What's So Funny
It's getting so a whore can't even apply ointment to her festering lesions on Colfax these days without bumping into some yuppie on his way for a margarita. Used to be a time when the only businesses you could find on the 'Fax were pawnshops and methadone clinics, markets that gave free cigarettes to children with the purchase of comic books, and Chinese restaurants that didn't just serve dog, but advertised it. If you needed to see a man about killing a man, you didn't look up the number in the Yellow Pages; you went down to old 15th Avenue, and you took your pick. (I always chose Donny D's Man-Killing Fun Time Emporium -- not only were they professional and courteous, but they also had Skee-Ball. And their nachos were just delicious.) And every November, there were the heated elections for Hobo Mayor of Colfax Town, when homeless men by the thousands brandished broken bottles and used syringes in an orgiastic, shrieking battle royale for control of the coveted covered bus station outside the State Capitol. The excitement!
It was exactly as the street's namesake, Schuyler Colfax (vice president under Ulysses S. Grant), had envisioned it in his 1878 autobiography, Cursed Rickets:
"And that thoroughfare, born beneath the mountainous mountains of rocky peaks so high, seeing as it shall victual to prospectors, explorers, and men of chance, and whereas said men, in their sparse moments of recess and requiescence, require relief of an immediate and carnal conformation, let Colfax Way be a den of avarice, a cauldron of covetousness, a peccadillo wharf in a sea-storm of morality. Let not a man walk Colfax Way and wonder, &'Where shall I deposit my virility this eve, where may I encounter mine intoxicant?' for he shall find all he seeks on Colfax. Curse these vexatious rickets!"
And for a long time, that's pretty much how things went. Until the Blueprint Colfax: East Corridor Plan came along.
The Denver City Council adopted the measure last June, promising that it would emphasize a pedestrian environment while balancing the need for multiple modes of transportation in an effort to give Colfax an identity and a sense of place. Or, as the official announcement read, "Wah, wah, wah, I'm a big baby who is scared of Colfax. I went to a concert at the Bluebird, and the bum in the alley masturbating scared me. Boo hoo, it's a huge street, right in the heart of the city. We have to clean it up. I don't want my kids to see that, wah, wah, wah!"
Blueprint Colfax's efforts have been fast and widespread, and I have to admit that most are vast improvements. Coffee shops now bump elbows with weird electronic stores and stinky Ethiopian restaurants. New eateries and boutiques spring up daily. The Tattered Cover is even contemplating a move to Colfax.
These are all good things, but I fear we're getting carried away. It's now not an uncommon sight to see a murder of blond suburbanites LoDo-slumming their way down the 'Fax on a weekend night. Townhouse complexes swell up like infected sores. Bums are no longer content with change; they want cold, hard cash. And worst of all, they're planning a Colfax Marathon.
Colfax Marathon Partnership Inc. -- a joint effort of Aurora, Denver and Lakewood -- just announced that the inaugural Colfax Marathon is set for May 21, 2006. I understand the need to spit-shine the street's image a bit, but a 26.2-mile yuppie fun run? Look, there goes Oprah in the Colfax Marathon! That's like leveling Five Points and throwing up an REI. Hey, everyone, this area is crime-ridden! Who wants another dog park?
Still, a Colfax Marathon does offer these unique advantages for true sports enthusiasts:
Sporadic distribution of dead bodies along avenue ideal for placement of mileage-marking placards
For just the promise of a bottle of Jack, hobos will reliably bang out six to eight miles of race for you
Rare opportunity to see someone running down Colfax not being pursued by police
If Gatorade isn't getting the job done, crack readily available
Mayor of Lakewood Steve Burkholder will personally massage calves of every runner who enters his jurisdiction
Marathoners who lose control of bowels due to extreme physical duress no longer have to feel so ashamed
Know of any other marathon where you can run and check out reliable John Elway pre-owned vehicles?
Tired of all this running nonsense? How's a five-dollar blow job sound?
Top that, Boston.
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