Drunk of the Week

I firmly believe that if I were in charge, this world would be a much better place -- for me, at least. I wouldn't get chest pains over lousy drivers, idiots who take more than five minutes to order coffee, Average Joe, not having four NFL games on every Sunday because TV schedulers in Denver don't realize that several other pro teams are watched by all the non-natives that Colorado natives always bitch about, and those annoying jingles for Chili's.

So in an effort to improve things for me and those who hang out with me, I'm announcing my candidacy for the office of Mayor of Denver. You may think this announcement a little premature since the next election is still a few years out, but I plan to pick up the pace by calling for the resignation and/or impeachment of Mayor John Hickenlooper.

Now, I like the current mayor. He seems like a regular guy who knows how to get things done, and he didn't get bogged down in the political quagmire that usually makes voters regret their choice within two months of an election. Hickenlooper has run successful businesses -- businesses based on beer -- and he uses that business sense to govern our city. Thanks to our mayor, I can finally hang out in LoDo on Sundays and not have to run back to my car to feed the parking meter after each beer.


1634 18th Street)

But there are certain things humans do not do -- ever. We do not steal from or kill one another. We do not hit a parked car and leave without placing a note on the victim's dashboard. We do not change the channel during the last two minutes of a game. We do not hold up the line at Starbucks at six in the morning ordering something that is technically not even coffee. We do not leave our cell phones on in a movie theater. We do not mess with a guy's alcohol.

The mayor, a man who built his fortune serving alcohol to the masses, apparently condones this worst of human offenses. Because a few weeks ago, when I was at his Wynkoop Brewing Co. (1634 18th Street) -- Denver's oldest brewpub and home of the annual Beer Drinker of the Year competition (winner gets a lifetime of free Wynkoop beer!) -- I ordered a Jack and Coke and got a watered-down Jack and Coke.

If this had occurred later in the night, 1) I might not have noticed as the result of terminally insulted tastebuds, or 2) I might have recognized it as a preliminary step to being cut off for questionable sportsmanship while playing Full Contact Death Shuffleboard. (We here at the Institute of Drinking Studies believe that if we actually remember being cut off, then we were nowhere near drunk enough to warrant revocation of our basic right to get obnoxiously drunk.)

Anyway, a bunch of us -- including the Head of Research and the Researcher Who Joins Us as Often as Family and Conscience Allow, had gone to the Wynkoop not realizing that this night would forever change Denver's future. I like the Wynkoop and have compromised my political aspirations there on several occasions. The brewpub makes great beer. I'm especially fond of the porter, which tastes like ambrosia and hits your gut and consciousness like a sledgehammer.

For people with lighter tastes, the Wynkoop may even serve Zima. But I doubt it: The mayor's just too good a man. The food is excellent, too, and with some of the kitchen's appetizers and a few porters on board, you can expect to be your own weapon of mass destruction the next day, if you catch my drift. And once you finally drag yourself away from the bar and up the stairs, you'll find pool tables, darts and, of course, Full Contact Death Shuffleboard.

But all of this good atmosphere and good beer and good food counted for nothing once I received a Jack and Coke that tasted like cough syrup. So I'm basing my candidacy on the following platform:

• Light-beer drinking will be punished with thorough rehabilitation. Those failing the treatment course will be shipped to Aurora.

• The FCC will be replaced with a hotline that can dispatch someone to a complainant's home to turn off the radio/TV until the complainant stops his pathetic whining.

• I will police the streets by arming myself and my close friends with neutron-type bombs that can destroy people and cars but not the surrounding buildings.

• Starbucks will be required to institute a two-line policy: one for coffee drinkers and one for snotty people.

• Everyone in Cherry Creek will be forced to lighten up or they will be shipped to Aurora.

• People who run around Washington Park in inappropriate spandex attire will be incarcerated until they realize that almost everyone in spandex looks like Jabba the Hutt or Hugo the Inappropriately Bulging Circus Freak.

• Women who insist on communicating via the "Twenty Questions" method will be locked in a room with an inquisitive two-year-old until they're cured.

• Meter maids will be retrained as sewage-farm attendants, and parking tickets will be abolished. City revenue will be generated by my friends ticketing all the police cruisers, mail carriers and bus drivers caught driving just under the speed of sound.

• Finally, to bring tax relief to Denver's citizens, I will mandate that all of our federal tax forms be sent to our congressional representatives to fill out, because they're the ones perpetuating the system that makes me want to set my hair on fire every year. All citizens whose state returns are lost in cyberspace will be allowed to send one actual virus of their choice to the Colorado Department of Revenue.

I know some of these positions are extreme, but I think that reasonable Denver residents will respond to my tough love. Mr. Mayor doesn't stand a chance.

But I'll give him one, anyway. He's got several other bars in town, and while I love the Goosetown Tavern, I've been sort of thrown out of the Cherry Cricket. Since he could take the swing votes at the Pearl Street Grill, the Wazee Supper Club, Red Room and the Appaloosa, I'll promise to withdraw my candidacy if he will name me honorary Beer Drinker of the Year.


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