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Best Of :: People & Places

Best toilet paper

Those queers at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center don't wipe with just any toilet paper. No, they use sheets from The Homophobe Book, otherwise known as "a roll call of political stinkers." Printed on this exclusive tissue are drawings of Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, Jesse Helms and Sam Nunn, along with shitty quotes from those well-known anti-gay crusaders. (Schlafly: "Distributing condoms in public schools is 'teaching safe sodomy.'" Buchanan: "Gays have waged war on nature...AIDS is nature's retribution on gays." Helms: "Homosexuals are trying to force their way into undeserved respectability." Nunn: "My gays in the military policy?...We don't ask and they don't tell...keep on hiding.") A case of the paper was donated to the center about a year ago by a local entrepreneur who had originally tried to market it at the 1993 gay and lesbian March on Washington; he was apparently less than flush with success, and the leftover boxes sat in a Denver garage for the next few years before they were discovered and distributed to local gay organizations. "We proudly use it every day," says Mike Smith, the service center's executive director. "It makes going to the toilet a politically correct experience." You might say it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Kiss my ass." The tissue does get lots of comments, Smith says, though some of them are kind of crappy: "It's not the softest toilet paper. We get complaints about quality -- but it's for a good cause, so people use it."

Best Oscar-night performance by a Coloradan

There's no use taking Academy Awards night too seriously -- particularly if you're South Park co-creator Trey Parker, late of Conifer, and you've been unexpectedly nominated for a statuette in the Best Original Song category. Parker's satirical anthem "Blame Canada" (from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) didn't win the Oscar. But Parker, who can never resist popping Hollywood on the nose, caught every eye in Los Angeles with his outfit -- a facsimile of the scanty, attention-getting "dress" Jennifer Lopez wore several weeks earlier to the Grammy Awards. His cohort, Matt Stone, came garbed in a replica of Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Academy Awards attire.

Best Oscar-night performance by a Coloradan

There's no use taking Academy Awards night too seriously -- particularly if you're South Park co-creator Trey Parker, late of Conifer, and you've been unexpectedly nominated for a statuette in the Best Original Song category. Parker's satirical anthem "Blame Canada" (from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) didn't win the Oscar. But Parker, who can never resist popping Hollywood on the nose, caught every eye in Los Angeles with his outfit -- a facsimile of the scanty, attention-getting "dress" Jennifer Lopez wore several weeks earlier to the Grammy Awards. His cohort, Matt Stone, came garbed in a replica of Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Academy Awards attire.

Best goodwill ambassador -- abroad

You've got to wonder: How many arguments have been settled over a beer or two? That must have gone through Boulder homebrew guru and Association of Brewers president Charlie Papazian's head when he organized a brewers' delegation to China last November to compare notes with Chinese counterparts, review the history of Chinese brewing and discuss such weighty issues as brewing technology, production, quality control and the global beer market. Planned under the sponsorship of People to People, a Seattle-based organization that develops international goodwill exchange tours for students and professionals, the trade mission had the distinction of being certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. "It went great," says Papazian assistant Mark Snyder. "We made some contacts over there, and I'm sure he will definitely go on other missions. I'm not sure where yet, but it's definitely on the radar."

Best goodwill ambassador -- abroad

You've got to wonder: How many arguments have been settled over a beer or two? That must have gone through Boulder homebrew guru and Association of Brewers president Charlie Papazian's head when he organized a brewers' delegation to China last November to compare notes with Chinese counterparts, review the history of Chinese brewing and discuss such weighty issues as brewing technology, production, quality control and the global beer market. Planned under the sponsorship of People to People, a Seattle-based organization that develops international goodwill exchange tours for students and professionals, the trade mission had the distinction of being certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. "It went great," says Papazian assistant Mark Snyder. "We made some contacts over there, and I'm sure he will definitely go on other missions. I'm not sure where yet, but it's definitely on the radar."

Best donation for victims of the June fires

Hey, man does not leave by bread, and bedroom, alone. When the Hi Meadow and Bobcat fires displaced dozens of families, Coloradans rushed to donate cash and compassion. But perhaps the most appreciated donation came from Colorado Springs resident Randy Barnes, who volunteered to record old Grateful Dead tapes for a man who'd lost his collection when his house in Pine burned down.

Best donation for victims of the June fires

Hey, man does not leave by bread, and bedroom, alone. When the Hi Meadow and Bobcat fires displaced dozens of families, Coloradans rushed to donate cash and compassion. But perhaps the most appreciated donation came from Colorado Springs resident Randy Barnes, who volunteered to record old Grateful Dead tapes for a man who'd lost his collection when his house in Pine burned down.

Best source of news about the June fires

Where there's smoke, there's ire, and in the early days of the fires, residents complained that they weren't getting enough specifics from the local media. But that's because they hadn't tuned into www.pinecam.com, the Web site belonging to Wayne Harrison, an assignment editor for Channel 7. Usually, Harrison's six-year-old site is devoted to folksy chats about living in the mountains. But in June, it went hardcore with hourly updates on the fires -- and the hits just kept on coming.

Best source of news about the June fires

Where there's smoke, there's ire, and in the early days of the fires, residents complained that they weren't getting enough specifics from the local media. But that's because they hadn't tuned into www.pinecam.com, the Web site belonging to Wayne Harrison, an assignment editor for Channel 7. Usually, Harrison's six-year-old site is devoted to folksy chats about living in the mountains. But in June, it went hardcore with hourly updates on the fires -- and the hits just kept on coming.

Best officer to answer your 911 call

SWAT officer Terry Reibeling is the kind of big, tough professional whom other cops like to have around when the chips are down, and he made two heads-up arrests last year that deserve special recognition. Less than a month after the Columbine murders, he pursued a suspicious vehicle that was lurking outside a suburban mosque, uncovered an arsenal of guns and bomb-making materials, and, with the assistance of Denver police, subdued a would-be terrorist. Two months later he responded to a 911 call and tackled a drunk, 300-pound intruder in swim trunks who'd been sexually assaulting a pregnant woman. "This guy is one outstanding sergeant," Sheriff Pat Sullivan said after the second bust. We agree.

Best officer to answer your 911 call

SWAT officer Terry Reibeling is the kind of big, tough professional whom other cops like to have around when the chips are down, and he made two heads-up arrests last year that deserve special recognition. Less than a month after the Columbine murders, he pursued a suspicious vehicle that was lurking outside a suburban mosque, uncovered an arsenal of guns and bomb-making materials, and, with the assistance of Denver police, subdued a would-be terrorist. Two months later he responded to a 911 call and tackled a drunk, 300-pound intruder in swim trunks who'd been sexually assaulting a pregnant woman. "This guy is one outstanding sergeant," Sheriff Pat Sullivan said after the second bust. We agree.

Best new name for Colorado's high-tech hub

In late June, the Metro Denver Network officially unveiled its pricey new slogan design to lure high-tech industries to the Front Range. But somehow, we just don't think "Convergence Corridor: Technology With Altitude" is going to do the job. Fortunately, there's a perfectly good name available -- one with proven marketability -- that Denver's about to dump on the scrap heap. Mile High-Tech scores!

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Best toilet paper: The Gay, Lesbian and Bisexual Community Services Center of Colorado

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