Year in Review

You Must Remember This

Hundred-year fires, 200-year droughts, the worst economy in a decade and the collapse of all of Colorado's pro-sports franchises (as well as the semi-pro Nuggets): This past year was an all-consuming pain, a bonfire of the vanities, an Elvis-sized inferno that belongs on the ash heap of memory.

But before you join us in tossing 2002 in the trash, take a few minutes to recall the miserable year that was. The only tears in your eyes will be from the smoke.

1. Last April, the Denver vital-records office reported the astonishing news that:

A. More triplets had been born the previous month than at any time since July 1983, nine months after a massive blizzard.

B. Several people had fatally overdosed on cherry wine made from fruit collected along Cherry Creek.

C. The name "Elmer" was the least-popular name for baby boys.

D. More than 2,000 blank birth and death certificates had been stolen.

2. Seven fourth-grade boys in the Cherry Creek School District got detention for:

A. Taunting another team for being from less-affluent Lakewood.

B. Using their fingers as imaginary weapons against aliens, thus violating zero-tolerance policy.

C. Giving the collective finger to the assistant principal.

D. Stealing all of the Little Debbie snacks from a school vending machine.

3. Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton, responding to the wildfires in June, ordered:

A. An extra press run of Smokey Bear Hates Crispy Critters comic books for schoolchildren.

B. Several thousand Interior staffers to report for fire duty across the United States.

C. Specially tailored fireproof suits for herself and her top aides.

D. A DVD of Bambi, the Disney classic about a deer who survives a woodsy inferno.

4. Gary Hart was given big props by Playboy magazine this year for:

A. Still being able to attract cool chicks.

B. Volunteering to ride with Westy the Cat and the Kittredge fire-rescue squad in the July Fourth parade.

C. Predicting that America was vulnerable to terrorists.

D. Having the guts to wear mutton-chop sideburns in a contemporary world.

5. Luke Helder's outlaw public art project included:

A. Making Colorado a corner of a giant smiley face of exploded mailboxes.

B. Making a mosaic of Our Lady of Guadalupe out of Coors Light bottle caps.

C. Making a scale model of the Capitol dome out of Rocky Ford cantaloupes.

D. Making a likeness of President Bush out of fifty tiki torches arranged on the ground.

6. After renegade Catholics completed a 46-mile pilgrimage to the Mother Cabrini Shrine near Golden, they:

A. Joined hands and sang a dozen verses of "Kumbaya."

B. Hopped on a charter bus and headed to the Cherry Creek Shopping Center.

C. Gathered for dinner at the Outback Steakhouse, courtesy of an anonymous donor.

D. Contacted the Fazzoli Foot Clinic, where a dozen of them received care for blisters.

7. Which two authors were cited by police when they sought Tattered Cover sales receipts following a meth-lab bust?

A. Jack B. Nimble.

B. Timothy Leary.

C. Uncle Fester.

D. J.K. Rowling.

8. Westy, the plucky feline who used up eight of his lives in 2001, suffered this setback in 2002:

A. He was admitted for emergency surgery following an acute hairball attack.

B. The man who administered his $65,000 care fund was found to have embezzled most of the dough.

C. House Bill 1116, which would have given teeth to animal-cruelty penalties, was killed in committee.

D. His prosthetic right paw became detached; fortunately, a team of CSU vets was able to secure a new one.

9. A fourteen-year-old Pennsylvania boy believes he became ill after security personnel at the Aspen airport:

A. Held a scanning wand too close to his ears, causing tinnitus.

B. Ordered him to cinch his belt too tight around his mid-section.

C. Frisked him so aggressively that he was bruised.

D. Made him drink from a bottle of stream water he'd collected, leading to giardia.

10. Nature photographer and eco-booster John Fielder did this for the first time in 2002:

A. Snapped a photo of the Siberian lynx, proving beyond a doubt that the animal had not vanished from Colorado.

B. Sued the U.S. Olympic Committee for copyright infringement when they used a shot of Mt. Evans without his permission.

C. Abandoned his longstanding practice of employing a 4x5-format camera in favor of digital equipment.

D. Opened a 2,200-square-foot fine-art gallery in Cherry Creek.

11. Following his déjà-vu victory over Tom Strickland, Senator Wayne Allard celebrated by:

A. Stocking up on 37-cent postage stamps.

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Ernie Tucker
Contact: Ernie Tucker