God, it seemed like 2:30 p.m. would never come Monday at the State Capitol. While Senate president Joan Fitz-Gerald blah, blah, blahed and Speaker of the House Andrew Romanoff droned on and on about only, like, the most boring stuff ever in the history of the whole entire universe, senators and representatives sat smacking their gum loudly, their heads in their hands as they watched the seconds tick slowly away on the clock. Ugh, this is painful. Did that minute hand just move backwards? I don't think this day will ever freaking end! But they all knew it would, and there was no mistaking the latent excitement pulsating through everyone in the room, the potential energy stored just beneath the surface. Mere moments before the close of the 2005 session of the Colorado Legislature, Senator Bob Hagedorn, D-Arapahoe, could be seen two-waying Senator Ken Gordon, D-Denver, about whether or not his parents had gone out of town and if the party was still on. In the back row, Representative Dorothy Butcher, R-Pueblo, was scribbling the name of her crush in her Trapper Keeper and drawing pictures of herself on a beach. Other lawmakers traded yearbooks and scrawled acronyms like "K.I.T." and "B.F.F." Senator Ron Tupa, D-Boulder, signed every single yearbook with "Keep on keeping on," which people totally noticed.
Then the bell rang, and all hell broke loose.
Alice Cooper's "School's Out for Summer" inexplicably blared in the background as representatives, senators and aides leapt down the Capitol steps. Some tore up their notebooks and assignments, joyously throwing papers in the air. Others hugged each other and screamed. One senator, for no reason other than he was fired up, kicked a homeless guy right in the face! An assistant chief clerk tossed the shoebox diorama of A Catcher in the Rye that she'd worked on for two months under the wheels of a #15 bus, and an unruly gaggle of Senate Republicans piled into the bed of a red pickup truck, sucking down beers as they headed off to go haze next year's incoming senators and representatives.
Wait -- that was Dazed and Confused.
Colorado's citizen legislature ended its grueling five-month session on May 11, and whether lawmakers celebrated in the manner previously described -- which we like to think checks in at right around 99.3 percent accurate -- or in other, more diplomatic, politic ways (read: swilling gin at Duffy's and making inappropriate, clumsy passes at waitresses), the fact remains that we can close the book on another year of state lawmaking. And what a year it was! The first Democratic legislature in 44 years had its hands full for the last four months, and not just with intern ass. A few highlights from the past session (in no particular order):
February 14: Senator Ron Teck of Grand Junction delivers stirring proponent speech on bill proposing more frequent renewal of driver's licenses while simultaneously devouring full rack of barbecued ribs
April 28: After irrelevantly banning alcohol without liquid, or AWOL, machines, devices entirely non-existent in Colorado, Governor Bill Owens drafts measure restricting freedom of movement for Bobbie Fischer, dinosaurs
April 11: Snow Day
January 8: In heroic, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington-like effort to slow legislation to allow time to right a grave injustice, Senator Tom Wiens attempts to speak extemporaneously for 24 consecutive hours. Reaches hour sixteen before realizing it's Saturday.
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March 15: Congressman from Greeley kindly asked to make state stop smelling like shit
January 18: Rancher Jim Isgar, Senator for Archuleta, Dolores, La Plata, Montezuma, Montrose, Ouray, San Juan and San Miguel counties, soundly ignored
February 28: Representative Bill Cadman shakes hands, hugs and apologizes to Representative Valentin Vigil after exclaiming in a heated moment days prior, "If you try that again, I'll ram my fist up your ass!" (Note to reader: funny because actually true)
Have a kick-ass summer, Colorado Legislature, and K.I.T!