Strange but True

The Letter of the Law

In February, state representative Jack Pommer of Boulder introduced the "Cellphone Peeping Tom Bill," which made it illegal to photograph another person's private parts without his or her consent.

A Lakewood Girl Scout troop successfully lobbied legislators to designate yule marble as the official state rock.

In June, the Boulder City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting the playing of percussion instruments, specifically bongos, on the Pearl Street Mall after midnight.

In 2005, it becomes a Class 2 misdemeanor to scratch a name, or anything at all, onto a cave wall, and punishable by up to $1,000 in fines.

Things Mayor John "I'd Go to the Opening of an Envelope" Hickenlooper Was Seen Doing in 2004

Climbing a rope in a dress shirt.

Boogying with First Lady Frances Owens to "I Will Survive."

Giving a holla from the stage as host of Cafe Nuba, a monthly spoken-word event in Five Points.

Introducing Slim Cessna's Auto Club at the Bluebird Theater.

Performing scenes from Peter and the Wolf in Civic Center Park.

Knocking over a tall stack of Styrofoam cups while trying to make a basketball swish shot with a Quizno's wrapper crumbled into a ball.

Leaping from a bulldozer (which was not piloted by Marvin Heemeyer).

Weird Science

The Environmental Protection Agency is currently investigating a freakish collection of fish that were pulled from the South Platte River and Boulder Creek two years ago: The white suckers have both male and female sex organs.

In April, a pulpit Bible and a pocket hymnal badly damaged in a church fire were restored in a high-tech freezer at Colorado State University. Named for a Chinese god believed to protect books from worms, insects and fire, the Wei T'o Book Dryer takes up forty cubic feet at CSU and can hold up to 200 books. The Bible and hymnal were frozen, then slowly drained of moisture over a three-month period.

A 54-year-old Jefferson County hospice worker told police that he sexually assaulted a terminally ill ten-year-old because he wanted her to experience pleasure before she died. The worker described three sexual encounters with the girl -- who was blind, deaf and nearly comatose -- as part of "an experiment."

Strange Weather

A microburst sent tents flying and spectators running for cover on the second afternoon of the fourth annual Dragon Boat Festival at Sloan's Lake in August.

In May, a pig, lamb and dog were killed when a tornado touched down in the southeastern Colorado town of Simla, picked up a modular home and dropped it 550 feet away.

A woman watching a Memorial Day tribute at Boulder's Folsom Field was injured when a skydiver, part of a group from Mile-Hi Skydiving that was supposed to touch down on the field, got thrown off course by the wind and landed on top of the woman sitting in the stands.

In April, an eight-ton boulder exploded through the wall of a Glenwood Springs home. The giant rock disintegrated an office desk, blasted apart walls and left a ten-foot-by-seven-foot hole in the side of the house.

Truth in Advertising

"It will take you to Venus. It takes you on a ride through the galaxy on a cosmic journey into the stars." -- message on the label wrapped around bottles of Green Hornet, an herbal concoction that sent four Colorado Springs teenagers to the hospital in February. They arrived at the emergency room with excessive heart rates, seizures, severe body rashes and high blood pressure.

"The thrill of winning is on your mind, but the sheer exhilaration of teeing off just feet from the edge of the cliffs, with the wind blowing through your hair, is enough to make you know you are living on the Œedge.'" -- from a website advertising the Kremmling Cliff Classic Golf Tournament in June, where twenty golfers were flattened after lightning struck the cliff overlooking the town.

Nice Bedside Manner

In July, a nine-year-old Golden boy spent a night at Children's Hospital after he survived a lightning strike in Arvada. His mother held his hand all night while his stepfather told him stories -- about how lightning had struck and killed golfers playing in the rain, about how lightning had struck and killed nine elk out in a field.

Special Delivery

In May, a deputy at Denver Police Department headquarters received a suspicious package containing three small packets of white powder. The Cherokee Street building was closed for several hours while the fire department and a haz-mat team investigated the substance, which turned out to be cocaine.

Both Marilyn Musgrave and Pete Coors logged at least one unwanted campaign contribution this fall. In August and September, respectively, Musgrave's Loveland campaign office and the Coors brewery in Golden received envelopes containing white powder. In each case, the powder was determined to be non-toxic -- after eighty Musgrave campaigners and 600 Coors employers were evacuated.

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