Chump Change

"Suit up, you chump," a fan uttered to Denver Nuggets forward Kenyon Martin as K-Mart sat injured on the bench last Wednesday evening, watching his team do battle with the Chicago Bulls. And while Martin may not have had any part in the Nuggets' eventual 110-107 loss, he mirrored his team's lousy performance by losing his cool. Hearing the "chump" comment, fans report, he turned around and, Mob style, signaled a friend in the stands to take care of the situation.

Donald Miller told the Denver Post that Martin's friend first made a remark to him about his weight and said, "You're going to get hurt, white boy." Not me, Miller responded, pointing behind him -- it was that guy. So Martin's boy made his way two rows up to fan Ronald Souza and politely requested that he shut his mouth before he got his ass beat. 'Nuff said, one would think, but not the case. After the game, according to the Denver Police Department, "K. Martin" and two associates got into a "short verbal exchange" with one of the men involved in the earlier incident, then left the Pepsi Center.

On the media hot seat, Martin didn't deny having a friend in the stands -- but claimed he didn't tell him what to do. "I know the guy, but I didn't direct nobody to go into the stands," he said. "I was watching the game." Regardless of his protestations, Martin was handed a $15,000 fine by the NBA for a profanity-laced tirade during a post-Bulls-game autograph session that was observed and subsequently narced by ESPN analyst and former Denverite Jim Gray. Seems a few Nuggetitos took home some new words along with their K-Mart tag that evening -- and "chump" wasn't the least of them.

K-Mart, baby, what exactly made you fly off the handle like that? Off Limits has a few ideas:

Emboldened by three or four overpriced beers, fan had the audacity to shout, "K-Mart -- more like K-Fart!"

Gaggle of math nerds kept announcing portion of Martin's seven-year, $92.5 million contract wasted per TV timeout.

Wasn't exactly "Suit up, you chump," but more like "S-s-s-suit up, y-y-y-you chump," and that just ain't right.

Scott Hastings kept walking by and pinching him.

After 9,000 consecutive clumsy passes from Altitude's Julie Browman, you'd lose your shit, too.

Motherfuckers be talking shit? K-Mart gonna let 'em know. Period.

We've been framed! The Best of Denver 2006 is coming right up (see page 36), but we're still finding fallout from the Best of Denver 2005. After that luminous lineup was announced, many winners got calls from someone asking if they wanted a plaque to commemorate their award -- and when they said yes, found themselves hit with a $150 charge. No, it wasn't the Off Limits staff trying to pad our drinking expense accounts; it was a company by the name of Global Media Resources, trying to pad its own accounts.

An Off Limits operative heard this same sad tale when she delivered an official Best of Denver plaque -- made free for each winner, and if you didn't get yours last year, e-mail [email protected] -- to Moxie Hair Co. , at 200 East 13th Avenue. "We already got it," said puzzled stylist Chris/Chi-Chi Franz, pointing to a framed award in the window. When our operative told Franz about the phonies, he replied, "Oooh, when Felipe hears about this, he's gonna go Puerto Rican on their asses."

Yes, you could say that Moxie owner Felipe Perez was pissed. But he kept his cool. He called Global, told them he wanted to order more work, and invited a rep to his salon. When she arrived, a Moxie employee surreptitiously took her photo with a cell phone while Perez escorted her into his office.

"Now, I'm gonna tell you some things that are probably gonna freak you out," he then said. "It's gonna be some good stuff and some bad stuff. My employee just took a picture of you. I'm going to send it to the cops and tell them you scammed us for that plaque if you don't refund some of the money I gave you. It's a nice plaque, and I like it. You can keep the cost of it, but I want the profit you made back. I heard that you called a lot of other businesses and did the same thing. Now, if I was the only one who misunderstood you, I'd say, ŒSure -- go ahead and keep the money. I was stupid enough to fall for it.' But I wasn't. I want my money this week, or I'm going to the cops with my story and your picture."

The Global rep insisted she was just helping a friend who was out of town but said she would see what she could do. The refund check for the full amount arrived at Moxie the next day.

Felipe, we like your style -- and you're an early contender for Best Revenge.

Scene and not heard: Looks like the fat lady will sing at the February 16 Bennett school board meeting for Tresa Waggoner, the music teacher who had the nerve -- the nerve!! -- to show clips from a hand-puppet video version of Faust to elementary-school kids (Off Limits, February 9). For her next performance, we'd like to recommend Francis Poulenc's The Dialogue of the Carmelites, wherein French Revolution-era nuns resist authority and take a vow of martyrdom rather than abandon their convent when ordered to do so by police. The opera ends with the good sisters going one by one to the guillotine (complete with chopping sounds).

At least it's only Waggoner's job on the chopping block.

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