Calhoun: Wake-Up Call

Let's Talk Embarrassing

Bad enough that Colorado actually paid money for an awful, out-of-date tourism campaign that sounds like an old Joan Rivers shtick: Let's Talk Colorado.

But can we talk about what that campaign's sending out to would-be tourists? Today an e-mail newsletter arrived from the Colorado Tourism Office, with handy links to a letstalkcolorado.com site that advises you on how to talk like a Coloradan and offers a glossary of local terms. "Rattlecakes," for example, are like crab-cakes, but made of rattlesnake (tastes like chicken). Click to learn more about Colorado dining, and you get this hilariously overwritten (and under-proofed) description of Rocky Mountain oysters:

Plainly told, these are bovine testicles. No use hiding the fact, or beating ‘round the bush about it. But don’t let this anatomical fact dissuade you from ordering it off the menu. When prepared by a knowledgeable chef, Rocky Mountain oysters are first-rate delicacies.

Most preparations are straightforward. They’re cut into thin strips, battered in flower and herbs, and pan or deep-fried. And the taste? Well, it usually depends on the seasoning used in the batter, but it has often been likened to fried oysters — hence it’s apropos name.

Personally, we like our bull's balls dipped in ground columbines. But then, we're traditionalists. -- Patricia Calhoun

An addendum: Let's talk fast work! A half-hour after I called the state tourism office regarding the flower/flour problem, that error was corrected. Would that we could wipe out the entire "Let's Talk" campaign as quickly. -- pbc

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun