Off Limits

Easter was last month, so the bunny sighted at Argonaut Wine & Liquor on May 5 must have been another animal altogether. Indeed. Playboy's Miss May, Crista Nicole, was at the giant liquor store on East Colfax Avenue preening, penning autographs and promoting Pete's Wicked Ale -- which has paired with the magazine to give away a date with Nicole. "Imagine you and a buddy being picked up at your local bar by the Playmate, jetting off with her to the baseball game of your choice, then partying the night away. Pretty wicked, huh?" the promotion reads.

But not everyone was charmed by Nicole's appearance, as evidenced by a woman who e-mailed a complaint to Argonaut. "Do you feel that the majority of your sales are to men, and that men have more of a disposable income to indulge in the luxuries of fine wine, port and Budweiser (personally, I prefer beers of substance)?" she asked. "Well, I'm not offended to the point of driving across town to purchase from Mondo Vino...mostly because I live four short blocks from your store. However, you can be sure I won't be buying that case of wine today."

Much less a couple of jugs.

Argonaut's Scott Robinson says he understands the woman's concerns, but he adds that hers was the only complaint he received. "Nicole was just in here for an hour. Some people came in. Not lots. The way we look at it is, she's basically a celebrity," he says of the 34-25-35, five-foot-nine-inch blonde. (Turn-ons: "extroverted, energetic, respectful and open-minded people"; turn-offs: "uneducated, unrealistic, judgmental and shallow people".) "We had Tom Skerrit in here last month, and we don't see that any differently."

Bet a few customers did.

Stick it: Playboy has a way of making people do the darnedest things. Trey Parker, half of the South Park creative team, was quoted in the June 2000 issue as saying that Colorado is "so desperately average that it just makes people insane," among other insults. And if that interview didn't make it clear that Parker and cohort Matt Stone want nothing to do with their home state, they made the divorce official by allowing the Los Angeles Kings to use Eric Cartman, one of the show's animated stars, as a team mascot for the past two seasons.

Maybe it wouldn't have been so bad if the Colorado Avalanche hadn't had to face the Kings in a grueling playoff match-up this month (the best-of-seven series was tied 3-3 as of Tuesday, with the final game scheduled for May 9 at the Pepsi Center). But as it is, Cartman's frequent appearances on the JumboTron at the Staples Center (brought to L.A. by another Coloradan, Phil Anschutz) and his constant cloying cheer ("Go, Kings, go!") just add insult to injury.

Puck you, guys.


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