Sour Milk

This Royal Crest driver really delivers.

Don't mess with the milkman -- especially not if the Royal Crest Dairy driver is Shannon Whitehead.

At about one in the morning on Tuesday, September 27, the 27-year-old was just starting his route when a fellow driver radioed in a request for a re-supply of apple juice. The call came from nearby, so Whitehead met the other driver in a laundromat parking lot at 11th Avenue and Corona Street for the tradeoff. But just as Whitehead was about to pull away, someone yanked open the back door of his truck. Whitehead stood up and saw two twenty-somethings standing at the opening.

"Gimme some chocolate milk!" demanded one of the men, pointing to the stock of brown cartons. Whitehead jumped out and was rounding the corner of the truck when the milk-lover punched him in the face. "I'll fight you for some fucking chocolate milk!" threatened the man, who was wearing a Jake Plummer jersey.

But the spirit of the Snake was no match for Whitehead, a former track-hoe operator and competitive wrestler who stands six foot one and weighs 200 pounds. "He got an ass-whuppin'," he says of his chocolate-loving assailant. "He got smoked. There were a few times during the fight when I looked at his buddy and was thinking, 'Are you going to pull him off, or is he going to continue to get pounded?'"

Eventually, the man gave up and scurried off into the night. But if he'd really wanted the milk so bad, all he had to do was ask nicely. "I give chocolate milk out all the time," Whitehead says with a sigh. "If he wouldn't have hit me, he would've gotten the chocolate milk. Without a doubt."

Instead, the bandit became the subject of a police report, and also earned the permanent ire of Royal Crest's finest. "That bastard made me fifteen minutes late on my route," Whitehead concludes.

A tough grilling: With less than a month until voters decide on referenda C and D, the mud is flying fast and hard. At a debate on the ballot measures last week, an Off Limits operative asked the four pols on the panel this final question: What is the biggest C&D lie? The quarrelsome quartet had no problem disagreeing on the answers.

Our personal favorite? That Mark Holtzman is five foot seven. When the anti-C&D gubernatorial candidate is standing on a George Foreman grill provided by his most unlikely proponent, maybe.

For help in determining the difference between truths, half-truths and outright lies, Off Limits went to the go-to girl for spotting a whopper: University of Denver philosophy professor Candace Upton, who's busy preparing for the national Virtue Ethics and Moral Psychology conference coming to the DU campus this weekend. So we asked just two quick questions:

Q: Is taking something out of context a lie?

A: In courts of law, witnesses must swear they will tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. There's a reason for this. It's easy to deceive people by telling the truth, but not the whole truth. And when you deceive in order to manipulate people for your own good, it's wrong.

Lying is a fact of life -- thank goodness. Lying is a social lubricant, not unlike alcohol. We have to intentionally deceive people to retain our marriages, jobs and friendships, which are crucial to human happiness and survival. But we don't have to deceive people for the sake of promoting our own selfish ends. More often than not, we lie to avoid hurting other people. Just imagine how many marriages would crack if we always told the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. "Yes, dear, those jeans really do make you look fat." Absurd.

Q: What's the difference between bullshitting and lying?

A: Bullshit is another form of lying, and it's always wrong. Bullshit is intentional deception of known facts that assumes the listener is way too stupid or lazy to even attempt to uncover the whole truth. A bullshitter has no respect for his audience and thinks they'll believe everything they hear. And it's no good to say that if people are too stupid to learn the truth, then they deserve the bullshit they're getting. You'd never intentionally plow someone down in the street just because they were too stupid to move.

Here's the bottom line on taking things out of context: Yes, it's lying. But lying isn't always wrong. When you lie to manipulate others for your own good, it's wrong. The bottom line on bullshit: It's wrong. The bottom line on distorted advertising of C&D? Bullshit.

Scene and herd: As hopheads headed into the Great American Beer Festival at the Colorado Convention Center last weekend, they encountered folks pushing another measure on Denver's upcoming ballot: I-100. "Make Denver SAFER," the fliers proclaimed. "Fact: Alcohol consumption is the cause of approximately 85,000 deaths and is a factor in more than 3 million violent crimes in the United States each yearŠ. Fact: More than 1,000 Americans die each year from alcohol overdoses. Fact: Alcohol is more harmful than marijuana." And just what is I-100? A proposal to make possession of one ounce or less of marijuana legal in Denver.

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