By Joel Warner
By Michael Roberts
By Alan Prendergast
By Michael Roberts
By Michael Roberts
By Amber Taufen
By Patricia Calhoun
By William Breathes
Okay, we could have done better. We admit that.
We lied about our age. We faked our memoirs. We called ourselves Art or Daxis and told the escort we were from Kansas City. We stole other people's identities, maxed out the credit cards and blamed the illegals. And yes, we had a little help swatting those homers and winning that bike race in France.
We stuck a dummy in our car and hit the HOV lane. We took the smoke out of the restaurants and blew it up the voters' behinds. We flashed our private parts in public and kept the public out of our very private meetings because they were behaving suspiciously. We went hunting for an exit strategy and accidentally shot our buddy in the face.
We ranted. We road-raged. We light-railed.
We denied everything. When caught red-handed, we apologized and promised to seek treatment. We renounced all our bad habits. Except the meth. Can we keep the meth?
It was that kind of year. In 2006, truth wasn't just inconvenient; it became an endangered species. This was a time of frauds, hoaxes and big lies, of rampant hypocrisy, hedonism and substance abuse -- and that's just among certain well-respected evangelical leaders. Imagine what the heathens were up to.
Thank goodness the year's almost over. Dewy, innocent 2007 is right around the corner, wide-eyed and full of wonder -- even if our cover boy, former escort Mike Jones, is already writing his memoirs. But before you bust that cork -- or that meat-cutter with the fake ID -- join us in one last, sobering look at the conniving, ill-tempered, bad-mannered, bizarre, brain-dead and bogus happenings that sent 2006 spinning into rehab.
This won't hurt at all. Honest.
THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE
A baby boy born at Presbyterian/St. Luke's Medical Center in May beat his twin brother to the breakfast table by two months. Adam Rudd was born prematurely, but doctors managed to keep twin Jason in the womb another nine weeks through a "delayed interval delivery" process. "Hopefully, they get along," said Darren Rudd, the twins' father.
In April, 1,200 runners in the Platte River Trail Half Marathon had to detour when the body of a male transient was discovered along the bike path near Sixth Avenue, a few blocks from the finish line. The runners were redirected through the neighboring industrial zone while police brought out the yellow tape.
Air Force Space Command officials announced in November that widespread malfunctions in remote-control garage-door openers from the Broadmoor to Widefield were probably caused by a new "radio transmitter" (wink, wink) being tested in the top-secret underground command center inside Cheyenne Mountain. Seven years ago, a similar blitz on garage doors on the south side of Colorado Springs was blamed on an FM tower on top of the mountain. Sure, and those whizzing silver saucers are just weather balloons, right?
In October, a seventeen-month-old toddler in Erie drank enough wine to raise his blood alcohol content to .195, more than double the legal limit for adult drivers. A few weeks later, a two-month-old girl was hospitalized in Colorado Springs with a chart-blasting .364 blood alcohol reading. The girl's mother, Sarah Smith, told reporters she'd mixed a three-ounce formula with liquid from her boyfriend's water bottle. The liquid turned out to be vodka.
In July, former Enron chairman Ken Lay died of an apparent heart attack in Aspen at the age of 64, three months before he was to be sentenced to up to thirty years in prison for securities fraud. Since he died prior to exhausting his appeals, his conviction was abated, and the civil suits filed against him can no longer seek punitive damages. All of which led to a wave of Internet speculation that Lay had faked his death. "Conspiracy theories tend to pop up when there is dissatisfaction and disappointment," wrote CNN's Allen Wastler. "And that's the case here."
DO AS I SAY, NOT AS I DO
Ignorance of the law is no excuse. So what's your excuse when you are the law? Denver Chief of Police Gerry Whitman didn't really have one when photo radar nailed him going ten miles per hour over the speed limit; he still didn't have one when the incident became public last spring. We've all been there, Ger.
A ride-along with the chief, even on a bad day, beats one with Denver County Judge Johnny Barajas. After his vehicle rear-ended a pickup truck at 26th and Federal in November, hizzoner was cited for driving without proof of insurance, following too closely, careless driving -- and driving under the influence. Barajas, who regularly metes out punishment to drunk drivers in his courtroom, told a 7 News reporter that he's stopped hearing traffic cases and will enter an alcohol treatment program.
In Adams County, Judge Thomas Ensor is still on the bench but watching his tongue, after some banter with a prosecutor touched off protests from domestic-violence activists. Hearing that the prosecutor's wife had prevented a suspected drunk driver from escaping by blocking his car with hers, the judge reportedly said, "If she did, you ought to spank her. That was silly." Other observers thought the judge said "smack," not "spank." By the time reporters sought comment, Ensor was no longer talking smack. Or spank. Or whatever.