Off Limits

Scandal? What scandal? University of Colorado Buffs coach Gary Barnett says he'd "like to officially not acknowledge the word 'scandal,'" in connection with his team's sexual shenanigans -- and now, with former CU strong-safety Sean Traylor's new invention, any evidence of scandalous behavior will go right down the drain. Because Traylor's created the Liquid Condom -- or, as we prefer to call it, the Rubber Rubber.

The Liquid Condom is a "water-based lubricant that forms to the penis from head to base," Traylor explains, and comes in a toothpaste-like tube, from which a user can squeeze out a size-appropriate amount to either brush on the penis like a liquid Band-Aid or rub on like lube. And, oh, it tastes like grapefruit.

Traylor already has a patent number from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, but before his wet dream can be realized, he must find a manufacturer to make a Liquid Condom prototype and test it for such small details as, um, effectiveness. He says he's working with scientists at the joint Research Triangle Institute and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to do just that.

In the meantime, Traylor, who runs his own Denver marketing firm, has his sales pitch down pat. "It adds the fun back into the sex act," he says of his invention. "Even the younger people would get more involved in this." Not only will the Liquid Condom cut down on teenage pregnancy, he promises, but it'll do wonders for post-coital hygiene, since the condom only comes off with a thorough scrubbing -- and doesn't "dissolve in heat and rough activity."


Lesson learned: Wheat Ridge High School soon-to-be senior Alexsis Puttman stood on a street corner last Thursday and panhandled for her future. She and fifty fellow Jefferson County Public Schools students begged through the evening rush hour and brought home a grand total of $435.71 -- every penny of which they donated to school district superintendent Cindy Stevenson to help with Jeffco's $10 million budget shortfall for the 2004-05 school year.

"I exited Sixth Avenue on Indiana, and as I was approaching the stoplight, I saw this teenage girl standing behind a huge sign stating, 'I am begging for my future,'" e-mailed Kim Leonard. "I really wasn't looking at her closely and thought she was another homeless person panhandling. As I pulled up to the stoplight I did a double-take, not expecting to see a young, clean-looking girl step up to my car." When she did, the girl handed her a flier that said the students were raising funds because Jeffco schools are cutting back on teachers, arts and supplies. "I then felt very guilty," Leonard reported. "My daughter does not go to Jeffco schools, but I really respected these high school students out there trying to make a difference."

Even if they were breaking the law while doing so. Lakewood's anti-panhandling laws prohibit bumming change from people driving or riding in cars -- no matter that the cash might be going to a good cause. "There was a little run-in with the police in Lakewood," admits Nathan Havey, director of Y-Vote, the nonprofit that helped the students organize the stunt. "Some of the police told them they would have to get the panhandling off the signs, but if they were out to raise awareness, then they could stay. But a policeman at 32nd and Youngfield didn't really want to be lenient and told them all that they had to drive directly home. He got their information and contacted their parents. But all the parents already knew about it."

In fact, the parents had known about their kids' activities since they got involved with Y-Vote, a group started two years ago by Jeffco residents Debbie Benefield and Barb Ohms. "We were looking to find ways to civically engage the 18- to 24-year-old population," says Havey, who graduated from Lakewood High School in 2000 and was soon hired on as the director. "Unfortunately, if they're not already civically engaged by that age, there's not a lot you can do. So one of the things we began doing was recruiting high school students. I was going to schools and getting students to come to a meeting, and they told us they hadn't really been asked to be involved before. So I challenged the high school students to find a way to make politics cool for their friends."

Puttman and her friends picked panhandling -- which wouldn't have been Stevenson's first choice. "Thursday I'm in my office, and I've got people running in and out saying, ŒHave you seen the kids out there panhandling for Jefferson County Public Schools?'" the superintendent remembers. "Nathan's very involved in getting our younger generation involved in politics, but when he brought this up to our steering committee, I have to tell you, they all went, 'I don't think so.' We never would have condoned this as a strategy. I do not condone children out on street corners."

But she'll still take the $435.71 for the Quality Education Drive's mill-levy override and bond election.

Scene and herd: The state legislature may have banned the use of cell-phone cameras in locker rooms, but that hasn't deterred racy-lingerie maker Eyecandy from encouraging voyeurs to snap lewd photos. "Gotta pen camera, necklace camera, pc cam, cell phone camera -- anything digital that's small and sneaky for snapping pix?" the company urges on its website. "Use it to invade the privacy of others and then submit your masterpiece(s) to The riskier the content -- the better!" Deadline for submissions is August 1; the results will be unwrapped at a show opening August 6 at the Den Photography Gallery on Santa Fe Drive.

A whole lot of rubber and leather but not a lot of lace graced the Denver International Airport Holiday Inn two weeks ago. For the Thunder in the Mountains conference, the national S&M community rented out the whole damned place the weekend of July 17-18, turning executive conference areas such as the "elegant Durango Room" into full-scale dungeons. Holiday Inn's hold message isn't lying when it promises, "Our professional staff is dedicated to making your event a complete success" -- even when spanking is involved.

What's So Funny?

On July 22, after seven years and three design efforts, Denver officials unveiled the new, allegedly improved Skyline Park, along Arapahoe Street between 15th and 18th streets. New York-based landscape architect Thomas Balsley's winning proposal essentially leveled Lawrence Halprin's original 1970s design, transforming a former Denver asset into the architectural equivalent of a drive-thru. What had been a tree-lined, interesting enclosure is now a simple, street-level patch of grass.

"The sunken and hidden spaces of the old Skyline Park made it a dead park," asserted Anne Warhover, head of the Downtown Denver Partnership, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Not so the new Skyline: There's nothing more lively than watching brand-new, bright-green grass wilt under 300-year drought conditions. Others on the 22-member project committee praised the park's impressive sightlines, a series of clever angles that allow you to stare...straight ahead! As if into the future.

Although the remodeled park's advantages may appear unclear at first glance -- "seven million dollars just to put in a little piece of sod?" wondered one onlooker -- careful study reveals that the money was well spent. A few of the more overlooked features:

State-of-the-art roving security robots automatically capture and clean the homeless before releasing them onto prairie out by DIA.

A secret underground parking complex housing a Batmobile and Batplane helps Mayor Hickenlooper fight downtown crime more effectively.

Non-sunken, street-level design allows tourists coming off the 16th Street Mall quicker access to heroin.

Added green space provides precious grazing ground for endangered LoDo bison.

Park's empty expanses include room for ten to fifteen life-sized statues of Wellington Webb.

Dynamic sightlines across flat, grassy knoll afford breathtaking views of beige, meaningless clusterfuck of middle-downtown buildings.

Electromagnetic alarm system emits ear-piercing, high-frequency whistle audible only to skateboarders.

Groups of teenage transients have been replaced by more aesthetically pleasing decorative planters. -- Adam Cayton-Holland


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