Off Limits

There's always room for Jello.

Boulder High students provoked a talk-radio frenzy, not to mention a visit from the Secret Service, when one of the acts at a school-sponsored talent show proposed to perform as the Taliband. To defuse this ludicrous controversy, the fledgling musicians ultimately changed their group's appellation to Coalition of the Willing, and on November 12, they played a punk-rock version of Bob Dylan's "Masters of War" without provoking either widespread rioting or mass depression among the state's aging folk-music fans.

If the Taliband moniker made certain people uncomfortable, imagine how they'd deal with a slew of other band handles -- beginning with the Dead Kennedys, started by Boulder High's own Jello Biafra, born Eric Boucher in 1958. Twenty years later, Biafra left Boulder for San Francisco, where he ran for mayor in 1979 with the slogan "There's Always Room for Jello." But there wasn't always room for Boulder's prodigal son: An ardent opponent of Tipper Gore, he went on trial in 1985 for distributing "harmful matter" in the Dead Kennedys' album Frankenchrist. After the jury deadlocked, the judge declared a mistrial and dropped the charges. But the damage was done, and the band broke up soon after, with Biafra moving on to a solo career as a spoken-word artist. Had Jello become president -- some Green Party members nominated him at their 2000 convention in Denver -- the Secret Service would have had bigger fish to fry than a few Boulder teenagers.

Prudey pants certainly wouldn't enjoy Jello's work on If Evolution Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Evolve?, or as frontman with the group Lard on The Power of Lard. But then, listeners with especially tender dispositions wouldn't be pleased by the names of such lesser-known Colorado bands as the Damn Shambles, Hell Camino and God Rifle, either -- although the idea of the Creator packing heat might please the NRA. Dictator Tot's moniker should annoy both anti-fascists and haters of frozen potatoes, whereas World War II experts and drug-treatment advocates alike would have problems with Anne Frank on Crank. People who believe that certain body parts simply shouldn't be mentioned in mixed company would be up in arms over Sci-Fi Uterus and Foreskin 500, while those with below-average skills in the bedroom would feel ridiculed by the Legendary 4-Nikators.

For individuals with unusually small hat sizes and an exaggerated fear of clowns, Pinhead Circus would deliver a double whammy. Animal-lovers who take their affection to the next level would face the same dilemma with Whores, Pigs and Ponies, and the labels chosen by the Hate Fuck Trio and Fuck Yo Punk Ass are more than capable of making your mom's blood pressure rise. As for those observers with extremely twisted minds, they'd surely see references to both vomiting and defecation in the name of singer-songwriter Chuck Pyle. Of course, we may be the only ones who qualifyŠ

By these standards, the Taliband is kids' stuff -- especially since none of the combo's members changed his name to, say, Al Kida or Ben Laudin. There's no telling what talk radio could have done with that.

What a tangled web: Election commissions around the state were counting, counting, counting provisional ballots up until the last minute this week. And the results areŠ

Non-existent, if you check out the Colorado Secretary of State's website, where, on November 16, the Election Center homepage ( still trumpeted "new" by the link to the results for the August 10 primary. (FYI, Ken Salazar beat Mike Miles for the Democratic nomination for U.S. Senate.) And when might we see something, anything, about the November 2 election?

By November 24, promises the Elections Division, which sent the relevant statutes along with that target date. First, according to 1-10-103, all county clerks must submit "the portion of the abstract of votes cast" to the secretary of state no later than the sixteenth day after an election.

Still, that doesn't explain why the secretary of state's office failed to put the non-official numbers up earlier. The Denver Election Commission, for example, had its unofficial results -- minus provisional ballots -- up within hours of the polls closing.

But then, who's counting?

No-tell hotel: After 92 years of Crowe family ownership, the Holiday Chalet changed hands last April, when local fashion designer and boutique owner Crystal Sharp bought the storied B&B at 1820 East Colfax Avenue.

The grandfather of Denver legend Margot Crowe bought the mansion in 1912 as an investment, but after he died several years later, her grandmother turned it into a boardinghouse for widows. Margot Crowe grew up in the house, and as she changed, so did the Holiday Chalet -- into what is now a ten-room, high-end guest house catering to tourists and conventioneers.

After spending most of her life at the Holiday Chalet -- she became an assistant manager at seven -- Crowe now lives in Boulder, where she reproduces and sells china that her grandmother, Ida Lindsey, created. And Holiday guests are greeted by Sharp, who is better known for her fashionable South Broadway shop, SheShe. "The Holiday Chalet is a legend that I have no plans on changing," Sharp says. "But it's kind of scary, because it's sort of a dying business. My goal and my job here is to make it thrive. I've put a lot of emphasis in the tea room, and, of course, I added a gift shop -- you know how I am."  

And if you don't, stop in for tea some time at the Holiday Chalet, just a scone's throw from many beloved Colfax dives.

What's So Funny?

By Adam Cayton-Holland

Oh, Melo, how could you? As if it wasn't enough that you bombed -- pardon the terrorist overtone -- at the 2004 Summer Olympics, you had to get busted with marijuana, and now you have a date with the judge on November 22. Marijuana?! That stuff's not for lightweights, Melo, that's the gateway drug. Next stop, Dead Prostitute Lane with a needle sticking out of your arm and Lebron James crying himself to sleep every night because he misses you so badly. Do you have any idea how many lives that drug has ruined, how many episodes of Three's Company have become insufferably hilarious because of it? I could see a loose cannon like that Yao Ming pulling something like this, but you? The lackadaisical, bleary-eyed, cornrow-having, throwback-headband-wearing, ever-smiling sophomore in the NBA? It just doesn't add up.

Psych! It adds up perfectly.

There are certain people in this world who just smoke weed. You take one look at them and you know it. Walk into Sancho's Broken Arrow on a Saturday night, and you'll see people who smoke weed. They're bearded and they're dancing to bad jam music, and they're high and nobody cares. Nor should they. Woody Harrelson? Smokes weed. Dave Chappelle? Smokes weed. Hickenlooper? Blazes thrice daily in the back of Champ Bailey's Escalade.

Same with Carmelo Anthony. The first time I set eyes on that dude, I knew he had seen his way into a few Philly blunt rotations in his day. And that's fine. Who cares?

Everybody, of course. It was as if they had caught Melo with two third-graders in a windowless van, not with a small amount of weed he probably intended to smoke with his friends while playing PlayStation 2.

Why can't we instead focus on all the man has achieved for this city? How he was Denver's first sports star since Terrell Davis to go on Letterman. How he brought MTV's Cribs to Denver to tour his pimp pad. How he executed that clutch, last-minute jumper against the Trailblazers last season that sent the Nuggets to the playoffs for the first time in years. And Melo's achievements become all the more impressive when you realize he could very well have been high for many of them. Just like when that Canadian snowboarder got his medal taken away. No one ever stops to thinks that drug addiction makes athletic feats more noteworthy.

So I'll play the game. I'll swallow the excuse that it was Melo's friend James "Slim" Cunningham who put the weed in the bag, even though that's the oldest excuse in the book. ("It's not my three-foot bong and quarter bag, Mom. That kid Brian left it in the car one time when I gave him a ride home from the speech meet.") And if I can buy that, surely the judge can buy the official (so far) version of the story, which is as follows:

Cunningham has a meeting in Denver and lets himself into Anthony's studio loft. He borrows one of the hundreds of promotional bags lying around (gifts from companies hoping to land an endorsement), fills it with his possessions, including the diggity-dank-dank, and heads out. When his meeting's over, he returns with the bag, unloads all belongings except the stank-chiggity-chiv-chiv, and goes on his merry way. Then Melo, back from Colorado Springs and en route to a pre-season game in Los Angeles, picks up the same bag, unaware that it's now full of bubonic-plate-tectonic-hydroponic chronic, and rolls to the airport, where he is promptly busted.

Just a series of highly believable coincidences. Duh. And while we're believing all these things, why not believe the rest of the ways Cunningham betrayed Carmelo Anthony's trust while #15 was away:

Let Gimp out of closet despite Carmelo's specific instructions not to.

Ate homemade empanadas and delicious Coca-Cola that Melo's mother sent for her son.  

Over-watered houseplants.

Pulled up carpet, lined entire floor with marijuana, recarpeted.

Put on Team USA 2004 jersey, benched self, sulked in corner.

Forgot to record Will & Grace.

Prank-called Darko Milicic eighteen times in twelve-hour span, despite terrified Eastern-European weeping on other end of phone.

Read all of Anthony's new comic books before he got to.

Traded 2003 NCAA Finals MVP Trophy straight up for three Chipotle burritos.

But don't sweat it, Melo. You just keep doing what you're doing. You're this town's new Elway. Tell it to the judge.

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