Schmuck of the Week

Westword devotion causes weirdest car accident ever

Every week we chronicle the shmuckiest of the shmucky. This week: A way-too-loyal Westword reader.

Let's play a little game: Take a long look at the photo above, and try to determine how this fine automobile wound up nestled against this tree outside of Westword's offices on the corner of 10th and Broadway.

Got your guess? Good. Now, consider this: The car is still running. And the keys are locked inside.

So, yeah... guess again.

Give up? You probably should. Because after this accident yesterday, a good third of the Westword staff stood in the parking lot trying to figure out what the hell happened. We came up empty. Eventually, I saw a beleaguered man lingering near the car. I asked him if it was his car. It was, and he gave me a brief, embarrassed synopsis of the incident, from which I gathered this:

The guy is driving south on Broadway and, as he approaches 10th, he thinks to himself, Hey, I wonder what that irreverent yet insightful Westword has to say about Denver this week? Also, I think I want to buy an eighth of weed and bang a hooker get a massage.

So he swings his car right, into the parking lot of our building. But instead of pulling into a spot, he throws the car into park in the middle of the lot, the ass of the car still facing Broadway.

He jumps out of the car and rushes toward the front of our building, toward the box of newspapers that will quench his thirst for knowledge. But he's distracted by something -- either the overwhelming number of up-and-coming bands listed on the Westword Music Showcase lineup plastered on our wall, or the voices in his head -- and thus forgets to excise his keys from the ignition.

Making matters worse, he somehow locks his car door.

It was probably about the time he grabbed his Westword ("So glossy!) that the man realized what was happening: His car had somehow slipped into reverse and started retracing his path into the lot, backwards onto Broadway.

The car made its half-circle onto Broadway unscathed. But then it kept turning, starting west on 10th Street, where it struck the unsuspecting and no doubt baffled driver of this 4Runner:

If it weren't for the 4Runner and the tree, the car probably would have just done circles all day, like some crippled, dementia-suffering version of Stephen King's Christine. But instead, it lodged itself on this tree:

Still not seeing it? Don't worry. As I went around the office giddily explaining what had happened, I found it was easier if I drew a diagram of the accident:

You see it now, don't you? And you sort of want Tony's for lunch, right?

Anyway, as Westworders scrambled to move their cars out of the old gal's way, a police officer arrived. He helped the man remove his keys from the car and, presumably, threw it in park before it tried to do another lap. The car was eventually towed away, probably to the junk yard, where it will be joined by the driver's dignity.

Meet more shmucks in our Shmuck of the Week archive.

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Joe Tone
Contact: Joe Tone