Sitting in the darkened Denver Civic Theatre last week, waiting for the first penis-puppetry contestant to arrive for his live audition, we could only wonder what kind of man would be so eager to take his show on the road. At least the real Puppetry of the Penis performers get to wear capes and tennis shoes when they create their genital origami -- and then they collect paychecks for their efforts. But these wannabes would simply walk up on stage, drop trou and proceed to alter the angle of their dangle, with no Marvel Comics-style getup to conceal their saggy asses.
Much to the horror of the ten judges.
Perhaps, we thought, the performers' choice of underwear would give us a clue. Maybe briefs men were more inclined to go the full monty than boxer-lovers. But alas, the scientific evidence was scantier than the auditioners' undergarments, which ranged from a disturbing pair of red-white-and-black bikini briefs to nothing at all. There were pierced, tattooed urban dwellers and polo-shirted, loafer-wearing suburbanites; skinny, High Fidelity-type music geeks and freaky Larry Flynt devotees. One man even performed with his jeans pooled around his Ropers -- a very odd vision indeed.
But back to the saggy asses. There's nothing like a hairy, pimply ass in your face at 11 a.m. -- a full sixty minutes before the legitimate start of the drinking day. And yet the judges were provided no tasty cocktails to, uh, stiffen our resolve. One by one, the seven would-be puppeteers were called before us to bare their comedic souls and, more important, their wankers. As each contestant took the stage, he turned his back on the judges and prepped his parts into the appropriate formation for such tricks as the Wristwatch ("Take the head of your penis in your right hand; place it inside the left wrist; roll the wrist towards your body") and the Hamburger ("Place the testicles on your fingertips; roll the penis between the testicles; turn on a 90-degree angle; squeeze the testicles and hold like a hamburger"); while he performed the necessary manipulations, he'd inadvertently moon the judges, with the camera projecting his larger-than-life backside onto a movie screen. After that, seeing the actual meat puppets was a relief.
Besides, the judges were to disregard all derrieres, because they're covered during a real performance. In Puppetry of the Penis, it's what's up front that counts. And we're here to tell you, size does matter. It gives the puppeteer a little more to work with. (Really, who wants a Wimpy when they could have a Big Mac?) Still, the auditioners were graded on more than just their physical ability (although the uncircumcised have a technical advantage, since that extra flap of skin makes the Eiffel Tower much easier). Judges also had to consider smiles and stage presence. (One word of advice here: wax.)
"There's a level of acting and charm that sort of goes with the role," says Denver Civic spokeswoman Katie Rosin. "The seven people who auditioned -- not everyone had it. There's an entire package."
And two Denver men, it turns out, have the complete package. Just one problem: So far, they have yet to deliver. Rosin says they got their callbacks last week but haven't responded to an invitation to train with PoP stars Lincoln Davies and Jef Benjamin (the first official American practitioner of the "ancient art of genital origami"), whose Denver run has been extended through the end of November. If the hometown boys do well in rehearsal, Rosin says, they could have a gig in the Big Easy in early 2004.
And in the meantime, maybe this city has found its much-coveted new slogan: Denver -- Where the West Was Hung.
He shoots, he scores: If Denver is penis-obsessed, Eagle County District Attorney Mark Hurlbert has jism on the brain. And no wonder: In the Kobe Bryant sexual-assault case that Hurlbert's prosecuting, sperm is key. But papers filed in Eagle County Court on October 21 suggest that the DA's obsession with this particular substance may be getting more than a little sticky.
In his recent motion, Hurlbert asked the court to enforce a July 24 order threatening to sanction any lawyer or law-enforcement officer who gives material to the media that might potentially prejudice a jury. Specifically, Hurlbert was concerned with an October 11 article in the New York Daily News built upon the claim that semen from multiple partners was found in underwear belonging to the young woman who says Bryant raped her. In the News story, retired Eagle County Court judge William Jones said that Bryant attorney Hal Haddon had shared this particular development with him. If that was true, Hurlbert wrote, Haddon's loose lips were part of the defense's campaign "to get information in the public domain that has been specifically prohibited by the Court."
The document's loose spelling is another matter that should concern the court. As Hurlbert inaccurately reported Jones's quote from the News (the italics are ours), "There was more than one man's seamen in [the victim's] panties." We had no idea U.S. Navy personnel were involved in this case, too -- and twelve years after Tailhook, no less. Later, Hurlbert's motion stated (again, the italics are ours): "There appears to be a pattern [of] disregard for the Court's orders that cumulated with the Jones' leak."
Calling Dr. Freud!
Check-it-out time: There are no Freudian slips in "Kobe Inn," the song parodying Kobe Bryant's legal woes that's now playing on "Slim's Phat Five @ 9" and quickly becoming one of KS 107.5-FM's most requested tunes.
The spoof, rapped to the tune of Chingy's hot "Holidae Inn," wasn't recorded by a big name making lots of bling-bling. No, "Kobe Inn" was written and sung by Intern Dave. In real life, he's Dave Jacobson, a 22-year-old University of Denver senior who's interning with thestation's Morning Show with Larry, Kendall and Kathie.
"It was pretty flukish," Jacobson says. "I was sitting in the studio on a boring Saturday, and the idea just came to me, so I went with it. I didn't think it would get any play outside of the Morning Show, but everybody's showing me a lot of love."
With requests pouring in for "Kobe Inn," the station is now playing the song several times a day. "My little two-minute nothing has turned into something that people are requesting and talking about," says Jacobson, a communications major who has been fetching coffee and dressing up as the Morning Show's "Kash Kow" for more than a year.
"It's surreal. I've done what they needed me to do, and they've really allowed me to spread my wings," he says. "Hopefully, someday they'll give me a damn job. Just kidding!" Or maybe some royalties for the song, which goes like this:
Knee was actin' up, headed to Eagle County
for surgery, but I got groupies all around me.
I'm on my way, let me stop by the store
Get a twelve-pack of the Trojans, I'm talking magnum gold, ya know?
Now I'm on highway I-70 'bout to get me some
balls already numb, 'cause Vanessa won't give me none.
Pull up. Stop. Park. See this blonde grinnin'
Chick gon' get it like Michael Jackson be gettin' at children.
Yeah that's me, Kobe Bean, equipped with much ding-a-ling
Wifey with kids, she won't suspect a thing.
I just came to cut, and get away with it
and now I'm crying like a bitch at my arraignment.
(Whatcha doin?) Kobe chillin' at the Holiday Inn
(Who you with?) Sure not my wife, some chick that gets off at ten.
(What we gon' do?) Get on each other with or without consent
One thing leading to another, now I got indicted.
Stop, drop, kaboom, only rubbed on her nipples
now compared to R. Kelly a.k.a. Mr. Tinkles.
Now I'm sinking, swimming in shoes made out of cement
cause my dumbass forgot to sign a prenuptial agreement.
Half of my bling, plus Vanessa taking my things
till I bought her off with a 4 million dollar ring.
Gullible hoe, should know, that I would do it again
Assuming these crackers acquit me and I stay out the pen.
Anyway, until that day I'll keep a grin on my face
and keep on lying, Shaq is crying, Lakers sit in last place.
And in the end, guilty or not, the truth will come out one day.
Till then I'll distract your attention
Did I mention Scottie Pippen's gay?
Hit the lights: Even the City of Denver has been paying special attention to body parts. For the past month, the Denver City and County Building has been lit up like an Easter egg, all bright pink and in your face. And why?
This is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and City Hall is very aware of breast cancer. In fact, it's one of just two causes for which the city's director of public office buildings, Dan Barbee, will change the color scheme of the approximately 30,000 bulbs that light the building. This month City Hall twinkles pink for breasts; last month it shone blue for balls, to mark Prostate Cancer Awareness Month. And coming soon, of course, is the annual holiday display, which incorporates every color under the rainbow -- and a few that nature never imagined.
"The displays of pink and blue for breast- and prostate-cancer awareness are the only other times when we install lights on the building, mainly due to budget restrictions," says Barbee, who estimates that it takes about 120 hours of labor to complete the color change. "Obviously, we can't spend all of our time putting up lights."
But former mayor Wellington Webb directed Barbee to ignore the budget in favor of those two causes. "It's been directed by the mayor's office as to what we do," Barbee says. "Prostate cancer was added a few years back, when Mayor Webb underwent prostate surgery."
Now it's breast cancer's turn. And that pink glow is a much more tasteful reminder of the disease than a certain sign outside Glendale strip club Shotgun Willie's, which noted that "October is Breast Awareness Month."
Go speed racer: Anyone who's watched the ten o'clock news on Channel 4 recently couldn't miss the fact that the station "exposed" the illegal drag racing that's been happening right here on Denver's mean streets. (Really? Who knew?) But KCNC hasn't shared this little detail with viewers: Just like the lead-footed kids, nighttime anchor Molly Hughes knows all about the smell of burning rubber -- and not just from the professional side of the camera.
On June 7, Denver Police Department traffic officer John Falco was helping prestigious passengers with the International Conference of Mayors get on and off buses at the Adam's Mark Hotel when he saw two cars peel off the line at 15th Street and Court Place. After racing approximately seventy feet, one car slowed down. But the black 1998 BMW 740 IL kept going until another officer pulled it over a block later. When Falco went to assist, he was stunned to find Molly Hughes riding shotgun in the BMW. Her husband, John Butler, was charged with drag racing, driving under the influence, reckless driving and driving without proof of insurance.
Cancel that APB: In the October 23 Off Limits, we reported on the recent activities of the Denver mayoral candidates who lost to John Hickenlooper -- but Ari Zavaras, the early frontrunner in that race, was MIA. Last week, though, the former Denver lawman resurfaced. He's been holed up at home since the election, he says, and will have a big announcement of his future plans sometime soon. And it will involve something in the private sector -- a switch for Zavaras, whose career has included stints as a Denver cop, Denver police chief, head of the Colorado Department of Corrections and Denver Manager of Safety.
And, oh, yeah, like the other also-rans we interviewed, Zavaras says he's happy, very happy, with his post-campaign life.
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss Westword's biggest stories.