher. It's a small, small world.


What's So Funny?

By Adam Cayton-Holland

This is the true story of an anonymous informant, self-picked to attend open auditions for The Real World in hopes of being picked to live in a house with seven strangers, work some asinine, pointless job, have his life taped -- and then find out what happens when people stop being polite and start getting real in The Real World! Boulder.

As he walks into the Foundry Billiards Club in Boulder on a recent Tuesday, our informant is greeted by a perky Real Worldlackey and instructed to fill out a form, front and back. Open auditions for the show's sixteenth season are under way, and other wannabes are all dressed to the nines, spread around the room, filling out the same form. The first page is a questionnaire with about a dozen questions: Are you in a relationship? (No.) In terms of the opposite sex, do you pursue or are you pursued? (Like a leopard after a pronghorn.) What are your best traits? (Healthy sheen, pog collection.) Your worst traits? (Bi-curiosity.) What scares you most? (Carnies.) What is the most important issue facing you? (Pog collection outgrowing storage space, bi-curiosity.)

The next two pages contain the fine print that alerts a potential cast member that, by signing, he is agreeing not to talk to the media about the audition process and also surrendering the rights to his image. Our informant faces a moral dilemma: He wants to tell the story as best he can but doesn't want to compromise his journalistic integrity -- or get his ass hauled into court. He decides to hold off on signing the form and in the meantime make as many observations as possible, an old reporter's trick used by Edward R. Murrow when he tried out for the first season of Road Rules.

His first observation: Boulder hasn't seen this many minorities since Bill McCartney's last good recruiting year. African-Americans, Hispanics, Asians, all wide-eyed and eager, waiting for their turn in the spotlight. People of every shape and size, everyone from Mohawk-bearers to wire-rim wearers -- people you'd think would be above trying out for this show -- look nervously around the room, anxious and excited about the opportunity to plunge headfirst into the mainstream, to become famous. It strikes our informant that this is what has become of the American dream. Gone is the notion that hard work and dedication can get you everything you desire: Reality TV is the new hope of the huddled masses. Our grandparents would be ashamed of usŠif they weren't so busy watching Survivor.

In order to participate in the ten-person group interviews with an L.A. über-producer, you have to sign another form promising that you will not reveal what takes place there. If you did spill, however, you might talk about the lame game you play called "Two Truths and a Lie" -- in which you tell two truths and a lie about yourself -- and how the producer fakes interest in everyone, even the ugly girls from Pueblo. But when all is said and done, the three people snatched from the group are the exact people you would expect: a studly moron who chirped nonsensically the whole time about his motorbike, and two vapid, attractive girls who've been best friends since they met puking up their lunches in neighboring stalls in junior high.

Afterward, a group of dejected rejects stands outside in the rain, commiserating and talking about where the next Real Worldshould be filmed: Austin is rumored to be in a hot race with Boulder. And even though our talented, anonymous informant won't be in the cast, as he drives home from the audition, softly sobbing down I-25, he comes up with the following reasons why the show should be done here:

: Soon-to-be vacated Chi Psi house offers central location for show, replete with well-established, festive party atmosphere.

• Minority cast members feel right at home in diverse Boulder environment.

• Super-chill native cast-member Dane alerts national audience to area's "dank-ass kind buds," "fucking gnarly kayaking spots."

• Group trip: Broomfield.

• Weird episode where Governor Bill Owens "just stops by" to see how kids are getting on, has to be forcibly removed from house some nineteen hours later.

• Increased sexual tension, drama abound when cast is forced to move into dirty, two-bedroom crack den because of inflated local real-estate prices.

• Finally answer age-old question: If slutty MTV starlets are sexually assaulted by CU football players and only fifty cameras document incident, does it make a sound?

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