Off Limits

If you see Lynne Bruning, founder of local fashion label The Girl's Gotta Have It, at the Burning Man festival in Nevada this week, be sure to tell her how fabulous her clothes are -- and they just might become yours.

"I'm going to use the clothes for barter," says Bruning, who makes clothes that are "girly-girl for braniacs." "I figure that the first person who comes up to me and says, 'I love that shirt. Where'd you get it?' -- I'm just going to take it off and hand it over."

But before you can get Bruning to strip, you're going to have to find the neurophysiologist-turned-artist-turned-architect-turned-designer, who's known less for partying down in the desert than she is for being at all the right art parties in her one-of-a-kind coats and dresses. Because much of this week, she'll be decked out in fire gear as the official photo-documentarian for Fire Camp, the fifty-person team of firefighters from around the country who watch over the Burning Man festivities -- fifteen of whom are volunteer firefighters with the Boulder Rural Fire Department.

Bruning snagged the plum assignment when she was having drinks at a Boulder bar and ran into Hugh Kane and some of the other fire boys. They were lamenting that the woman who was scheduled to act as shutter babe, a fellow firefighter, wasn't going to be able to make it -- so Bruning gamely raised her hand. "This is the perfect way to attend Burning Man, for me," she says. "I remember being in Barcelona with pneumonia and being totally freaked out. This way I know exactly who will be taking care of me come morning. Plus, I just have to look for the big neon heart that identifies Fire Camp."

Bruning will have an all-access pass at Burning Man, as well as a pager, so that the fire chief, who's flying in from New Jersey, can make sure she gets the best shots of the best melees throughout the week. While the photos can't be used commercially, the various fire departments involved intend to use them for recruiting videos, documentaries and general memorabilia.

But the hometown boys don't need to worry about souvenirs from Burn 2004; Bruning's got them covered. She picked up some cheap cloth at Denver Fabric and has made each of the Boulder firefighters his very own brown-and-pink sarong for shimmying down the playa during parades and on visits to the kids' camp.

Look hot, be hot.

Cutting class: Because she supervises the yearbook staff at a local Catholic school, a teacher who prefers to remain nameless frequently gets mailings from outfits whose products can be sold by kids to help finance extracurricular projects. For that reason, our teacher wasn't surprised when she received a package from Myron, a Maywood, New Jersey, firm, last month. But she was shocked by what she found inside it. Instead of the personalized pens or pencils she expected, she discovered what the accompanying paperwork described as a "7-Function Sure Grip Knife" -- complete with the name of the school/parish already engraved on its side.

The idea of students peddling potential weapons as a fundraiser certainly puts a new spin on the school-violence debate -- particularly since just possessing one of these babies could get a student suspended from just about any Colorado school. But there's no denying the item's practicality. In addition to a "quality blade" capable of making that bully who gave you the finger do so literally, the Sure Grip features a bottle opener and a corkscrew so that young scholars won't have to choose between beer and wine. As a result, they can focus on more important things, like sprucing up their nails with the attached file or dismantling their desks with the Phillips screwdriver that's also included.

When a Myron representative was asked if the company, which advertises itself as "the leader in personalized business gifts," sells a lot of knives to schools, she stammered "No" before saying that "someone from the legal department" would phone back with a comment. We're still waiting for that call. In the meantime, the yearbook coordinator has decided not to purchase a passel of Sure Grips, despite the fact that they've been marked down from $3.77 to just $1.99 per knife.

She'd prefer that only the prices be slashed.

Scene and herd: A lovely blond chick got her first boner last week at the premiere of Spike and Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation when she sprawled out on stage and was gifted with a banana penis and a set of balls courtesy of Krispy Kreme (flavor undetermined). Her female friend had the honor of giving the gal her first blow job to commemorate local animator Patrick Mallek's entry into the fest, My First Boner. ... Local anti-Bush activist Jason Salzman made the Washington Post with his newest creation: silver nose clips for Naderites who'll be holding their noses and voting for John Kerry this November. Salzman, the co-author of 50 Ways You Can Show George the Door in 2004, is selling the stench-stoppers on for a $25 donation. "Nose clips are perfect for former Nader supporters, like us, who aren't thrilled with Kerry but understand how important it is to rid America of Bush," he says. "Now we can plug our noses and have our hands free to vote for John Kerry."

What's So Funny?

By Adam Cayton-Holland

In an episode from the third season of The Simpsons titled "Dog of Death," local news anchor Kent Brockman wins the Springfield Lottery. Sitting on his couch with losing lottery ticket in hand, bitter and dejected, Homer utters, "He might have all the money in the world, but there's one thing he can't buy." "What's that?" Bart asks. Homer thinks for a minute. "A dinosaur."

Like Brockman, conservative Colorado tycoon Philip Anschutz might have all the money in the world -- Forbes last estimated his fortune at $4.9 billion -- but that doesn't mean he can buy everything. He may own Qwest and the San Francisco Examiner, pipelines and railroads, sports teams and stadiums, golden unicorns and the rights to Clive Cussler's Dirk Pitt books, but one thing has eluded the reclusive mogul: cinematic success.

The Anschutz-owned Walden Media, a company "committed to producing entertainment that makes a real impact on young audiences, inspiring them to explore the world around them" -- that means guns, right? -- may have its foot in Hollywood's door but, as Matt LeBlanc will be able to tell you after Joey's glorious six-episode run, that don't mean a goddamned thing. In the dog-eat-dog world of film and television, it's results that matter, and Walden's numbers look about as good as Melo's Team USA stats.

The company's recent remake of Around the World in 80 Days, a feature that cost $110,000,000 and to date has brought in $23,519,011, is on the verge of making the creators of Waterworld look downright savvy. How could Walden have gone so wrong with Jackie Chan, an actor who would literally eat glass if he thought it would get an audience response? And what does the company have on deck? Because of Winn Dixie, the story of a lonely young girl who adopts an orphaned dog and how their bond helps bring together the townspeople and mends the girl's relationship with her troubled father. Oh, dear Lord. Phil, baby, it's sweet that you're looking out for the kiddies and all (and who better to do that than a former Amendment 2 backer?), but let's get real. You're dying out there.

The recent signing of "Doonesbury" creator Garry Trudeau to pen a Walden script was a smart move, and picking up the rights to The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was definitely a step in the right direction, but it's obvious that you're still in need of a little guidance. Fortunately, if there is one thing we here at What's So Funny? know, it's what the people want. Some tips for turning Walden into another appallingly successful Anschutz venture:

Saved by the Bell: The Reunion. Back in town for Screech's funeral after he overdoses on crystal meth, Zack accidentally knocks up Kelly in a drunken one-night stand. Only problem is, she's A.C. Slater's wife! Join Lisa, Jessie, Mr. Belding and the whole gang for one more unforgettable weekend in Bayside.

Between United Artists Theatre Company, Regal Cinemas and Edwards Theatres, you own roughly one-fifth of the nation's movie screens. That's not even close to a monopoly. Man up, Phil: It takes money to make money.

Four words: Matthew Perry, Bruce Willis. You can't fake that kind of chemistry.

Go with what you know: If Trump can make it with The Apprentice, your public will buy Managing Corporate Assets, the movie.

Screenplay treatment: Overprotective father babies only son, much to son's chagrin. On first day of school, son gets captured and imprisoned in tank halfway across the world. Father embarks on hilarious, cross-ocean journey, filled with peril, life lessons and encounters with colorful sharks and sea turtles, and eventually reunites with son. Both learn about love, growing up and letting go. Oh, and they're both fish. These things just come to us; we don't know how.

Apathy of the Christ: Three-and-a-half-hour feature in which Jesus just lies around bitching and eating grapes.

Gimmicks! With a ticket stub from an Anschutz film, fans receive a discount to see one of your Major League Soccer games! Everybody loves MLS. C'mon -- Freddy Adu? He's adorable.

Fellate Harvey Weinstein.

We don't want to drop names or anything, but we hear that Adam Cayton-Holland is sitting on a few scripts. You know you can just call him at Westword, right? Hey, you didn't hear it from us.


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