I remember a time when this city was actually manly, when big, bloated hombres wore mustaches and didn't take shit off anybody. Beef was always what was for dinner, and if you ordered it prepared any higher than medium rare, you got slapped in the mouth for being a pussy. And people wore leather, head to toe. If that wasn't enough to keep you warm, well, then, have another steak, you goddamn Sally, and get yourself some fortitude. What the good goddamn do you mean, medium-well?
Another important thing to remember is that they said "goddamn" all the time back then.
And though the more I think about it the more I realize that these memories are probably — nay, definitely — of time spent in Chicago, where leather, mustaches and meat always reign supreme, I choose to ignore that fact entirely as I point out how soft Denver has become. And by soft, of course, I mean flaccid. And by flaccid, of course, I mean green.
Now, don't get your biodegradable mulch panties in a bunch here, tree-fuckers: What's So Funny is a green machine. I'm so furiously green, they call me the Hulk. (Edward Norton Hulk, not Eric Bana Hulk, who sucks in pretty much everything he does. Given the choice of casting Eric Bana or a Bonobo, I'd cast Keanu Reeves. That's how bad Eric Bana is. And don't even come at me talking nonsense about Munich, because if you liked that movie, you're a fucking moron.)
For starters, my front yard? It's Xeriscaped with native plants that don't require a lot of water. Yes, my back yard does suck more agua than a Cuban on a tire, but a nice green lawn is integral to polo matches in which monkeys ride border collies — and I'll be damned if I'm going to let that go. Also, I recycle. I pay attention to the instructions on the label of my purple bin, separate the caps from the bottles, don't put soggy milk cartons in there — and my green ass totes that purple bin to the alley two out of every five recycling weeks. That's a 40 percent completion rate. I never fart outside, and though I do drive an SUV, I very rarely wash it, saving untold gallons of water. Sure, people write "Wash Me" in the dust on my rear windshield, but I just replace that with the word "Hero," which goes nicely with my vanity plates. You see, I have taken small, responsible steps to minimize the sum total of my effect on the planet. But the City of Denver, rather than taking such reasonable baby steps, is taking giant, composty green leaps. Sometimes in the most bizarre of directions.
Over the past few months, the city has spewed out news about green initiative after green initiative, much of it geared toward the convention. Free bicycles. No fried foods. Rather than worry about the fact that Denver is ten million dollars short of the necessary funds to put on the Democratic National Convention, it seems that city officials would prefer to point out a new bench on the mall shuttle made out of Pepsi cans and rainbows.
My favorite initiative last week was the one announced by Governor Bill Ritter and Mayor John Hickenlooper called Cool Biz. Check this: The program is going to cut energy costs in government buildings by...raising thermostat settings, thus reducing the amount of energy wasted on air-conditioning! Don't you just love picturing Hickenlooper and Ritter huddled around a thermostat, Hick with lab goggles and a clipboard to record results, Ritter tentatively adjusting it as though it might electrocute him? This announcement was accompanied by Hick's suggestion that city employees replace their formal office attire with cooler apparel, such as short-sleeved shirts and blouses. If I were working for the city, I would take this to mean jean cutoffs every fucking day.
And stained wife-beaters. Why not match my attire to their insolence?
Obviously, going green is the way to go. I just wish the city would remember that lots of hot air won't get us there. Um, remember the city's announcement that we'd finally get recycling bins on the 16th Street Mall? Anyone seen one? If we're really going to change our carbon footprint, we need to take baby steps, Denver. And grow back our mustaches.
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