Those queers at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center don't wipe with just any toilet paper. No, they use sheets from The Homophobe Book, otherwise known as "a roll call of political stinkers." Printed on this exclusive tissue are drawings of Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, Jesse Helms and Sam Nunn, along with shitty quotes from those well-known anti-gay crusaders. (Schlafly: "Distributing condoms in public schools is 'teaching safe sodomy.'" Buchanan: "Gays have waged war on nature...AIDS is nature's retribution on gays." Helms: "Homosexuals are trying to force their way into undeserved respectability." Nunn: "My gays in the military policy?...We don't ask and they don't tell...keep on hiding.") A case of the paper was donated to the center about a year ago by a local entrepreneur who had originally tried to market it at the 1993 gay and lesbian March on Washington; he was apparently less than flush with success, and the leftover boxes sat in a Denver garage for the next few years before they were discovered and distributed to local gay organizations. "We proudly use it every day," says Mike Smith, the service center's executive director. "It makes going to the toilet a politically correct experience." You might say it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Kiss my ass." The tissue does get lots of comments, Smith says, though some of them are kind of crappy: "It's not the softest toilet paper. We get complaints about quality -- but it's for a good cause, so people use it."

Those queers at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center don't wipe with just any toilet paper. No, they use sheets from The Homophobe Book, otherwise known as "a roll call of political stinkers." Printed on this exclusive tissue are drawings of Phyllis Schlafly, Pat Buchanan, Jesse Helms and Sam Nunn, along with shitty quotes from those well-known anti-gay crusaders. (Schlafly: "Distributing condoms in public schools is 'teaching safe sodomy.'" Buchanan: "Gays have waged war on nature...AIDS is nature's retribution on gays." Helms: "Homosexuals are trying to force their way into undeserved respectability." Nunn: "My gays in the military policy?...We don't ask and they don't tell...keep on hiding.") A case of the paper was donated to the center about a year ago by a local entrepreneur who had originally tried to market it at the 1993 gay and lesbian March on Washington; he was apparently less than flush with success, and the leftover boxes sat in a Denver garage for the next few years before they were discovered and distributed to local gay organizations. "We proudly use it every day," says Mike Smith, the service center's executive director. "It makes going to the toilet a politically correct experience." You might say it gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "Kiss my ass." The tissue does get lots of comments, Smith says, though some of them are kind of crappy: "It's not the softest toilet paper. We get complaints about quality -- but it's for a good cause, so people use it."

No, it's not nice, and, yes, you can get arrested, but covering the houses in the Denver Country Club/Polo Grounds neighborhoods with toilet paper in post-midnight raids is an age-old tradition in Denver. And for good reason: There are lots of places to hide behind well-trimmed bushes and stone entry gates, there are no major streets with long sight lines for roving eyes, and the professional landscaping, branchy old trees and grand homes afford many excellent ledges that a well-thrown roll of toilet paper can easily latch on to. Best of all, there's no reason to feel sorry for the very wealthy people who live here after you've TP'd their manors; they'll just have their staffs remove the offending paper products in the morning.
No, it's not nice, and, yes, you can get arrested, but covering the houses in the Denver Country Club/Polo Grounds neighborhoods with toilet paper in post-midnight raids is an age-old tradition in Denver. And for good reason: There are lots of places to hide behind well-trimmed bushes and stone entry gates, there are no major streets with long sight lines for roving eyes, and the professional landscaping, branchy old trees and grand homes afford many excellent ledges that a well-thrown roll of toilet paper can easily latch on to. Best of all, there's no reason to feel sorry for the very wealthy people who live here after you've TP'd their manors; they'll just have their staffs remove the offending paper products in the morning.
The most captivating thing about this new park along the South Platte River is that it doesn't disguise what it used to be: a sewage-treatment plant. Instead of tearing down all the ponds and sluices that had been used to treat Denver's waste, the park's designers opted to save some money by simply filling them in, leaving an intriguing patchwork of concrete walls and steps that blend right in. What was once the edge of a sewage tank is now a place to sit and have a picnic, and rows of trees fill up former filtration ponds. Immediately to the west of the park is the Heron Pond Natural Area, a wetland teeming with wildlife that somehow managed to survive in the midst of a heavily industrialized district. This park has given the long-neglected Globeville neighborhood a new jewel and turned an eyesore into a green space that still honors the industrial legacy of the site.
The most captivating thing about this new park along the South Platte River is that it doesn't disguise what it used to be: a sewage-treatment plant. Instead of tearing down all the ponds and sluices that had been used to treat Denver's waste, the park's designers opted to save some money by simply filling them in, leaving an intriguing patchwork of concrete walls and steps that blend right in. What was once the edge of a sewage tank is now a place to sit and have a picnic, and rows of trees fill up former filtration ponds. Immediately to the west of the park is the Heron Pond Natural Area, a wetland teeming with wildlife that somehow managed to survive in the midst of a heavily industrialized district. This park has given the long-neglected Globeville neighborhood a new jewel and turned an eyesore into a green space that still honors the industrial legacy of the site.
In a city with its share of things that smell bad -- the Purina facility, the stock show grounds and the police department, to name a few -- it's a welcome relief every so often to sniff something sweet. To that end, when the wind is just right, the Jolly Rancher plant gives off the tantalizing scents of grape, apple, watermelon and other fruity fragrances that fold down out of Wheat Ridge and settle in northwest Denver. The company, which was founded in Colorado in 1942 by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, is now owned by Hershey. It produces fifteen million pieces of candy a day. Just call it aromatherapy that doesn't suck!
In a city with its share of things that smell bad -- the Purina facility, the stock show grounds and the police department, to name a few -- it's a welcome relief every so often to sniff something sweet. To that end, when the wind is just right, the Jolly Rancher plant gives off the tantalizing scents of grape, apple, watermelon and other fruity fragrances that fold down out of Wheat Ridge and settle in northwest Denver. The company, which was founded in Colorado in 1942 by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen, is now owned by Hershey. It produces fifteen million pieces of candy a day. Just call it aromatherapy that doesn't suck!

Readers' choice: 2001

Readers' choice: 2001

Best Of Denver®

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