Rocky Me, Baby

Sometimes the pressures of being America's Hero can get to you.

That's why Tom, who has spent half of his fifty years as a professional fireman, has a semi-secret hobby: He dresses up as Dr. Scott in a show featuring a rockin' transvestite.

"I need to blow off a little steam, to relax," he says.

Each Saturday, the Greeley-area resident gathers an elaborate costume -- including a special wheelchair -- and heads to Denver to perform at a midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Tiffany Plaza 6.

But this Halloween will find Tom, along with other devotees, doing the Time Warp (get that pelvic thrust going!) in the confines of the Denver Coliseum for a Retro Time Warp Halloween. And while he prefers not to have his last name mentioned -- it can be a bit odd for his career -- he is proud to participate while the familiar, campy plot unfolds on the screen, as it has countless times since the cult movie's release in 1975.

Tom, who has seen the flick more than 400 times, sees it as a way to bond with fans and "Rocky Horror virgins," as first-timers are called.

"It's a worldwide family," he says.

And that family continues to grow, says Caroline Rodica, another regular who leaves her Denver day job as a lawyer behind to go undercover.

Although the interactive nature of the show hasn't changed since the beginning, the lines have.

"We stay current with news and events," Caroline says. "If everybody was using the call-back lines of 1975, it would grow old. But people have such a great time and shout out new things. There's an Osama bin Laden line."

And that, fans say, is why Rocky Horror is timeless.

"Growing old is inevitable," says Tom. "But growing up is optional."